With inflation hitting 5.4% and all the news of increasing prices of food and transport, higher expenses has been a hot topic between Singaporeans. Everyone is always complaining about low salary and not having enough to spend. However I still see many people queuing up at restaurants every weekend. So sometimes it makes me wonder why there are so many people complaining. Actually, I think Singaporeans’ earning power is not that bad but it is just that they need to ‘shape’ up their wallet by cutting costs.
Therefore I want to share some of my personal valuable tips for improving your wallet size so that you can spend happily and more.
Tip 1: Have dinner at home
I am pretty sure majority of the young Singaporeans have the luxury to go back home to eat our parent’s cooking but yet many of us choose not to. Either because we need to entertain friends or we are just too sick of mummy’s food. But honestly, home cooked food is the best. Healthy and it doesn’t cost much.
Tip 2: Switch off all major power point when you leave home
Honestly I did not do a detailed calculation of how much you can save by doing so but I am very confident that your family utility bills will surely go down. There is no need to turn on the aircon power point 24/7 and even you need to use in the day, you can just turn on when you need. I know of people who can turn the TV and the fan on while they are cooking in the kitchen. I seriously also can’t understand why. It is just habit I guess. Anyway by saving electricity, you are also doing some part for the earth.
Tip 3: Buy bread and settle your breakfast at home
Every morning if you just spend $4 at Ya Kun buying a ka ya toast set, do you know how much you spend on your breakfast every week? It’s about $20/wk and $80/month. Some people might argue that breakfast is important so must eat better but my reply to them is that why is it that you can’t achieve similar things at home. Just to share that my weekly breakfast cost is just $12/wk for two of us. It includes a healthy dose of fruits, milk and bread. Trust me, it can be good =)
Tip 4: If you want to drive, choose an off peak car
I can totally understand the frustration at the hassle of taking public transport these days, and especially if you want to bring your parents out for a meal on weekend, it will be nice to have car. Therefore if you really want to enjoy life to have a car, I strongly suggest that getting an off-peak car is good enough. There are many expenses which you can save on such as insurance, road tax, ERP, cash card, petrol, servicing and instalment of the car. All these small saving can amount to be quite huge saving at the end of the day.
Tip 5: Go overseas to shop
Singapore clothing is all imported from other countries but yet the price is so expensive. So why not save up the extra money to go for a short holiday and at the same time you can shop. It kills two birds with one stone. I am not the type of person that will advocate extreme saving and have no life. I don’t subscribe to that kind of mindset. I mean life is short. Work hard and play hard.
Tip 6: Use credit cards that offers cash rebate
From what I know, Standard Chartered Manhattan card offers up to 5% cash rebate if you spend $3000 on a month or up to rebate of $200 per quarter. UOB One card offers similar rebate also but I think the discount may not be as good. To fully utilise this method, you need to put aside all your credit card and charge every single thing onto that one credit card to earn the rebate.
Tip 7: Check out which credit card gives you money to spend upon signing
These days, banks are giving away free cash credit to spend when you sign up for their new cards. So imagine if one card can give you $80, so what if you sign up 3 cards with them and you can enjoy $240 worth of free stuff. Once you use it to buy free items, put aside that card and cancel it after one year.
Tip 8: Buy more when there are discount
Remember when we purchase things, we are looking for value for money items. All goods are over-priced so when they mark down, they are only at the original price. So this is called smart shopping.
Tip 9: If you are really tight on budget but is a strong believer of insurance, go buy term plans
Term plans are especially suitable for people with minimal budget and like to have quite comprehensive coverage. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that if you are rich, you shouldn’t buy term. You should also do so, if you want to increase your coverage. Normally customers don’t like the idea of money throwing down to the drain (term plan) so often than not, they end up buying an investment link or saving plan. With that, your budget for insurance will be higher.
Tip 10: Take up some form of exercise
Trust me that by having a regular exercise regime e.g. running can really help you to keep fit and save money. My wife and I head for a run on Friday evening as part of our dating culture. There is nothing much to shop in Singapore after some time so rather than spending your money eating junk food or movies, why not engage in more healthy activities. Importantly, men builds bond via activities and women builds bond by spending quality time. Exercise achieves both aims =)
That’s for all and if in future I discover more methods to share, I will update here. Stay tuned for more articles in future.
Message from IM$avvy Admin: Visit www.cpf.gov.sg > Calculators/Games to better plan and manage your finances via the various calculators
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