As we know, Singapore has one of the highest cost of living in the world and if you are one of those average earning workers, it would help if you can save even a few dollars. Even The Economist rated Singapore as the country with the highest cost of living in world topping over Zurich, Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York. The survey used the prices of the commodity, the currency devaluations, and geopolitical uncertainties.
While some countries got lower cost of living, Singapore continues to rise and consistently kept the top place in recent years.
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While many consider that salaries are high in the country, once compared with expenses, the regular paycheck does not seem enough anymore for average wage earners. If you are one of those who lives payday after payday and you want to keep your head afloat, here are some tips to save up a few bucks.
- Catch the free early-bird MRT ride before 7:45am. Whereever you plan to go, or if you are going to work early, catch the free ride to city areas. Just be sure that you can tap any of the 18 destinations before 7.45am during weekdays. Don’t beat up yourself in case you miss it by a few minutes. The MRT offers a 50-cent discount off MRT fares before 8am. Choose from the destinations: Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar, Somerset, Promenade, Raffles Place, Outram Park, Marina Bay, Orchard, Lavender, Esplanade, Downtown, Dhoby Ghaut, Clarke Quay, Chinatown, City Hall, Bayfront and Bugis.
- Avail the fee subsidies for infant care, childcare and student care to young children from lower-income families in NTUC First Campus. Education does not need to be too expensive especially if you are a Singapore citizen. Since childcare and children’s education can bite a big chunk off the budget with at least two kids in the family, know where you can save up without sacrificing on quality education, uniforms, equipments, excursions, camps and other extra curricular activities.
- Enjoy study grants offered to full-time Singaporean students in a Government or Government-aided school. Those who can academically excel than most students can apply for Edusave scholarships, good progress awards and bursaries.
- Working adults can qualify in Union Training Assistance Programme and Workfare Training Scheme. They can upgrade working skills while getting funding assistance.
- Visit national parks such as Singapore Botanical Gardens, Gardens By The Bay and the Southern Ridges which have free admission. Even the Changi Airport attracts non-travelers with its magnificent views good for hanging out and family bonding in all three terminals. It has free wifi, a 24 hour food court, various restaurants, a giant slide for adults, a play area for kids and a tax free shopping area. Try to visit the Singapore Art Museum and see the largest modern art collection in Asia.
- All Golden Village cinemas give senior citizens above the age of 55 movie tickets at $4.50 on weekdays before 6pm.
- If you need to pay some loans fast, have your bank automatically send the payment from your paycheck. This way there is no need to fuss over it. And you can avoid thinking about not paying for a while.
- Give yourself a specific goal like saving at least six months worth of salary in your savings account. Do not forget to tell the people around you about this goal, they can help by reminding this to you. Make sure that your goal is attainable and even time bound.
- Buy in bulk but do not bite into the ‘sale’ traps. Do not buy gallons of milk just because it is on sale, buy because you need it.
- Never save your credit info online. This risks your identity and savings. When shopping or applying for a loan be careful where you input these details and remember to log out.
- Save money while paying your loans. Paying is not enough, make sure that you are still saving even a few cents. It is important to have extra cash in case you have an emergency situation. If ever you get into tight budget and you need extra cash, you can get a payday loan. Some legal online moneylenders offer short term loans that you can pay every paycheck release.
- Have someone shop for you. Give a shopping list and let the person shop and stick with it. This is a good idea if you are a kind of person that tends to impulsively buy things when buying for needed items.
- Hang around trifty people. Change your company. If you are around those who spend carelessly, they are most likely to influence you. Be around trifty people and you will soon be like them.
- Shop with credit cards but pay immediately to get rewards. A lot of banks offer credit card discounts and freebies if you use the card and pay immediately, however make sure that you only buy those that you can really afford to pay. Have a personal limit when shopping and aim a goal when to pay for those items you shopped.
- Compare things you want, see which one has higher potential loss. If you have a long list of things that you want but do not have enough cash, compare them and choose which one can give you more benefit.
- Plan your groceries for just a week not a month. Buying for a week worth of groceries and necessities helps you to estimate well the quantities of what you really need.
- Have a project at home like finish reading a novel, knitting scarves, having an herb garden. If you develop a hobby at home, you will think less of going out and shopping.
- Negotiate fees if you can. You have the freedom to negotiate with your banks and service providers. Many companies do hear out their customers just to retain them.
- Have a joint account. You need the other person’s permission to cash out. Without the person’s permission, you can’t get the cash and soon your impulse to buy will disappear.
- Face the salesperson on your own and if needed to get out, say you’ll ask your husband/wife. Many sellers would insist in selling to couples, because the couples most likely will decide then and there and there will be no way out of it. If you are alone, not only will you have an excuse, you can get yourself extra time to think about it before spending cash.
- Pay off your loans in the right sequence. This will give you a clear mind and can lay out your budget in sequence without overlooking some due payments.
- Adopt a pet, not buy. Adopting a pet is less expensive. This does not change your love for pets, you are even helps pets who are on the brink of being killed. Sometimes seller of animals with expensive breeds are doing illegal transactions.
- Check if your medication can be cheaper abroad. If you can have a way, buy the medication abroad, just make sure that it is legal and all requirements are available and at hand.
- Compare insurance policies and loan APNs before deciding. APN’s will help you see how much are you really paying in a year. Monthly payment for a long life loan can prove more expensive and you could end up paying way too much than you borrowed.
- Have a specific credit card such as Citibank Esso Mobil privilege card if you have a car. Privilege cards can get you discounts and freebies. Who does not love those? Keep track of shops you frequent of they are giving freebies of discounts based on points system.
- Learn to sell on Ebay and other buy and sell sites. If you are not using some items but they are still in good condition, sell them online and get extra cash.
- Check if your company has special discounts for employees. Some companies give discounts to employees who avail their out services and products. Some companies offer discounts to sister and affiliated companies.
- Avoid cheap junk foods, if you get sick it will generate medical bills.
- Check share economy online such as AIRBNB and Ebay. Get to know the trend of the economy in case you decide to deal with stocks. Also you can have an idea if certain products or services get more expensive or cheaper.
- Clear cache when looking for cheap hotels and flights. A lot of sites keep track of your searcher with cookies. Sometimes your info are being saved and if you keep on using the same site, the prices will tend to go higher as they think you will continue to avail their services even if it is slightly more expensive.
There are still a lot of ways to save money, especially for rainy days, but if there is no one to turn to should a need arise, check money lenders online, and they will be willing to assist you. Some loans will have flexible payments details such as the Payday Loan.
Ultimately, saving money needs focus, self-control and dedication. Make saving a habit and you will realize that it is helpful during dry months.
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