The Only New Year’s Resolution Singaporeans Need to Make More Money

|Posted by | Make Money


This won’t make you a millionaire, but it can help you overcome the common financial hurdles Singaporeans face.

We’re about to let you in on a secret to making more money. It may not make you a millionaire, but if you take it seriously, you can overcome the common financial hurdles Singaporeans face. It’s based on the law of “small things compounding”, and by using this one resolution you can turn your life around.

The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution to Making More Money

Pledge to do everything you can, in order to increase your monthly income by five per cent. Do this every year.

For example, say you are earning S$2,000 per month the first year you do this. Your goal would be to find a way to consistently make an additional $100 per month, or 5% of your monthly pay. You will try to do this in any way possible, from asking for a raise, to helping your neighbour do the laundry every week.

Find a way. An extra S$100 a month is not hard. It’s just finding a way to earn around S$3.30 extra per day.

Next year, your monthly income would be at S$2,100 a month. So then you pledge to raise it by S$105, to $2,205. The year after, you pledge to raise it by S$110.25. And you keep going, until at the end of 10 years, when you would be earning around S$3,260 per month.

It doesn’t matter if you fail to get a five per cent raise, you can just try again next year.

Now, you may be wondering why we pick such a trivial amount, like 5%. But that just happens to be the secret sauce: most people fail at raising their income, because they don’t understand the law of small things compounding.


The Law of Small Things Compounding

Many little changes accumulate, and make substantial impact on value. For example, consider the effect of small things when you’re renovating a house, cooking, painting, writing, etc.

There are many small things that, on their own, seem inconsequential. Adding half a teaspoon more of sugar, mixing in a little bit more blue paint, positioning a comma, and so on. When viewed in isolation, the effects of these things are trivial. But when many of these small things are done right, the end result is phenomenal – the difference between a master and an amateur is that the master does all the small things right.

The same law can be applied to personal finances. You already know about the power of compounding interest; but consider the effect of making an additional S$100 a month. An added S$100 will buy you:

  • Four to five taxi rides, so you can sleep in and cab to work once a week
  • A restaurant meal at least once a week
  • A visit to the movies twice a week
  • One to two new video games a month

And that’s every month from now on. Now imagine the effect of eventually earning S$300 more a month, or S$500 more a month. You may not be flying around on a private jet, but you can see how much your quality of life changes, just by making a few hundred extra dollars more.

The other thing you’ll find is that, as you internalise the possibility of making more money, further stretches are possible. Your paradigm (your understanding of your value and the way the world works) shifts every time someone pays you more. Once you are making an extra S$500 a month from helping someone design their website, S$1,000 a month doesn’t seem impossible.

The key is to work on the basis of small, achievable targets. The mistake that most people make is setting an unrealistic goal. Aiming to earn an extra S$5,000 a month by the end of the year, when you are still struggling on S$2,000 a month, is probably not going to happen (and you probably don’t believe it yourself, on some level).

But small amounts like S$100 or S$200 are achievable, sometimes in a matter of weeks.


The Key is to Earn More, Not Just Save More

At, we are always advocates of saving money. However, saving money provides for emergencies and life’s many needs. You should not focus on just saving, but also on making more.

Earning more money adds to the quality of your life, in ways that simply saving money can’t. Having savings provides security, but it also has to subtract from your life in some way (the money can’t be coming from thin air). You have to be sacrificing movies, time with loved ones, hobbies, etc. There is also an absolute limit to saving, whereas there is no theoretical limit to how much more you can earn.

Stay with us over the coming year, as we explore more methods of helping you financially. But for 2017, do make a resolution to earn 5% more each month. You’ll find it more achievable than you think, and the results will amaze you.

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By Ryan Ong
Ryan has been writing about finance for the last 10 years. He also has his fingers in a lot of other pies, having written for publications such as Men’s Health, Her World, Esquire, and Yahoo! Finance.