I’m 23, just started my first job, with a salary (after cpf) around $3000, how should I budget my monthly expenditure? - Seedly
 

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 04 Sep 2018

I’m 23, just started my first job, with a salary (after cpf) around $3000, how should I budget my monthly expenditure?

Some bills I’ve got to pay, Singtel bill $80, monthly medical bill about $500/mth

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HC Tang
HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
Level 8. Wizard
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Hi

Can read this for good advice by seedly: https://blog.seedly.sg/working-adults-allocate-your-monthly-salary/

Basically guidelines is: 20% Savings, 50% expenses and 30% investment.

Now for your situations and questions:

After CPF 3k (take home pay), and you have:

  1. Singtel bill $80

  2. Medical bill $500.

Others basic that you must have:

  1. Rental $ 0 - Assume you stayed home.

  2. Food

  3. Transport

  4. Necessities (toiletries, shampoo, shower gel etc)

  5. Entertainment

  6. Shopping

  7. Savings

  8. Investment.

IMO, I suggest:

  1. Saving: 20% => $600 (Always pay yourself first, then go https://seedly.sg/tools/savings-account-calculator to let it find the best interest accounts for your savings.)

  2. Medical Bill: $500 (Keep it as $500 for the time being, However, if you can dig around find comchest, check CHASS , check MSF or google around see anyway to get subsidies to reduce your cost as much as possible)

  3. Mobile bill: $30 - circle life (Saved $50 as $80 is way too high. There are other means to save on this area. You can read seedly user review of telco plan at: https://seedly.sg/reviews/telco-mobile-plans. We all use a lot of data, so I believe circle life no contract $28 plan with 6GB, free caller ID (save $5 per month), unlimited whatsapp (messages) and 100 min air time (incoming and outgoing only 100, so must top it up with $2 for unlimited incoming call). All other calls try to use office phone (old school tricks :P) and your whatsapp call out when using office wifi or free wifi - Wireless SG @ MRT, Library, Shopping Center and even Hawker Center these days!!!) .

  4. Food: $230 (Breakfast and Lunch)

Breakdown meals budget as:

(a) Breakfast:$2 (Buy supermarket bread with margarine, oat meals, cereals and hawker)

(b) Lunch: $5 (Check out Seedly meal preps write up: https://blog.seedly.sg/singaporean-guide-save-money-meal-preps/ . If you can't, suggest that you always go to hawker but choose healther food such as fish soup other salad or normal meals that is suitable for your diet requirements so as to not compromise your health and yet don't break the bank. Cheers. Allocate maybe $10 for 1 meals for Friday and Saturday so that life and food is more interesting. Plus and minues balance out with monthly budget)

(c) Dinner: $0 (assume you eat at home so parents cover the cost :P)

Total daily meal Cost: $7 and Monthly $230. If you settle breakfast at home, can save even more!)

(if you can do meal preps so as to save $ and healthier for your case is the best. Check out Seedly meal preps write up: https://blog.seedly.sg/singaporean-guide-save-money-meal-preps/ . If you can't, suggest that you always go to hawker but choose healther food such as fish soup other salad or normal meals that is suitable for your diet requirements so as to not compromise your health and yet don't break the bank. Cheers:)

  1. Transport: $80 to $100. (use this app: Citymapper to find the fastest / shortest route and use this https://www.mytransport.sg/content/mytransport/home/commuting/busservices.html#Fare_Calculator

to find the total cost per month for transport with a bit of buffer)

  1. Necessities (haircut, toiletries, shampoo, shower gel etc): $20

  2. (a) Go K cut : $10 per month (quick, easy, nice, and clean and neat), cheaper than the other 2 brands and saloon so much.

  3. (b) Toileries, shampoo, shower gel, hair gel: $10 each month since you don't finish these every month.

  4. Entertainment (Movies etc): $8.50 (weekday for 2) to $12.50 (weekend for 2) for once a month. The rest of the time have a walk or find free entertainment. Go to the park etc. Be creative. Lots of ideas online.

Movie saving tips: Find those 1 for 1 deals to watch only on promo days and try to watch on Thursday since new show up on thursday and less crowded and cheaper ticket.

I'll share with you my personal tips:

Shaw Cinema:

(a) Sun : M1 shaw first 450 only (except Shaw Century Square) show IC and M1 mobile number (1 free/day per customer).

(b) Union Pay credit card 1 for 1 at Shaw, first 850 per month.

Cathay Cinema:

(c) Passion card: Every 10th of the Month 1 for 1 at Orchard Cineleisure and Downtown East

  1. Shopping: $30 per months (since it's not necessary to shop every month. Assume every 3 months you will shop once so life is not so boring, so you get $90 to spend. Clothing can get basic practical at Uniqlo or Taobao (much cheaper). Tips: Basically online lots of deals especiall at taobao or lazada toabao collections. Apply cash back credit card, use shopback to stack for cash back. Happy Shopping! :)

  2. Emergency cash: $500 (save it in SSB or high interest savings account with your savings. Prepare for rainy days In case of any situations for health, out of jobs etc. Calculate your total expenses and also keep at least 6 months to 1 year of total expenses worth as emergency funds. After you have save enough, you can use some of the $ to go holiday with friends so as to share cost and keep cost low. Afterall, #YOLO a little bit after cover your bases is alright :) )

