REIT-TIREMENT - REITs Investing & Personal Finance

REITs investing & personal finance

Monday, December 09, 2019

A Decade ago, They Saved S$100K Cash in 4 Years with Earnings BELOW Median Household Income

S100K saving is always considered as a first major milestone, be it for individual or a household. It is not an easy job, it require a lot determination and discipline. I have some of my non-citizen friends/colleagues who are saving for their first HDB purchase. They would require around S$ 100K to S$120K (cash + CPF OA) initial sum for a non-mature 4 room resale HDB. Since I couldn't find posts which are related to them, I've decided to write a story myself, which set in between 2008-2011.

S$100K as first pot of gold
Before start, let's look below for Median Household Income and HDB Resale Index during these period of time:
Source: Singapore Department of Statistics, include Employer CPF & 1/12 of Annual Bonus
Source:, 100 @ 2019 1Q
The story started in 2008, a Malaysian couple came to Singapore for work with a COMBINED income of S$4250 per month (inclusive of 1/12 of bonus & employer CPF). He started his work on January while she started hers on July. They rented a common room in HDB at S$550 per month. They had liabilities of study loan and car loan (Malaysia car purchased before she came to Singapore) at RM 580 installment per month. She could not sell the car as her parent require it. They provided both parents allowance at total S$ 550 per month.
Exclude shopping, entertainment, trip, one off stuff, etc.
Their main goal was simple then, save enough to buy a 4-room HDB in Jurong which cost around 300K inclusive of COV (cash over valuation). That was before property price shoot high and cooling measures took place. The loan to value was 90%, which mean they need to pay for 28K downpayment and another 20K for COV. What they need were PR status and a 55K sum for the purchase. At end of 2008, he get his PR blue IC. Their combined cash saving was 17k, a small but meaningful sum.
The situation was improved in 2009, their COMBINED income increased to average $5300 per month (included 1/12 of annual bonus and employer CPF). At end of 2009, they had 39K combined cash saving. Their dream house price was risen to 340K inclusiv of COV; COV was increased higher to 25K. They would need a sum of 65K, increased by 10K from previous year. But, they were confident that they can achieved their goal at end 2010.

However, on 20th Feb 2010, Singapore government implemented a cooling measure which impacted them deeply. The loan to value for bank loan was reduced to 80%, which mean they would require a sum of 95K for their dream home purchase. They felt very frustrated by this new rule and had no choice but to save harder.

Fortunate for them, their combined income increased to average $ 6300 per month (included 1/12 of annual bonus and employer CPF). The big jump is mainly due to his variable bonus. At end of 2010, they have combined cash saving of 68K. Their dream house price risen to 380K inclusive of COV; COV was around 30K. The required sum increased to 105K, the increase in price seems never end.
On 2011, her PR application was finally approved at 3rd attempt. Their combined income for 2011 was average $ 7150 per month (include 1/12 annual bonus and employer CPF). For the first time, their combined income was on par with median household income. Their cash saving hit 100K by year end. Of course, housing price increased again, their dream house cost 420K inclusive of COV; COV was around 35K. They would require 120K for the purchased, you could imagine how they felt again, frustrated.
With their combined cash saving OA (ordinary account), they managed to get their dream 4 room HDB in Jurong on 1Q 2012. They've never consider investing because they weren't familiar and afraid to lose money. In view of those are hard earned money which they need for HDB purchase in near term, investment wasn't a good choice. After all, one shouldn't invest money which they need within near 3-5 years term.
Their race to HDB during these 4 years
That is it, a simple story. They are just an ordinary couple, with a slightly low financial head start and without financial support from parents. They are not those very prudent type, they did indulged themselves as you can see from the above major spending pictures. If they can achieve it, then most can too. Hope this story can inspire and motivate those who are working toward their first S$100K. Share it if you find this post helpful, hope you enjoy and learn something today.

If you are interested, you could refer below for blog about this topic before:
i) Seedly - Saving $100K by 30 Years Old - Is It Even Possible?
ii) Jeraldine P - How to Save Your First $100,000 in Your 20s ?
iv) Discover SG - Life Hack: How To Save $100K Before You Hit 30 In Singapore
v) The Woke Salary Man - The Most Important Things I Had to Do to Save $100,000 before I Turned 30 in Singapore
Finally, thanks KC from 30 Year Old Investor Blog for the infographic guide.


  1. Hi there, my fellow Malaysian, thanks for sharing. That reminds me how far me and my wife came from renting to owning a flat. I can understand ur frustration seeing the ever increasing flat price. Our pain was paying for huge sum of stamp duty. Anyway, everyone has own story to tell, good to keep reminding ourselves on how we began the journey.

    1. I guess u bought after me, which require to pay ABSD of 5%. That time was the peak. Lol. Now we also feel the pain, because of price dropping.

  2. Well done with the nice infographics! :)