Living in Singapore is difficult because of the expensive cost of living in the country. No matter how much you earn, the monthly bills you have to pay will definitely cut your money down to the point you can’t buy anything extra for yourself.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can save your money even if you live in Singapore. If you want some ideas to get started, here are 15 tips on how to save money in Singapore:
1. Set Up an Automatic Savings
Sometimes, people can’t save money because they immediately take out their salary from their bank account in full without allocating some money for savings.
Activate your account’s schedule transfers option, set an amount you want to save and send it to a different bank account which you should not touch.
If you don’t want to use this bank account at all, disconnect it from your online banking application. You can also hide the passbook for this savings account in a secured place or give it to someone you can trust.
2. Sort Out Your Groceries
Instead of buying your groceries without having a list or doing it when your stock runs out, you should schedule it in advance.
If you want to get an idea on how much you spend every time you do groceries, make a list of your usual purchases and their prices.
When you make your grocery list for the week or month, use the price list you created to help you budget your shopping. This ensures that you won’t get tempted to buy other things and you will discover how to spot sales and use it to your advantage.
When you are doing your groceries, it is always a big saving if you purchase your non-perishables in bulk quantities.
Some items that you can buy in bulk or large sizes are laundry detergent, fabric softener, shampoo, soap, conditioner and others. These items won’t expire easily and some of them can be stored for years without affecting its quality.
If your local supermarket doesn’t sell items in bulk, you can check out places like Fairprice Warehouse Club. These shops offer regular discounts and bargain deals so shoppers can get more for their purchase. Some items even come with freebies.
3. Sell Items Online
If you are not using certain items like clothes, books and household items which are still in good condition or if you have collections you can sell, why not sell them online?
You can reduce the mess in your home and also earn some money at the same time. Carousell, Ebay and Facebook MarketPlace are favourite websites for many to sell their items online.
There are also shops and brands that buy pre-loved items and even offer additional perks such as discount coupons.
4. Use Travel Smart Rewards
If you take the MRT or the bus using your EZ-Link Card, you may not know the fact that it can collect reward points if you register it to a special program.
You can check out Travel Smart Rewards and register your card for the program. Once it is done, your card will collect points every time you use the MRT or the bus in Punggol, Sengkang and Buangkok.
When you collect enough points, you can withdraw cash rewards from the website. You can also view the points you have through the website.
5. Check Out Money-Saving Apps and Sites
If you love to shop, why not take advantage of the money-saving apps available in the country?
Shopback is currently the top money-saving app in the country and allows users to get cashback every time they shop.
Users must activate the application first and click the link of their favourite stores through the app so their purchase is counted. The app does allow users to manually add their purchase and the team will track the purchase for the cashback.
There are also dining and lifestyle deal sites like Groupon Fave and eatigo that will help you to save money in Singapore.
6. Shop for Pre-Loved Items Rather than Getting Them New
This “how to save money in Singapore” tip is related to number four.
If you want to purchase new things for your closet or your home, why not check pre-loved shops online? These sites offer great prices and some of the items they sell are like new. You may even stumble upon great deals for rare items and collectables.
If you want to see these pre-loved items in person, you can visit flea markets or weekend markets. They also offer items for sale at affordable prices and you can haggle for these prices. Some stores even allow bulk purchases for cheaper fees.
Doing this tip is great for families who are just starting and looking for items to use at home. New mothers can also benefit from buying pre-loved baby clothes because of how fast children grow.
Another great tip to save money is by asking family and friends who have pre-loved items you may need and get them for free. Some of them may have children who have clothing they don’t use anymore. Others may have furniture that is still in good condition that is lying around in their storage.
7. Bring Your Own Water Bottle
If you want to save money and the environment at the same time, you should try bringing your own water bottle or canteen each time you go out. If you keep buying bottled water each time you go out, you will spend around $350 or more every year on bottled water.
But, if you have your own water bottle, you simply have to refill the water and bring it around.
When it's empty, you can clean it easily and use it again the next day. Some reusable water bottles even have insulation qualities to retain their temperature and are made from high-quality materials.
8. Go for Local Coffee Rather Than Starbucks
For people who love to have a cup of latte every day, you can save some money by cutting back from your usual branded cups and go local.
Branded coffee such as Starbucks starts around $6 per cup and if you buy every day, adding the numbers can be a lot and you could have used the amount for other things.
