How to Save More Money in Singapore: 10 ways
With the increase in GST from 7 to 9% in the coming years, buying goods is bound to get more expensive which can diminish your savings. To help you overcome this problem, we present to you 10 simple ways on how to save more money in Singapore. Many of these decisions will not only teach you how to save more money but also be beneficial for the environment, your health and welfare of your family.
1. Spending on individual subscription plans
Alternative: Share subscription plans with families or friends
Increasingly, a lot of people in Singapore are using streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Spotify etc. 1 in 2 Singaporeans uses the streaming app Spotify spending about 152 minutes per day. These streaming services can be expensive especially if you have an individual subscription, with Spotify and Netflix charging its users $9.90 and $10.98 per month respectively. An easy way on how to save more money here would be to switch to their family subscription plan that allows you to share your account with other users. For Spotify, which allows family plans to share with up to six members, switching to family plans will cost $15 per month or $2.50 per user. Not only is this a great way to save money, but it can also help you bond with your family and friends by sharing your music preferences.
2. Dining out
Alternative: Cooking your own meal
With 85% of the Singaporeans eating out at least once a week and one in four Singaporeans dining out every day, eating out can be a major expenditure for many Singaporeans. An average cost of a meal in Singapore is $12. While this may not sound much, keep in mind that this is more than you’d pay for your Spotify or Netflix for a month. So simply by resisting your urge to eat out, you can save about $48 a month or $576 a year (assuming you eat out once a week). With that much money, you can easily reward yourself to a trip to Thailand for a week. So the next time you feel your taste buds savouring, keep this in mind.
3. Throwing used stuff away
Alternative: Sell it on Carousell
Many Singaporeans have the urge to throw away items once they stop having the urge to use them. Instead of throwing them away, a better way to earn money would be to sell it on Carousell. Carousell is an app that functions as a market platform which allows you to buy or sell all kinds of products. Its primary function is to serve as a community where the buyer and seller can meet and strike a bargain. Carousel makes putting your item for sale extremely convenient; all you need to do is take a picture , listing it alongside purchases and then posting it to Carousel community. So the next time you feel like disposing a product, remember to post it on Carousel first, it will probably give you a better deal.
4. Maximize value of your CPF account
Apart from saving more money for your retirement, your CPF account can also help you get a tax relief of upto $7000 SGD by simply depositing money into your special account (in case you’re below 55) or your retirement account (if you’re above 55) . Moreover, topping up the CPF account of your loved one can help you enjoy additional tax relief of upto $7000. Thus, topping up your CPF account with your savings not only allows you to grow your retirement fund but also pay less taxes. Not to mention the 5% compound interest you’ll be receiving on top of all this makes this a very attractive option.
5. Using CFL and incandescent bulbs
Alternative: Using energy efficient LED bulbs
A lot of Singaporeans prefer to buy incandescent bulbs (42-W) or CFL bulbs (12-W) given that their initial costs are slightly cheaper than the LED (7-W) bulbs. However, the long term costs of keeping a these bulbs is bad for your pocket and the environment. So the way to save more money is to use an LED Bulb, the annual energy cost of an incandescent bulb is about $10.90 while that of an LED bulb is a mere $1.50. An LED bulb also lasts over 7 times longer than an incandescent bulb and almost 2 times longer than a CFL bulb.
6. Switching on A/C while sleeping
Alternative: Using fan while sleeping
Almost 40% of the homeowners in Singapore switch on their air conditioner all night while sleeping. This can increase your electricity bill dramatically. Taking into account the new electricity tariff, switching on your air conditioner while you’re sleeping can cost you an additional $48 a month. An easy way to save money in this case could be to set timer on your air conditioner which can automatically switch it off in 1-2 hours. Or you consider using fan while sleeping. Using a fan is how you can save more money in Singapore because it consumes 8 times lesser energy than an A/C which substantially reduces your bill.
7. Using Standard mobile phone plan
Alternative: Switching to SIM only mobile phone plan
Many Singaporeans have the tendency to switch to a subsidised phone plans that offer 2 year contracts thinking the lesser upfront cost could save them more money. That may not be true. While many of these companies charge slightly less for a subsidised plan, they charge an additional premium on the data plans they offer on contract. This along with the fact that your data plan is fixed for the next 24 months and cannot be adjusted to your needs makes this a really inconvenient option. Switching to a SIM only plan allows you the flexibility to switch your data plan(or your phone) according to your needs.
8. Buying bottled water
Alternative: Drinking tap water
Bottled water in Singapore can cost almost a dollar or more. A much cheaper way of staying hydrated is just to drink tap water which is freely available in most places. Singapore’s tap water is completely safe to drink and well within the guidelines set by the World Health Organisation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standards. Carrying a bottle while going to work or gym and simply filling it from the nearest tap can be a good way of saving money.
9. Shopping in malls
Alternative: Shop online
Shopping online can give you access to various promotions and cash backs that can help you save more money. Websites like Shopback, Cuponation, Picodi and SGDTips give you provide you many cashbacks and discounts, especially during festive seasons, that can help you save more money. Moreover, many online shopping websites have tie-ups with banks which helps you avail attractive cashbacks while shopping online. For instance, cards like OCBC Frank and HSBC Revolution offer 6% rebate and miles respectively.
10. Buying lottery tickets
Alternative: investing the amount in a professionally managed fund
Singaporeans are the world’s biggest lottery spenders, with popular lotteries like TOTO and 4-D attracting participation by 42% and 36% of Singaporeans respectively. The average amount spent on lottery tickets or other gambling related activities is $1361. Needless to say, this can be a huge wastage of money given that the odds of winning the lottery in Singapore is 1 in 14 million. Instead, investing this amount in a professionally managed fund can give you predictable and reliable returns.
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