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10 Ways to Save Big by 30: Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

Singapore is a vibrant and bustling city-state with a high cost of living. As a 20-something living in Singapore, you might find it challenging to save money, especially with rising costs and the temptation to indulge in the city’s many luxuries. However, with a little effort and some smart financial planning, it’s possible to save big by 30. In this article, we’ll share 10 ways to save big by 30: tips and tricks you need to know in Singapore.

#1: Start with a Budget

The first step to saving money is to create a budget. In Singapore, expenses can add up quickly, so it’s essential to keep track of your spending. Start by listing all your monthly expenses, including rent, utilities, food, transportation, and entertainment. Then, subtract your total expenses from your income to see how much money you have left over. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back.

Example: Let’s say your monthly income is $3,000 after CPF, and your expenses are as follows:

  • Rent: $1,200
  • Utilities: $150
  • Food: $500
  • Transportation: $200
  • Entertainment: $250

Your total expenses would be $2,300, leaving you with $700 in disposable income. By creating a budget, you can see that you have room to cut back on expenses and save more.

#2: Cut Back on Expenses

Once you’ve created a budget, look for ways to cut back on your expenses. Singapore has many options for dining out, but eating out can be expensive. Try cooking at home instead or opting for hawker food. You can also switch to a cheaper phone plan, buy generic brands instead of name brands, or take public transportation instead of driving.

Example: Let’s say you typically spend $400 per month dining out. By cutting back to $200 per month and cooking at home more often, you can save $200 per month or $2,400 per year. If you’re interested to find out on how you can reduce your expenses further, read my ultimate guide to saving money in Singapore.

#3: Take Advantage of Cashback and Rewards Programs

Cashback and rewards programs are a great way to save money on your everyday expenses. In Singapore, many credit cards offer cash back rewards on dining, groceries, and transportation. There are also cash back apps like ShopBack and Fave that offer cashback on online purchases and dining out. Just be sure to pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Example: Let’s say you spend $100 per week on groceries. By using a credit card that offers 5% cashback on groceries, you can save $260 per year. Find out how to choose the perfect credit card for your lifestyle

#4: Save for Emergencies

Unexpected expenses can derail your financial plans, so it’s essential to have an emergency fund. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in an easily accessible account. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you have a cushion to fall back on in case of an emergency.

Example: Let’s say your monthly expenses are $2,500. To save six months’ worth of expenses, you would need to save $15,000.

#5: Invest for the Long Term

Investing in stocks or other securities can be a great way to grow your wealth over the long term. In Singapore, you can consider investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which offer diversification and low fees. It’s essential to do your research and understand the risks and potential returns before investing.

Example: Let’s say you invest $5,000 in an ETF that tracks the Straits Times Index (STI). Over the past 10 years, the STI has returned an average of 7% per year. If the ETF continues to perform at this rate, your investment could be worth $13,385 after 10 years.

If you’re interested in learning about investing, check out my beginners’ guide to investing.

#6: Consider a Side Hustle

If you’re looking to increase your income and save more, consider starting a side hustle. In Singapore, there are many opportunities for freelance work or part-time jobs, such as tutoring, pet-sitting, or driving for ride-sharing services. Just be sure to balance your side hustle with your full-time job and other commitments.

Example: Let’s say you start tutoring for four hours per week at $50 per hour. That’s an extra $800 per month or $9,600 per year. Interested to start a side hustle? Here are 10 side hustles to start in Singapore for extra income

#7: Use Public Facilities

Singapore has many public facilities, such as parks, libraries, and community centres, that are free or low-cost. Instead of spending money on entertainment, take advantage of these facilities and enjoy a day out with friends or family.

Example: Instead of going to a movie theatre, consider having a picnic at a park or borrowing a book from the library.

#8: Shop Smart

When shopping, be mindful of sales and discounts. Compare prices between different retailers and consider buying items in bulk to save money. You can also look for second-hand items or borrow from friends and family.

Example: Let’s say you need a new laptop. Instead of buying a brand new one for $1,000, consider buying a refurbished one for $700 or borrowing one from a friend.

#9: Plan Your Travel

Travelling can be expensive, but there are ways to save money. Plan your travel in advance and look for promotions or discounts. Consider travelling during the off-peak season or staying in budget accommodations.

Example: Instead of travelling during the peak season, consider travelling during the off-peak season when prices are lower.

Want to travel but limited by a tight budget? Find out how you can travel on a tight budget with these tips and tricks

#10: Avoid Impulse Purchases

Finally, avoid impulse purchases. Take time to think about your purchases and consider whether you really need the item. Impulse purchases can add up quickly and derail your financial goals.

Example: Instead of buying a new outfit on impulse, wait a few days and consider whether you really need it. If you still want it after a few days, then you can consider purchasing it.

ExpensePotential Savings
Dining Out$200/month
Phone Plan$20/month
Total Potential Savings$5,880/year
Savings Table


What is the best way to save money in Singapore?

The best way to save money in Singapore is to start with a budget, cut back on expenses, take advantage of cashback and rewards programs, save for emergencies, invest for the long term, consider a side hustle, use public facilities, shop smart, plan your travel, and avoid impulse purchases.

How much should I aim to save by 30?

The amount you should aim to save by 30 depends on your personal financial goals and circumstances. However, a good rule of thumb is to aim to have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund and to be on track to meet your long-term financial goals.

Start Using These 10 Tips to Save Big by 30!

Saving money in Singapore can be challenging, but with a little effort and some smart financial planning, it’s possible to save big by 30. Start by creating a budget and cutting back on expenses, take advantage of cashback and rewards programs, save for emergencies and invest for the long term. Consider a side hustle to increase your income, use public facilities for entertainment, shop smart, plan your travel, and avoid impulse purchases. 

By implementing these strategies, you can potentially save thousands of dollars each year and build a strong foundation for your financial future. Remember, the key to saving money is to be mindful of your spending and make intentional choices about how you use your resources. Start small by making a few changes to your habits and gradually build up your savings over time. With patience and discipline, you can achieve your financial goals and live the life you want. So, start implementing these tips and tricks today, and see how much you can save by 30!

Eugene Chai

Eugene Chai is a seasoned financial expert with over 4 years of experience. His work has graced the pages of prominent Singapore Investment sites. He has also been featured on Channel News Asia - Money Talks. With a passion for simplifying complex financial concepts, he empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their money. Whether it's investment strategies, personal finance, or market trends, Eugene's insights are a beacon of clarity in the world of finance.

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