At 30 Years Old, Your Monthly Salary Should Have Been S$2,600 For You To Feel Financially Secure.

Earlier today, Mr Budget was having a lunch catch up with a friend. Obviously we spoke about marriage and the topic of money came up in our discussion. 

While we went talking, I can’t help but sense that she is worried generally about her financial situation. As she approached 30 years old, she has not settled down with her partner mostly due to financial insecurity.

According to a recent report, over the decade, Singaporeans who are getting married for the first time are getting older

The median age of first-time grooms was 30.2 last year, slightly older than 29.8 in 2008. For first-time brides, the median age was 28.5 last year, compared with 27.3 in 2008.

So I asked myself, at age 30, how much should you have saved up in order for you to feel like you are ready for the next phase in life? Is money a big factor in deciding whether to tie the knot?

Mr Budget did a quick scenario planning to find the monthly salary indicator to check when will someone feel “safe” to move on their next phase in life:

For simpler calculation, we made the following assumption:

  1. A couple will need to save up S$20,000 in total for the cost of the first child. This includes basic government hospitalisation, as well as the various basic cost for after the kid is born up till the first year. You can read my previous post on this.
  2. Wedding will cost S$20,000. This assumes that banquet can cover itself, and the couple will need to fork up expenses such as photography, wedding gown package, guodali, honeymoon. This is a general assumption and varies according to each couple. 
  3. Renovation will cost S$40,000. This is a general assumption and seems to be a fairly accurate estimate. We spent about S$25,000 because our home comes almost fully furnished.
  4. Assume first house will be covered by CPF and some help from parents for easier calculation. 

Hence the total needed for someone to “adult” and get married at 30 years old, it turns out to be S$80,000 per couple, or S$40,000 per person.

Let’s make a further assumption that people only start saving when they turn 26. This is because the savings rate for Singaporean in their first few years of career will usually be quite low, or that they may have student loans to clear in the first few years.

To save up S$40,000 in 5 years (26 to 30 years old) before turning 30 years old, he or she will need to save S$8,000 annually, or S$666.67 a month. 

Assuming he or she allocates S$1500 for living expenses (food, entertainment, roof over the head, transport, social commitment), that will translate to a total take home salary of S$2166.67, or a gross salary of S$2,600 (to take consideration of CPF).

Also Read: Our Retirement Expenses

So I would think that if someone, at age 26 years old, is making S$2,600 in monthly gross salary, he or she might start to feel anxious about life. 

The good thing is that, according to a recent report, the median salary for Singaporean is now above S$4500. 

But for those that are making S$2,600 or less, I would think the option now is to upskill, and see if there are better career opportunities in other companies. 

Don’t give up because there are so much more joy in life and everything will always be ok. Mr Budget started off with S$2,200 in gross salary about 6 or 7 years ago. 

How much was your gross salary when you started working?

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3 thoughts on “At 30 Years Old, Your Monthly Salary Should Have Been S$2,600 For You To Feel Financially Secure.

  1. Sinkie

    $2000 in 1993 with basic NUS Comp Sci non-honurs degree (but got merit lah :P). Plus it was civil service — some of my classmates who manage to join banks got $2.7K-$2.9K starting pay.

    I think between 1998 to 2012 there was a great salary suppression in S’pore due to 3 big recessions & the big opening up of foreign workers (the white collar types lah) from 2005 onwards.


  2. Rokawa

    Nov 2006.
    After cpf deduct. $1200. Supposedly I don’t know anything and need to be train.

    After money to support divorced mother plus 5 younger siblings between 18 to 4 yrs old.
    Balance $400. Before bills.
    Yea look like no light at end of tunnel.

    But all good after failing a color blind test in Oct 2006 without knowing that I’m color blind after pri sec poly and army. Like a butterfly effect. It’s like things maybe a whole lot different if I had not fail the test.


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