Personal Finance

How to Earn Extra Cash in Singapore

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Growing your side-income is way better than thrift. Why? Because there is a limit to how much you can cut from your cost of living, but not how much you can earn. Here’s a quick rundown on how to earn a bit of extra cash on the side:

  1. For “Quick Fix” Cash, Think Service and Not Skills

If you need quick cash (not a long term side income or business), focus on what people immediately around you want. Don’t just fixate on finding something that matches your skills or forte. For example:

Say you are a qualified accountant. Your first impulse, when it comes to making a spot of extra cash, might be to offer accounting services. Or it may be something closely related, such as offering tutoring services for someone trying to pass business accounting.

However, in your fixation on keeping it “skills oriented”, you may miss more immediate opportunities. These opportunities can be as simple as painting someone’s walls for S$500, being a mystery shopper for insurance companies, or even helping to install Windows in a bunch of workstations. Look for simple, one-off things that people around you need all the time.

  1. Invest for Dividends

You don’t need to be a stock market expert to make money with shares. An easy way to generate passive income is to identify shares with high dividend yields, and then buy and hold.

(Some shares provide dividend pay-outs, often every six months.)

A financial advisor can help you identify such shares. Alternatively, you might choose to buy a simple index fund (e.g. the Straits Times Index Fund). There is no trading (having to buy low and sell high) in this approach to stocks, so you will not need to track stocks all day and get stressed out.

  1. Provide Referrals

Many companies pay referrals when you bring in a customer. These companies can range from financial services to even specialist retailers. Think of it as being an unofficial, commissioned salesperson – when you refer someone to the company, and they buy something, you get a small cut of it.

This can also work in business to business (B2B) dealings. For example, many small courier services will be willing to give you a small referral fee, if you find a shop willing to sign a service contract with them.

It is best to do this with businesses you know well or have worked with before. While lucrative, it may not be worth your time to learn about a product from scratch to sell it.

  1. Use a Credit Card with Cash Rebates

If you pay your credit card in full (and you should) try using a cashback card. This returns a percentage of what you spend as a rebate, typically 3 – 6%. Assuming you use the card for essential purchases, and make full repayment each month, you would be getting money for an expenditure you had to make anyway.
You do need to make sure the cashback card matches your purchases, and the cashback limit (the maximum possible rebate) is not too low. You can find the best cashback credit card for your needs on

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