How to Make $500 in 30 Minutes


How’s this for an exciting article title? 

 

Now, before you skip to the next article, thinking, “This sounds too clickbait-like to be true” – let us assure you that we’ve used this same process in our office (and with our friends) and the results have been outstandingly positive.

 

Depending on your current budgeting habits, you could easily save anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars by simply following these five simple steps. And don’t worry, no part of this process involves transferring cash to a Nigerian prince in exchange for a hidden treasure trove of riches. In fact, we promise that you won’t even need to give up your favourite morning lattes either. (Unless you really want to.)

 

It’s all about good, smart spending habits.

 

The best way to read this article is take out a pen and paper (or use your phone/computer) to follow along and do the steps as you’re reading the article. Don’t simply skip ahead and think you’ll get this done “later”. (Note: Most people don’t.)

 

You’ll be done in under 30 minutes and most likely, have at least $500 of extra money to spend on your favourite toys, goodies or even a holiday!

 

 

Step 1: Where’s your money going?

List down everything that you spend money on every day, week, month or year. Also include the amounts that you spend on these items. The amounts don’t have to be incredibly accurate – estimated figures are good too. 

 

Here’s an example:

 

Morning latte: $5 per day

Groceries: $80 per week

Cable TV subscription: $80 per month

Internet subscription: $70 per month

Mortgage: $1,000 per month

PlayStation Network subscription: $15 per month

Childcare: $2,000 per month

Annual family holiday: $5,000 per year

Piano lessons: $200 per month

Netflix subscription: $12 per month

 

Take at least 10 full minutes to write out your list. Be as comprehensive as possible and you should have a few dozen items listed out by the time you’re done. 

 

Pay special attention to the subscriptions you’re paying for. Over the course of a year, these really add up! 

 

 

Step 2: Categorising your expenses

Separate the items you’re listed out into three groups, “Things I love”, “Important (but not loved)” and “Things I don’t care about”. Don’t worry about the price of the items or whether anything else thinks they’re “important”. 

 

This is your list, so separate these items based on how you feel about each item (regardless of what you’re spending on it or how “important” your friends think they are).

 

If you’ve done the first step (we hope you did!), this second step will only take less than five minutes. Go ahead and do this now. 

 

Following up on our earlier example:

 

Things I LOVE!

  • Morning Lattes
  • Internet subscription
  • Mortgage for dream home
  • Annual family holiday
  • Piano lessons
  • Netflix subscription

 

Important (but not loved)

  • Groceries
  • Childcare

 

Things I don’t care about

  • Cable TV subscription
  • Playstation Network subscription

 

 

 

Step 3: Stuff you don’t care about

Now, we’re going to focus on items in your third column, “Things I don’t care about”. This is going to be really easy to do.

 

Simply go through every item on this list and ask yourself, “Do I want to keep this item?” 

 

Strike out the items you’ve decided to do away with, like this:

 

 

Things I LOVE!

  • Morning Lattes
  • Internet subscription
  • Mortgage for dream home
  • Annual family holiday
  • Piano lessons
  • Netflix subscription

 

Important (but not loved)

  • Groceries
  • Childcare

 

Things I don’t care about

  • Cable TV subscription
  • Playstation Network subscription

 

 

 

Step 4: Stuff that’s important (but not loved)

Next, look at the items in your “Important (but not loved) categories” and ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Do I want to keep this item? 
  • Would I like to consider alternatives for this? 
    • If yes, what are my alternatives? 

 

Using our current example, let’s assume that we want to continue buying the same groceries as before – but have an alternative childcare option that we’d like to try out.

 

 

Things I LOVE!

  • Morning Lattes
  • Internet subscription
  • Mortgage for dream home
  • Annual family holiday
  • Piano lessons
  • Netflix subscription

 

Important (but not loved)

  • Groceries
  • Childcare (Move to Childcare Centre B from 2020)

 

Things I don’t care about

  • Cable TV subscription
  • Playstation Network subscription

 

 

 

Step 5: Calculating your savings

Here’s the most exciting part, putting it all together!

 

If you’ve been following along and doing the exercise, you would have identified a few dozen ways that you’re currently spending your money – and would also have identified more than a few items that you’re either eliminating completely or finding alternatives for. 

 

Since the list we’ve been using for our example is a lot less comprehensive, we’re only cancelling out one item that we don’t care about and will be trying one alternative for an important item. 


Let’s see how much we’ve saved in one year, using our simple example:

 

Cable TV subscription: $80 per month | $960 per year

Childcare centre B (which costs $500 less every month): $500 per month | $1,200 per year

 

With just two simple changes (decided within 30 minutes), we’ve found an extra $2,160 a year that we can spend on the things we absolutely love – not items we don’t care about. 

 

How much money did you “make” in the last 30 minutes with this simple exercise? We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Bonus: Save even more with cashback rewards!

Here’s a bonus tip for those of you with a few more minutes to spare. (We promise it’ll be well worth your time.)

 

As we’ve seen, you’ll still be spending a lot on things that add value to your life – whether it’s your morning lattes or family holidays. How would you feel about getting an automatic discount on every dollar you spend on these items? 

 

This is the brilliance and convenience of cashback rewards, which you can enjoy with any credit card that offers you cashback rewards. It’s very simple – just pay for your purchases with a cashback credit card and you’ll receive between 1.5% to 6% of your money back in the form of an automatic cashback reward. 

 

For a selection of the most popular cashback credit cards in Singapore, take a look at this collection at Finty. With another 15 minutes of research – or by speaking to someone from Finty – you could be well on your way to making another $500 (or more) every year!

 

 

All above amount calculated in SGD.