FreshGrad Girl That Manage To Save SGD20,000 A Year. Can You?

Posted by Kris | Saturday, December 27, 2014 | | 11 comments »

Frugal girl
I came across this new Singaporean blogger that has the moniker "Budget Barbie" (her sexyback profile photo above..hehe..sorry for copy and paste. No! The picture is not the point I am writing this shoutout and post.) in my Whatsapps group conversation with my high school buddies.

Actually, when I read the article I did not realized that the blogger was a girl. I thought it was a guy until I saw her nick. And also before I saw the profile pic. lol. I was reading the blog on my smartphone in mobile mode, hence, there is a no fancy pictures in it. (you will know if you read blog post in mobile mode).

Okey, back to the point, in her post she tells us how she managed to save like SGD20,000 with a fresh grad salary of SGD 2,500 in a year!! Actually that is really amazing and requires quite a discipline for a girl that totally need to change her lifestyle to achieve this aim (she mentioned clubbing frequently cost her to spend alot previously). She also mention that she did not receive any money since she reached 18 years old and gives her parent SGD200 per month.

Looking back at myself, I also started my working career at roughly now >50% of her salary (in ringgit it is the same amount RM2,500). I remember that I only manage to save like ~RM12,000 per annum vs her SGD20,000. Disregarding buying power and currency strengths, and just comparing in hard numbers, I am still short of her record.

I guess everyone's saving power is different from one another due to circumstances,mindset and the standard of living that is desired.

I put down my experience vs on what she did to achieve her SGD20,000 savings when I started out working life. (for her part of story just read her post.I am lazy to restate the facts)

1. Open up separate bank accounts

I did not do this in my initial career and but now I did in indirectly due to circumstances. Here is how: I put most of my cash savings into my property flexi loans that enables me to reduce my daily interest and which indirectly achieve her intended objectives.

The good part is that I managed to get properties from the same bank hence making tracking easier for me. Nevertheless, due to various circumstances, now I have multiple bank accounts accross different banks!!

2. Track all my expenses

I did not do any tracking like what she did in my life. I guess I am not that discipline enough to do such tracking even by using an apps. I just control my spending by not buying things that I don't need.

I remember one of my uni classmate had this super strong discipline last time while in university , but he tracked it ALL with pen & paper!! (no smartphone yet or even apps). I always say to him that I salute him for his perserverance. 

Nevertheless, in my early years, I had to pay for a car (in Malaysia, you really need a car) and PTPTN monthly payment ( I was a few point short of getting a waiver..T.T). I cleared all my PTPTN during the great discount, back in 2012. 

I also need to pay for life + medical insurance when I started work and also giving something back to my parents.

3. Eat cheap / Avoid cafes

Since I was away from family (luckily rent is cheap compared to Singapore's high rent), I naturally don't do any cooking (P.S Maggi mee is not cooking). So I eat out at hawker stalls alot (which now i find very un-healthy also). Cafe-hopping was not very popular at that time in Penang compared to now. Now, there is so many boutique and chic cafes in Penang to explore!!!

But now with greater pay come with greater, I do visit these cafes during the weekend to unwind and also due to the fact that I have kakis that like to visit these cafes. Some cafes are overpriced and so-so food so I just visited them once to take some instagram pictures for rememberance..hahaha.

4. Skip the morning coffee

I don't buy in the the need of drinking starbucks a few times in a week versus a simple 3-in-1 coffee packet to start the day. But luckily, my company's cafeteria and also the pantry; coffee, milo are provided for free!!


5. Take advantage of credit card promotions 

When I started working, I only had a single credit card (so not much taking any benefit from this) and I got it simply because I needed it when I travel oversea for business trips. But for the 5-7 years of so, I DID NOT apply for any new credit cards regardless on how good the 'free gifts'/cash back etc that was throwned to me. 

The simple reason is that I want to keep my life simple and reduce the burden to tracking all these credit card payments.

But now, because I want to help my friends in the credit card lines, I have a rainbow color of credit cards and also started to enjoy some benefits that come with it. (cashback, discount promotions, etc). But there is always a catch to all these, I will blog more on this next time. Sometimes, I do feel scary with all the cards that I have.... will plan to cut off some of them especially a bank that refuse to waive my fees!!!

6. Cut down on drinks / nightlife

I don't drink or club although I do really like techno music from the comfort of my own house. Is clubbing a good place to know more new people?-> Perhaps that is why I am still single and available. Or that engineers are generally very 'kuai'. We are either generally not so social creatures or too occupied with work after workhours.

Don't get me wrong, I do drink a little but on special social occasions but I only like to drink red wine because it is not bitter like beer. (too much alcohol consumption is another health hazard.)

Drinking and nightlife can really burn a hole in the pocket. Paying an overpriced alcholic drink every weekend can really dent your savings. I am a non-smoker also so I can really save alot by not smoking a >RM10 a packet cigarette. Smokers really need to spend a lot for their habit. Imagine a packet for a day, it is RM10 * 30 = RM300 per month, and some hardcore ones even consume 2 packets a day, and that adds up to RM600 per month!!!

Conclusion, If you have any interesting story to share on this topic, feel free to give your thoughts in comment section. Tell me how much you can save from your salary?, etc.


  1. Happy walker // 8:51 PM  

    haiz, i low salary how to save money, not even reach your minimum salary loh~

  2. Henry Tan // 9:33 PM  

    haha bro! i have to say she's good! real good! 2.5k x 12 = 30k and yet she can save 20k which means she's only spending 10k or 1/3 of the salary. That's hell lot of discipline needed! And yes you are right, drinking could burn a big hole that's why i chose to be blogger, can enjoy for free. =p
    And.. im a social type of engineer.. haha by the way where you working bro?

  3. Kris // 10:14 PM  


    Try to gain as much of experience to jump to a higher pay grade. Can always save one, depending on how you control yourself?

    You're a very popular blogger hence always get free stuff :D Being a finance blogger like me don't make me popular, even though I have blogged like 8-9 years already..

    When I started this blog, my aim was to be anonymous so that I can write whatever I wanted about the financial industry and tricks people employ.

  4. Happy walker // 2:26 AM  

    jumping ship loh, really got go interview for higher salary leh...

  5. ChampDog // 9:13 AM  

    Maybe ladies have some advantages over guys as they may not need to spend a single cent in night life!

    Also thanks for introducing this sexy back blogger! :)

  6. Kris // 1:18 PM  


    Provided the lady is very pretty/cute/sexy then maybe no need to spent money during clubbing sessions.

    Nevertheless, beauty can fade, so make sure they find a good/rich/responsible man in their life.

  7. ChampDog // 1:49 PM  

    Some fade at 30, some 40 and some 50. Some after pregnancy. :)

  8. Kris // 1:59 PM  

    Female engineers fade very very fast as they climb higher as I find some of them cannot handle stress very much and workaholic.

    And another thing is that female engineers dont need to dress up/make up alot, hence if you compare to marketing, you'll see a big difference. But this is true for male

    Meanwhile male engineers either grow horizontally or hair starts to bald

  9. ChampDog // 3:23 PM  

    Most female engineers that I know, they don't know how to close one eye. Maybe if they do, it won't be that stress anymore. :) Hence, won't so fast fade I guess. lol

    White hair consider? I getting more white hair lately. :(

  10. Kris // 8:45 PM  

    Yes, you are correct. Sometime need to close 1 eye, at extreme, both eyes..hahah

    White hair can be reduced by taking more zinc? That is what I heard.

  11. ChampDog // 5:11 AM  

    Oh Zinc really? Will check that out. Thanks for the info.