Singapore has a lot of kopitiam that feature delicious coffee that you won’t get in your usual Starbucks shop for a lower price. Even if you visit them everyday, the price of their coffee and tea brews are cheaper and they have a unique flavour you can’t get in branded coffee shops.
9. Have Your Meals at the Hawker Centre Than Going to a Restaurant
Singapore is a foodie heaven considering its history of being one of Asia’s business and culture hubs.
Everywhere you look, there is a restaurant that features Asian, European, American, and Malay food that you can definitely try out. But, if you want to save some money and try out these dishes, stray away from shopping centres and fancy restaurants and go to hawker centres instead.
Hawker centres or food courts around Singapore are lauded for their affordable prices and it is one of Singapore’s top tourist destinations.
These centres feature all sorts of dishes in one roof and you can get a full course meal for just $12 or less. Some of the stalls in these centres may even be a Michelin Star holder.
10. Do a DIY Workout Instead of Going to the Gym or Studio
Gym memberships and yoga sessions are very expensive and must be paid monthly. If you add the fees to your regular expenses, it can be a big dent to your income. It is even more expensive if you go to known gyms and yoga studios.
If you want to keep up with your fitness, why not look at doing your workouts at home? It is very easy to search online great workout routines that you can do at home and they are available for free. There are also free apps on your phone or tablet which you can follow and modify based on your fitness preferences.
If you live in a condo, you can also do your workouts in their gym and swimming pool areas. You can also join up with community exercise sessions in your area or start one yourself.
11. Pack Lunch!
Aside from checking out hawker centres to save up money on food, you can also do more by packing your own lunch. You can cook your lunch before you go to work or the night before and have it preheated in your office pantry. You can also use your dinner leftovers for your packed lunch.
If cooking is not your forte, no problem because you can check out simple recipes online that you can do at home.
Having packed lunch with you will save you the trouble of having to fall in line to buy food in nearby food courts. You can also eat in peace since you can eat at your office’s pantry or in your stall so you can go back to work immediately. Employees working in expensive districts like Orchard will definitely benefit from this tip. Not only will you save money, it is healthier to eat homecooked food too!
12. Stay at Home with the Family and Enjoy Free Activities
You can also save up money by doing fun activities at home with your family. If you bring them to the mall or local attractions, you have to pay for transportation, entrance fees, food and merchandise your family members would like to bring home.
Do some research online about what activities you can do at home for free and use it as a time to bond with them. You can also use the time to get to know them, especially if you have a busy schedule due to work.
Alternatively, you can also enjoy free activities in public landmarks such as in national parks and reserves. Singaporeans can also enjoy its numerous museums for free, which is great if you like to teach your children about the country’s history and culture.
13. Smart Socialising
Saving money in Singapore can be difficult if you are an extrovert and have plenty of friends who loves inviting you to hang out.
Love movies? Cinemas often run promotion tie-ins with specific credit cards, check out different cinemas before you book your tickets online. Don’t forget our telcos do love to run 1 for 1 movie ticket promotions so remember to check them out. Besides promotions, weekday tickets tend to be cheaper than weekend ones.
Saving money does not mean you can’t have a social life. If you like to have a drink or two with your friends, go during Happy Hour period where you can take advantage of good food and drink promotions. When the Happy Hour ends, it means time for you to go home too. On the bright side, there is still public transport and you don’t have to take a cab home!
14. Monitor Your Electricity and Water Usage
Instead of an hour bath time everyday, you can save money, time and Mother Earth by taking a quick shower. The ideal time for a shower is between 5 to 10 minutes. Any longer, you are not doing your skin a favour.
Hook up your electronics with smart switches and plugs. You can set a timer where your lights can switch off itself at 11pm or your aircon can switch off at 4am when the air in your room is cool enough to last until you wake up.
The best part? No more running home to switch off your aircon because you forgot to do so before leaving your house. You can switch off any electronics that are hooked up with a smart switch using an app on your phone!
15. Benefits on Credit Cards
You probably are aware that different credit cards offer different types of promotions in dining and lifestyle options.
Do you know that there are plenty of credit cards offer cashback rewards as well? Like the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Credit Card, they offer 1.5% cashback with no minimum spending and no cap on the amount of cashback.
You can buy your daily necessities on those credit cards that offer cashback, you may even be shopping for free!
Knowing how to save money in Singapore especially now that prices continue to increase is a key life skill that everyone should try to cultivate.
Of course, if you plan to follow these tips, you must follow them religiously because if you stop following them all of a sudden, you may fall back to your old habits and spend more money.