The 3Room HDB flat I'm staying in cost roughly $20,000SGD 30/40years ago

One master bedroom can hold 2 adults and 1 kid.. (My mum was a single parent and only my Mum and a older sister stayed in the house)

If Master bedroom occupied, there's still 1 room left.. what can be done with it instead? This should be a question I should asked my Mum 10years ago..
How to turn a liabilities into Asset?


Rent out the one bedroom,
$400 x 6months = $2600
$400 x 12months = $4800.
$4800 per year x 5years = $24,000.
$24,000 x 2 = 10years = $48,000.

My Mum used to earn as much as $20k per month while she was a insurance agent but she had the wrong mindset which prevented her from making more/saving enough money, her health deteriorated and she couldn't keep up with her work then she became a cleaner and earn roughly $300 per month instead..

My mum started becoming poor when she thinks she is poor, the main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance, self-inflicted fear and ignorance that keeps people trapped, the fear of not having enough money, the fear of not paying the bills.. She was trapped in the cycle think if she don't work she won't have enough, and she didn't think of finding a better job as she's afraid if she left her stable cleaning job the spot might be given to someone else and if she wants to go back they wouldn't hire her anymore..

In the 15years I stayed in that house that particular room was vacant and it acted like a storeroom to keep her "news paper, empty cans". My mum instead thinking she's poor or struggling financially could have rented out the room for 5-10years and earn back the cost of the whole house.

Thank God she PAID it one in one go when she still had the ability many years ago before becoming a cleaner (lesser liabilities).
Thinking back actually last time we don't need the financial assistance, all we needed was to rent out a room and collect monthly rental.. (Besides the house we stay in is located at a very prime location)

Reminder to self, next time when I have children remember to teach them how to differentiate Asset and Liability (the difference is An asset puts money in your pocket, A liability take money out of your pocket). Let them know the difference between a "Need" and "Want" as early as possible.

And learn that instead of borrowing money from banks, friends or insurance companies.. Let money work for us, not we work for money..
From this I learned that we should pay off our liabilities as soon as we have the ability and many times the one that is limiting yourself from earning more money is our inability to look at the bigger picture.

Another lesson that I learn from my Mum and myself was "To gain better things sometimes we need to let go of the older things that we are holding on to"..

Our spare room became a mess after my Mum stored all the recycled items inside and left with no space to walk, that room if emptied out could have rented out.. In the same manner I first started investing in stocks 5years ago, from $Golden Agri-Res(E5H) to stocks like $Dutech(CZ4) and eventually investing in $AEM(AWX) and $SGX(S68) one lesson that I learned was holding on to a stock I shouldnt hoping it goes back up to what it was when I first bought and kept falling deeper and deeper.. Instead should have look at better alternatives to earn back the loss

We are not considered rich if we earn $20k per month we are also not considered poor if we earn $300 per month, it's our thinking that defines us

Now I became a better investor and also became better in managing my own finance all because I see what my mother didn't see and I did what my mother did not do..

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invest in oneself. work hard and smart. period. n do not overleverage


Reply to @jonathanliau : Let me add to this, not everybody can invest in ownself or grow up in a good family environment & receive good education. Even if got good education, markets can change disrupt
& cause massive retrenchments.


chanchan1, thanks for sharing your educational experience. But I disagree with you on your opinion on your mum's mindset. You wrote : "My mum started becoming poor when she thinks she is poor.". Everything you wrote is your judgement perception on mum. I believe your mum does have some valuable sales experience since she was earning high commission income. I have no idea of your mum's age, if your mum is older age it is definitely a valid worry factor that she may not be able to get back her cleaner job too. You should not dismiss her worries & critical. If renting out the room was brought up before but didn't happen for a long time it's really a household family issue you have to take charge & steer the negotiation if your mum is really struggling to figure out the issues. Money is indeed impt to everybody who become investing note login userid, but dun let money issues drive fracture family relations. Money & life stability improvement
usually will follow if personal life relations are stable & then able to focus.


Reply to @chamois : Yeah and the house is mot even his haha


My dad passed away last Nov and I helped my mum to rent her common room for $600 in their 3 rm HDB.

We took some time to clear all the stuff of my father but quite fast to get a tenant in.

The hdb my mum dn intent to sell anyway it's is very old 40yrs Liao so sell also not much value.

Now able to get $600 pm and $7200 pa is really extra income on top of what I give her pm.

My mum is a saver (dad a spendthrift) so I -am able to help to manage her funds investing in bonds and equities for the past 12 yrs. Her monthly average dividend income now is $1,000.

She is now comfortable with her financial and doesn't need to work. She does help out at a fren shop daily but that's out of boredom and not for salary.

Hope you could convince your mum to clear the room even now, to make some extra income to help her and maybe she don't have to work too hard as a cleaner.

I always very sad to see aunties uncle working as cleaner at old age (nothing against this job), just felt painful if they are my parents personally.

All the best to you and your family! Thanks for sharing your story.


Thanks for sharing :)


i hope u do well my friend


I strongly believe that you can first help your mom find a better job. Her past experience and your skills would definitely help her retire or be doing something much higher pay.


Talking about room renting. HDB has changed its rules. From 1 May 2018, a HDB flat can only allow a maximum of 6 occupants (owner and family and tenants).
I happen to know of a family who live in a 5 room flat. The father is a technician (I think) and the mother is a housewife; they have 4 children (still schooling). They supplement their income by renting out 2 bedrooms to 3 tenants as currently HDB allow 9 occupants. The wife is lamenting that should her tenants shifted away, she will be in a dire state as she cannot rent out her rooms as her famiily already has 6 occupants (maximum allowed starting 1 May).
Just to reiterate that it is not easy to monetise by renting your HDB rooms.


Reply to @SallyH : They can remove their children from the address and have less children tax relief :P see which one u willing to give up


better than my grandfather, put all his wealth under floor tiles


Reply to @duckie : It happened to my Mum also, she has hoarding problems and I ever found gold pieces and stack of cash during a clean up years ago

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thank you...
your mama is great!


Nice sharing. I always thought that our HDB flat is a liability and not an asset. This is because it takes money out of our pockets to pay for it. Unless we monetise it by renting out for rental income or sell it at some point higher than what we paid for and still make good return minus inflation cost, then it turns into an asset to put money into our pockets. If not, just wait out the entire 99 years lease will mean we eventually just paid for 99 years of renting the flat to stay in and the value will potentially depreciate to zero when the lease is up. And nowadays, the price of a HDB flat is not so cheap when compared against our salaries!


Reply to @ryanlee1 : i agreed as long as the couple can afford 2.

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