Before you know it, the elections are over. The haze is upon us once again. And as sure as day will turn into night, the haze will fade into a distant memory in our minds… Yet one thing remains relevant, as we head towards the end of the third quarter of 2015.
That’s right, Singaporeans are still living in the midst of the nation’s golden jubilee.
In the spirit of SG50, you’re going to want to claim this freebie and take charge of your personal finances once again. By using the ideas in this list of 50 ways to save money, I hope that your savings account and your financial future will benefit in time to come.
1) Examine Your Spending On Life Insurance
At a recent gathering with friends, I found out I may have over committed in insurance. Depending on the policies you bought, or whether you feel that good service from your provider deserves to be rewarded, you’ll be wise to examine what exactly is a sum comfortable for yourself.
The shocking revelation that night was that for $300 a month, it can cover you for sums of up to half a million in Singapore. Time to ring up your advisor and review your policies?
2) Travel With Packages
If you’re in touch with seasonal prices of hotels at overseas destinations you frequent, you may be surprised to find that sometimes you can get better rates if you booked the air ticket and hotel through the same agency.
While ala carte booking of accommodation may give you more options, you may lose out in the preferential rates that agencies have with hotels at your destination.
3) Keep Your Wedding Within Budget
One of the big ticket items in life for many Singaporeans will be the series of events leading up to the day you say “I do”. Keeping in mind that there’s always a grand wedding you will have heard of from your circles, you need to keep the expenses in check.
Do you really need to top up for more photos from the pre-wed shoot? How often will you take a look at them after the wedding’s over? Granted, a magical wedding will be unforgettable in the wife’s lifetime. But do you really need to rent the white horse and strap a horn on its forehead to ride off into the sunset?
4) You Don’t Really Need To Upsize
We’re often asked at the fast food counters whether we want to upsize. If I were a growing boy, I would have no qualms about saying yes. But now I think of the additional calories and hours at the gym to work that off…
5) Switch To A Pre-paid Mobile Plan
The main draw for a pre-paid mobile plan is the permanently waived charges for caller ID. You can carry over unused talk time and data to the following month, and you don’t feel tempted to upgrade from a perfectly working phone just because the 2 year plan is up. Monthly bills are effectively halved, and you don’t feel like you’re paying for minutes that you don’t get to use.
6) Reduce Frequency Of Dining Out
New cafes come up ever so often, and you should definitely bring your date there to nurture your relationship. At the same time, be mindful of how often you’re doing it, and attach a meaning to it. That way, you will treasure the times you’re living the fine life.
7) Downsize Your Car
If the child has grown up, or you were previously driving a big car for certain reasons… Is the reason still valid to drive a gas guzzler in Singapore?
8) “Do I Really Need This?”
A question that makes you think harder if the purchase satisfies an impulse, or it addresses a genuine need. #29 is a good combo to use this question with.
9) Walk Or Cycle To Destinations
If the destination is within 10 minutes’ walk, or 20 minutes by cycling, I will gladly do that rather than hop on the bus. In conditions where PSI is below 400, Your body will thank you for the workout.
10) Reduce Pub Visits
Unless your buddy needs help going through a bad breakup, and the last thing you want to do is be alone with him/her… There are alternatives to pub visits. It doesn’t have to be on the bridge, but a willing host and some booze from the supermarket can complete a stag night just fine.
11) Quit Smoking
It’s easy for a non-smoker to say this, but if the habit of going through the motion to take out a stick, lighting it up and inhaling costs you money… Then you need to know what else could have been bought with it.
12) Terminate Your Gym Subscription
I’ve seen my brother sign up for an annual subscription, only to cancel it at the earliest opportunity when he realized that his increasing commitment to work makes it less feasible to pay for something he doesn’t use.
Why not go per-per-use? Now’s a good time as any to claim your free credits from ActiveSG.
13) Library Over Book Store
Granted that the smell of freshly printed books is alluring to a book lover, it does not help if you’re trying to increase your savings. That’s when using your right as a citizen to borrow books for a couple weeks will help.
14) Buy Bread On Discount
Do you notice bakeries selling their bread at discounts after 8pm? These can range from 20% discounts, to buy-2-get-1-free. Breakfast for next day settled!
15) Online Shopping Season
Online shopping sites like Amazon have huge discounts during Christmas. If you’ve been holding back on something you always wanted, that will be a good time to reward yourself and score some major savings at the same time.
16) Shopping While Traveling
For products costing less than $600 at time of writing, you can bring them back to Singapore without paying for GST. Some people will have benefited when Apple watches started selling in Hong Kong but not Singapore yet.
16) Reconsider 4D / TOTO Expenses
If you think about it, the cumulative amount of money spent on buying hope can buy actual bread for the household. #40 may be a more practical means to increasing your wealth.
17) Get Paid To Exercise
You can get rewards for exercising. ActiveSG comes with $100 you can use to swim, gym and sign up for courses. Other mobile apps like AIA Vitality and Runkeeper give you rewards for hitting milestones you set for yourself. Combine this with #9 and you’ll reap more benefits from this lifestyle.
18) Opt For One-Time Billing Over Monthly GIRO Deductions
You pay more for monthly deductions, compared to settling it once a year. That’s what is happening to my recurring premium payment for insurance. Since you’re going to have to pay for it anyway, why not set aside the amount monthly, and settle it at one go?
19) Revise Your Cable TV Subscription
While it was attractive many years back to have hundreds of channels you can watch at home on your TV, it is no longer the case in our generation that lives and breathes online content consumption.
20) Initiate A Frugality Challenge
You can try this with your colleagues or family to see who can spend the least amount of money without going hungry in a given week. While it’s not quite the real life equivalent of The Hunger Games, it can train you to be more prudent.
21) Decline To Extend Product Warranty
Consumer electronics will do just fine with a year-long warranty. Anything that spoils after the warranty is better off replaced according to Moore’s Law.
22) Get Rewards For Trying New Platforms
New online platforms that emerge are looking to increase their market share. You benefit by giving their product or services a try. Sometimes they reward you with cash offsets, sometimes it’s referral payouts. HotelQuickly, RedMart and Uber are some examples to explore.
23) Save On Meals
You can save up to $40 on meals following this tip. That can snowball into something significant at the end of the year.
24) Split Your Income Early
If you divide your income into various accounts, chances are you will keep to your spending limit. One approach is to budget for expenses, short term savings, long term savings and a guilt-free splurging account. Try to do this the moment you receive the income.
25) Fixed Deposits In Local Currency
An add-on measure to the previous idea for less disciplined savers, this ensures you lock away some short term / long term savings that even earn you interest.
That’s part one of 50 money saving ideas for you…
If you’ve bookmarked these 25 ideas to save money, you’ll want to come back tomorrow for the next 25 ideas to complete your collection.