  3. Investment. 30% => $900

  4. You may ask, how to start investing ?

  5. may read: https://blog.seedly.sg/working-adults-easiest-ways-to-invest-a-monthly-sum-for-beginners/

and https://blog.seedly.sg/three-simple-steps-to-investment-beginner-singapore/

So there you go, final total about $3k in a very good positions (Except unable to buy insurance and premium would be high consider your situation. Don't despair, you'll still have:

  1. Medishield life that covers existing illness but not sufficient.

  2. Company insurance: Company that you work for will sure have accident insurance coverage.

  3. Careshild life: 7 years later @ 2020 when you're 30, you should be able to join Careshield life in case of severe disability, may get $600 per months.

thought the above 3 is not the best protections / coverage, but it's still better than nothing. I'm no insurance expert, so do ask insurance related question with your scenario at Seedly here so that our community may help share or answer some doubts for you to make the best move. :) Cheers!

Finally, life is still good as long as you make the best out of whatever lemon life dishes out at you, you either make lemonade or make ice lemon tea and turn it to enjoyment. It's all about perspective! See it it from the cup half full side so that life is still an enjoyment regardless. :)

Cheers!​​​

2 comments

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Question Poster

27 Sep 2018

Hi! Finally can thank you properly, really really appreciate the long message! haha that's a very tight budget you planned for. I'm currently trying to save about 1.5k a month, and probably start investing after I have at least 6 months of savings! Singtel I'm tied to them till next May sigh.
HC Tang
HC Tang

27 Sep 2018

haha.. you're most welcome. Hope with practical example up to the super details, it can really help you. For singtel, i have another way out: Call the Singtel corporate hotline and ask them if your company has any CIS plan with them ? if have then you can ask to change your plan to CIS (anytime even when you're within 2 year contract with them), you can look at savings of 20% to 50% discount on monthly subscriptions, and the Caller ID that is the culprit of hidden cost $5 can be free for 24 months ($5 x 24 = $120 savings) over 2 years. Both this will you save a lot and this is also how i kept my mobile plan cost monthly low. Hope this will helps further :) Cheers! :) happy savings ! :)
Alan Kor
Alan Kor
Level 6. Master
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

take home 3k, Singtel bill $80, monthly medical bill about $500/mth

1) can try lower ur singtel bill?

2) if just starting work with no/min commitments, aim more >50% savings which is ard 1500 to build up emergency fund and warchest for investment

3) left with ard 1k for ur expenses​​​

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Alan Kor
Alan Kor

28 Sep 2018

wah tied up so ex one ah? 1 trade >5k?
Question Poster

28 Sep 2018

yeah and Im using the youth plan some more.. really cheat money D:
Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

After Bill ($2400),

Just as a guide for you, I'm currently budgeting $1000 for all my variable expenses, food, transport and entertainment. Its a really comfortable amount considering that I live alone, so all 3 meals are on me. If you are stay at home with parents, should be able to drop down to $600 per month (I'm being really generous here)

You can budget the rest for insurance, emergency fund, parent's allowance, and maybe some for holiday.

Take note that you'll need to pay income tax soon, so allow for that amount to be deducted from your budget, assuming no increment (touch wood).

2 comments

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Question Poster

27 Sep 2018

Haha I must control my spending!!!
Serene Toh
Serene Toh

03 Oct 2018

I find it really difficult to abstain from spending too. It comes back to bite really badly if you deny yourself too much. So I budget for it in a separate savings goal, so it wouldn't affect my main savings too much. Just like Dieting, Don't completely deny yourself a good life, but allow for it in your budget. Like, every 1 month then can spend money on shopping, etc. My $1000 allows for my spending in good restaurants occasionally, so I can actually cut it down further if I spend less on dining.

Congrats on entering the working world!

I think before you give yourself a strict budget, observe your spending habits for a few months first then see what you hope to improve from there. That will help you set something realistic. Use the seedly app to track your expenses! (:

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Question Poster

27 Sep 2018

Thank you! been using the seedly app, realised I overspend on Grab and shopping :'(
Lawrence Yip
Lawrence Yip
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Hi, is it convenient to share what's your medical condition with a $500 medical bill per month? You can private contact me for confidentiality.

Per your question above, basically, have three bank accounts first,

first account is for incoming salary + expenses

second account is for general savings - to develop a habit to save

third account is for emergency fund - build this to 6mths of your take home salary, when you are comfortable, extend it to be 12mths.

before you started your first job, if you already have savings, you can allocate the fund according to the three accounts

thnak you

2 comments

1
Question Poster

27 Sep 2018

I'm trying to get more interest on multiplier so I guess I'll just keep everything in one account haha. wa emergency fund takes a long time to build :( But it's important!
Lawrence Yip
Lawrence Yip

16 Oct 2018

would you want to discuss on your expenditures, how to be better in finance? pls pm me to arrange, thank you very much.
Einn Hann
Einn Hann
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 13 Jun 2019

You may take a look at this http://sgbeyourownboss.com/budgeting-monthly-expenses/.

I usually split my expenses into 6 categories. But before you start budgeting, you need have a rough idea where your money spent everyday. So I would suggest you take 2-3 months to track your daily expenses. With that, you know every month what you need to spend, how much you need to spend, and how much you can save.

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Nicholas Chan
Nicholas Chan
Level 6. Master
Answered on 27 Sep 2018

Set aside the 1st 20% of your take home salary for savings/investments. Try to leave on the remainder.

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