Every Source Of Income I’ve Ever Had (As A Fresh Grad Software Engineer)

Liu Zuo Lin
8 min readDec 17, 2021

I’m a fresh graduate (graduated April 2021) in information systems, and am currently working full-time as a software engineer in a bank in Singapore. Other than my full-time salary, I’ve had quite a bunch of other income streams (income is used loosely here and some entries are included just for laughs) and hopefully this might just provide value for some of you.

Note: currency used here is Singapore Dollar (1 SGD ~ 0.73 USD)

1) Ang Pow Money (Ages 0-Now)

In Chinese culture, every Chinese new year, married folks give unmarried folks ang pow money (money in red packets) as a symbol of good fortune. Symbolic meaning aside, it meant free money (a couple of hundred) every Chinese new year.

2) Pocket money (Ages 7–17)

My parents gave me money to buy food when I went to school.

3) Searching for coins under vending machines (Ages 7–9)

For some reason, in Singaporean primary schools, there was a 20% chance that I could find a couple of cents if I searched underneath the vending machines. On lucky days, I could find 40 cents, which was enough to buy 1 drink (at that time est. 2003)

4) Army Allowance (Ages 19–21)

In Singapore, males must serve a mandatory 2 years in the army or risk going to jail and jeopardizing our entire future. I started at age 19 and finished at age 21 before moving on to university. During my 2 years, my monthly pay was around 650 SGD per month. As we were expected to stay within the army during weekdays, we probably worked 12 hours a day I guess? Hence the average pay per hour for me was a crappy $2.70. (But not like I had a choice to not serve!)

5) Primary School Tutor (Ages 20–21)

I freelanced (or moonlighted according to the army) as a primary school tutor for math and science on weekends during my time in the army. This was supposedly prohibited, but I was earning a shitty 2.70 per hour. I was paid $35 per hour as a tutor, which was 13 times the hourly rate as compared to my army allowance. I stopped after a year or…