Poly student has 2 part-time jobs, earns over $1,000 a month from content creation alone

SINGAPORE – In Secondary 2, Ms Tiffanie Goh first started working by distributing fliers during the school holidays, earning about $40 a day.

Today, the 19-year-old full-time polytechnic student is a seasoned worker.

She has two part-time jobs, and earns an average of between $1,000 and $1,500 a month just by creating advertisements on social media.

During the weekends and school holidays, she works at The Cat Cafe at The Rail Mall, serving customers and taking care of the cats that customers interact with at the cafe.

She also posts self-created ads for beauty, finance and a range of other products on her TikTok and Instagram accounts.

Ms Goh, who has more than 92,000 followers on TikTok, said of being a content creator: “I started TikTok for fun and did not expect to make money from it. The brands came looking for me, as I have quite a number of followers.”

The media, arts and design student at Singapore Polytechnic is not working out of need.

In fact, she receives $350 a month in allowance from her parents. She is the eldest of three children, and her father is a pastor and her mother is a housewife.

When asked why she works, Ms Goh said: “I want to be independent and move out (of her parents’ home). My dream is to open a cat cafe as I love cats.

“The money I earn from the TikTok ads supplements my lifestyle, like I don’t have to think twice before buying things, and I get to go to nice cafes with my friends.”

The big-ticket items she has bought using her own money include Apple products such as an iPad Air, which cost about $770, and AirPods, which cost about $300, as well as a pair of concert tickets to watch Japanese pop duo Yoasobi in Singapore.

Tickets to the concert in January sold out within minutes after going on sale through ticketing platform Ticketmaster. So Ms Goh paid $1,076 for two tickets through a third party, when each ticket had originally cost $238, or $476 for a pair. She gave the other ticket to her boyfriend.

In a survey of 500 parents with school-going children, 40 per cent of parents with children in post-secondary education say their children work.

Of these children, about half work part-time during the school week, while close to 60 per cent work during the school holidays. Others earn money by being content creators, like Ms Goh, or have their own side hustles.

The Straits Times commissioned the survey, conducted by market research firm Milieu Insight, to find out the amount of allowance parents give their school-going children and issues related to spending, saving and working.

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Ms Goh’s parents, Mr Andy Goh, 48, and Madam Valerie Er, 46, are supportive of their daughter’s work.

Mr Goh said: “She’s very mature and sensible, so we feel she can handle what she is doing.

“She is not someone who uses shock effects or flashes herself to get followers. And we follow her on social media, so we can see what she is doing. We have a mutual sense of trust.”

He added that Ms Goh knows her priorities and is doing very well in school.

When asked why they continue to give her an allowance given that she is working, her parents say it is their duty to do so.

poly student has 2 part-time jobs, earns over $1,000 a month from content creation alone

Ms Tiffanie Goh’s parents, Mr Andy Goh, 48, and Madam Valerie Er, 46, are supportive of their daughter’s work. PHOTO: JORDAN LEE

Her mother, Madam Er, added: “I want to encourage her to do what she is interested in, and she is also saving up to fulfil her dreams.”

Mr Goh said he takes home below $7,000 a month after CPF deduction as a pastor, and the family of five survives on his single income.

He added: “We don’t have that kind of income to supplement what she wants. We give her what we can afford and think it is reasonable.”

For Ms Goh, her studies still take priority. She used to run a small business on Instagram selling items she made, such as costume jewellery, but stopped due to time constraints.

She saves between 75 per cent and 80 per cent of her income, which comes mostly from her content creation work. She declined to say how much she earns from her cat cafe job, except that she is working for passion.

Said Ms Goh: “I learn a lot to be more independent and responsible (with money) by budgeting and saving.”

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