Just started work? Here's how to multiply your salary
If you're excited about getting your first salary and how far it will take you…well, here's what we have to say about it: go forth and multiply
Rudimentary math will tell you that when you multiply something positive by something else that's positive, it increases in quantity or value.
Here's how you can multiply your salary.
#1: Adulting 101: Know where your money’s going
No one really likes adulting, but we have to anyway. The biggest FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) of receiving your salary? Not maximizing it.
One way to do this is to apply the 50/30/20 rule to each month’s salary:
- 50% - expenses on basic necessities
- 30% - miscellaneous spending
- 20% - savings and investments
It’s not a die-die-must-achieve KPI. Rather, it is a rule of thumb, or a good way to get started.
That’s because when you're "adulting”, your expenses are likely to be higher than when you were a student. For instance, a new phone plan, increased transport costs (hello overtime and cab fares), lunch and dinner out with your new colleagues. Perhaps you might even rent your own place.
We’ve got your back. To help you navigate these changes, we’ve developed the Your Financial GPS tool that helps you keep track of where your money’s going.
#2: Upgrade your childhood savings account
When you're venturing deeper into the world of "adulting", you're bound to transact or even invest more – you probably won't have a choice.
Where you might have a choice is in the interest rates you can earn. Your childhood account is probably earning near-zero interest.
But if you have a Multiplier account and credit your salary into any DBS or POSB account, it works extra hard in the interest department.
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. Interest game strong.
Applying for the Multiplier is basic. Everything can be done online. 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.
#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 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.
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.
#4: Stay protected
You've probably heard that it's never too early to start an insurance policy. That sounds about right.
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.
#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." The struggle is real.
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.
#6: Grow with the flow
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. Some Singaporeans have successfully created a “SSB ladder”, which is a fancy name for buying SSBs every month for 6 months, and then letting the SSBs take turns to pay you interest each month. These Singaporeans swear that it's one of the easiest ways to reach your Multiplier goal.