Got your first job? Use these 6 tips to maximise your pay
So, you’ve got your first paycheck. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a salaried employee or a gig worker – either way, it feels empowering and grown-up. You now earn your own keep, can give your parents pocket money (tables turned eh), and have the means to save up towards setting up your own home and family.
It feels like there are a TON of things to do! Well, we’ve helped you narrow it down to the 6 most important things you can do to maximise your pay.
Tip 1: Track where your money’s going
When you're "adulting”, your expenses are likely to be higher than when you were a student. For instance, you might get a new phone plan, face increased transport costs (hello overtime and cab fares), and have lunch and dinner out with your new colleagues. You might even rent your own place to avoid a 2-hour commute to work.
We’ve got your back. To help you navigate these changes, we’ve developed the NAV Planner, a tool that helps you keep track of where your money’s going.
And then, use the
50/30/20 rule as a benchmark to guide your expenses:
- 50% - expenses on basic necessities
- 30% - miscellaneous spending
- 20% - savings and investments
But don’t get too caught up in trying to achieve this ideal benchmark. Remember, it’s not a die-die-must achieve KPI. Rather, it is a rule of thumb, or a good way to get started.
Tip 2: Upgrade your childhood savings account
Your childhood account is probably earning near-zero interest.
But if you have a Multiplier account and credit your salary (or dividends) into any DBS or POSB account, it is the first step to your account working extra hard in earning interest for you.
How? By adding on one of these: credit card spend, home loan instalments, insurance payments or investments. When you do any of those, the interest rate on your account jumps…especially when your total eligible transactions pass S$2,000 per month.
The more you add on, the more interest you earn.
What’s better, everything can be done online in your own time, at your own convenience. You never have to visit a branch or make 1,001 declarations over your identity and what you want to achieve in life.
If you’re 29 or younger, you get even more. That’s because the “fall-below” service fee is waived for you. This feature is important because in your early years of working, there will be times you might fall short or need a little bit of extra cash. It’s frustrating – we know.
So, this is our way of recognising your life's stages and helping you along the way.
Tip 3: Upgrade to your own credit card
You probably own a debit card. And you might have gotten a supplementary credit card from your parents when you were on your overseas exchange.
One of the most exciting #adulting things about getting your own pay is… getting your FIRST credit card.
To make the most of it, use your POSB/DBS credit card as long as you're paying for something. For one, you earn points, cashback or miles. Two, it makes it so much easier to reach the next level of monthly transactions to qualify for the next level of interest rates with the Multiplier account.
There are so many ways to do this: the hotpot dinner with your squad, mom's birthday present, the monthly donation to the children's charity or even when you fill up petrol.
Meet Jack. He’s a first jobber who credits his monthly salary of S$3,500 into his DBS/POSB savings account and transacts in one category.
With Jack’s current balance of S$30,000 in his DBS Multiplier Account and a total eligible transaction of S$3,700, he qualifies for an interest of:
- 0.40% p.a. for his first S$25,000 and
- Prevailing base interest rate for the balances above S$25,000
To unlock higher interest rates he needs to transact in more categories.
For example, Jack adds on S$100 investment a month, bringing his total eligible transactions to S$3,800 a month. His interest rate increases from 0.40% p.a. to 0.70% p.a.
It doesn't stop there. If you've already popped the "let's go register for HDB" question, and received a "yes!" in return... this is a fantastic add to your Multiplier. The ring, wedding expenses, and housing loan will help you reach the eligible transaction spend faster.
Tip 4: Purchase insurance while you’re still young and healthy
While you might only be in your 20s, this is the perfect time to choose from life or term insurance policies. That’s because you pay less premiums when you’re younger and healthier. If you decide on an Endowment policy, you reap the benefits from interest compounding, and get nearer to your marriage and first home goals.
And if you buy a life insurance policy from POSB, it can tick off on yet another Multiplier criteria. Score! (To see how much you can potentially earn, try our calculator here.)
Tip 5: Have a ‘lit’ break
You may have just started work, but it won't be long before you'll be whispering these four words: "I need a break."
Have a ‘lit’ vacay by using the multi-currency feature that comes with your bank account. If you have the Multiplier account, it’s simple: lock in your preferred exchange rate, link it to a Visa debit card, and you’re set to pay like a local.
It’s super useful if you are travelling to a few countries, because there’s no need to call and brief us on your itinerary.
Pay in London and Pounds are deducted; pay in Amsterdam and Euros are deducted. The system’s smart that way.
Tip 6: Start investing
A major coming-of-age concept is when you begin investing for the long-term. A regular (monthly) savings plan is the surest, steadiest way to multiply, but there is also the option to trade stocks via your Vickers account. (Your stock purchases and dividends count towards the Multiplier.)
Alternatively, buy Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs), and see your transactions multiply.
Disclaimers and Important Notice
This article is meant for information only and should not be relied upon as financial advice. Before making any decision to buy, sell or hold any investment or insurance product, you should seek advice from a financial adviser regarding its suitability.
All investments come with risks and you can lose money on your investment. Invest only if you understand and can monitor your investment. Diversify your investments and avoid investing a large portion of your money in a single product issuer.
Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$75,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the CPF Investment Scheme and CPF Retirement Sum Scheme are aggregated and separately insured up to S$75,000 for each depositor per Scheme member. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.
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