10 Money Hacks for Young Adults

Whether you’re balancing your expenses while studying or you’re earning for the first time, developing effective ways of managing your money now will benefit you in the long term. Here are some simple things you can do to stay ahead of the game:

1. Find a sustainable side hustle

There are countless ways to make additional dollars outside of school or work hours. Thanks to the rise of digital platforms, it’s never been easier to turn a passion or hobby into an additional revenue stream. From online tuition lessons to fitness coaching and selling your handicrafts to creating your own YouTube channel, consider how you can turn your talent into a source of supplementary income.

2. Track your expenses

We know it’s hard to be objective about your spending when you’re looking at something you really want. That’s why it’s so important to keep a bird’s-eye view of your transactions; it’ll help you avoid those impulse splurges. There are now various apps that can help you track your expenses. For example, the Singlife App lets you consolidate all your expenses in one card and track the expenses on the app. Furthermore, you can earn bonus returns and rewards as you spend with the card.

3. Be a deal hunter

Stay on the lookout for promotions and deals to help you save and earn. Whether you shop at a store, take up a subscription or sign up for a membership, most brands will reward you for your loyalty and referrals. Apply this mentality to your savings and investments, too, by keeping an eye out for sign-up deals and referral programmes. For example, Singlife’s Member Get Member programme gives members up to S$35 for every referral.


4. Follow personal finance blogs

Learn from likeminded people about finance on blogs and forums. Websites like Seedly and The Smart Local provide tips on how to manage your money and they also help further your knowledge of key financial concepts – all through content and examples with a Singapore flavour that you can relate to. If you’ve got an investment portfolio or you’re interested in starting one, you could also follow people with skin in the game to help you make more informed financial decisions.


5. Make the most of cashback

Cashback schemes are one of the easiest ways to get money out of your daily purchases. These days, just about every business, from online shopping platforms to dining establishments and insurance companies have some sort of cashback scheme you can tap on. The amount you get on each purchase may not always be large, but every reward dollar earned or cashback percentage gained could eventually add up to a sizeable sum if you use these schemes regularly. You can use your cashback to purchase various things, and easily integrate these programmes into your daily life. 


6. Save first, spend later

No matter how much you earn every month, set aside a fixed amount into savings each payday before doing anything else with your money. As a general rule of thumb, try to save at least 20% of your income each month, leaving 50% for necessities like bills and the remaining 30% for things like entertainment and staycations. With Central Banks continuing to keep interest rates low, you’ll want to park your savings wisely. For higher returns, consider a savings insurance plan such as the Singlife Account which can help you manage your money while giving you potential returns of up to 2% per annum. 


7. Make sure you’re covered

Evaluate your insurance plans to make sure you’re not over- or under-spending on protection. Everyone’s situation is different so keep track of your policies and regularly review them to assess if you’ve got the right level of protection for your life stage. If you don’t yet have a policy, you might want to start soon as generally, annual premium costs are cheaper when you’re younger. And if you’re looking to top up your coverage, remember to evaluate the return rates, bonuses and unqiue features of different providers before you make a choice.


8. Put your investments on autopilot

The key to growing your wealth? Regular investments. It can be tough to remember to transfer money into a savings or investment plan/account every month, so look for ways to automate the process. This form of “forced” saving ensures your money is working harder for you and not just sitting in your bank account. For instance, Singlife’s Grow, a digital Investment-Linked Plan (ILP), has a Recurring Single Premium option that allows you to set up regular payments, replacing market speculation with a systematic investment approach  which is simply just like dollar-cost averaging.


9. Have a back-up plan

Nobody likes thinking about preparing for the worst to happen, but it’s always wise to consider how you’d manage financial difficulties. Having an emergency fund to rely on in the event of an unexpected job loss or unforeseen expenses can ease your worries and provide security in the long term. It is usually a good idea to set aside 3 to 6 months of your monthly salary for such instances.  This money should be saved in an account that allows for easy withdrawals when it’s needed. An option is the Singlife Account which has no lock-in period or penalties if you withdraw your money. If you’re comfortable taking investment risks, consider Singlife’s Grow, which has been giving an annualised return of 8.47% to 18.74% (depending on the investment portfolio chosen) since its inception on 29 July 2020 ^.


10. Practise money mindfulness

Having greater awareness of how you manage your money means thinking twice before you spend.  Instead of simply splurging on an impulse purchase, consider your motives. Are you buying something you’ve wanted or needed for a long time? Or, are you just buying into a fad that’ll make you temporarily happy? Pausing in the moment can help you develop more mindful spending habits. In addition, consider selling any unwanted or under-used items when you want to purchase something new to channel your money back into something you’ll appreciate.


No one is born with money management skills, but making these money hacks a part of your daily life are a good start to building your financial confidence. So, try a few of them today. For more money-management help, have a #NoObligations chat with a financial adviser.



^See factsheet for more details. Figures represent gross model performance returns before deduction of fees. Return is calculated on a daily basis, accumulated for the period shown. The performance of the model portfolios may differ from the actual portfolios held by the individual investor. The performance for your Grow portfolio is not guaranteed and the value of the units and the income accrued to the units (if any) may fall or rise. Past performance is not a guide to future results. You can purchase multiple policies, with one portfolio per policy.

Enjoy reading our articles?

Subscribe to Money Banter to receive useful tips and guides on insurance and offers on products and services.

Thank you for your submission. 

By clicking “Submit”, you consent to Singapore Life Ltd. (“Singlife”) and Singlife related companies contacting you to provide you with information concerning Singlife and Singlife related companies’ products and services and special offers which may be of interest to you.
For details of Singlife's Data Protection Policy, please refer to singlife.com/pdpa. To withdraw your consent at any time, please call Singlife at +65 6827 9933.

Important Information

Money Banter (the "Portal") is for general information only and does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation, health condition and needs of any particular person. The contents of this Portal are intended merely for educational purposes and should not be construed as the giving of advice or the making of a recommendation. Nothing contained in this Portal shall constitute a distribution, an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy. We recommend that you discuss any specific matters with your financial adviser representative or legal adviser before making any decision. You are responsible for your own medical care, treatment and oversight, and any health-related content on this Portal, including, text, treatments, dosages, outcomes, charts, profiles, graphics, images, messages and forum postings are strictly information to promote general understanding of certain health topics only, do not constitute the providing of medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice from a physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. This Portal may include information sourced from third parties and links to third party websites. We are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of, and do not recommend or endorse such information or third party websites nor recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information. While we have taken reasonable care to ensure that the information on this Portal has been obtained from reliable sources and is correct at time of publishing, information may become outdated and opinions may change. Except to the extent prohibited by any law, we are not liable for any loss (including direct, indirect and consequential loss, loss of profits, loss or corruption of data or economic loss of any kind) that may result from the access or use of or reliance on the information on this Portal.  | Terms of Use | Data Protection Policy

Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.