Are you looking to save money for your retirement funds, or to go on that vacation that you’ve always dreamt about? With Singapore as one of the highest costs of living in the world, saving money might seem like a long, uphill battle.
But there are actually ways for you to stretch that dollar.
All you need to do is to make some small changes in your lifestyle and make spending less daily a habit in order to save extra money!
Let’s deep dive into 21 easy and effective ways to save money in Singapore.
1. Have A Shopping List
Create a shopping list when you go to the mall. When you go shopping, be it groceries or a much-needed pair of shoes, don’t deviate from the list! It helps you be disciplined when you’re out shopping and prevent impulsive purchases.
Try to plan your groceries weekly in advance before heading to the supermarket. This will streamline your entire shopping process and save time. It will also prevent you from buying things you already have or don’t actually need, reducing the cost spent and preventing food waste. If you’re having trouble keeping to the list, bring along a friend who you can trust to pull you back from unnecessary buys.
Or you take it one step further and even swap your grocery shopping list with your friend and shop for each other so that both of you won’t have to fight off unwanted temptation.
It’s a win-win solution!
2. Buy Your Groceries In Bulk
When you go grocery shopping, it helps if you buy in bulk. Often, items offer discounts when you buy more together. These discounts can range from 20% to even 50%, now that’s huge!
Fresh produce can’t be bought in bulk, but this works great for non-perishables with a long expiry date, such as biscuits, canned food, and cup noodles. You can even group buy with your family and friends as well for greater savings.
The Fairprice Warehouse Club offers affordable bulk buys that you should definitely check out!
3. Buy Your Favorite Brands During Warehouse Sales
At warehouse sales, prices are often slashed by 40 to 80% as brands try to clear their stocks for the new season. Use this opportunity to buy products from brands that you love!
Love luxury brands? These premium labels also have warehouse sales from time to time, so when you spot one, grab the chance for you to buy some branded bags at a lower price. Wait till the end of the season and you might just find your desired item being sold at a warehouse sale at a discounted price.
4. Remove Any Sales Temptations From Your Mail
We often get tempted to purchase new items when we see them being advertised. Remove these sales temptations and shut them out as much as you can from your life! Opt-out of any newsletters or advertisements sent to your inbox from your favourite merchants and brands, and you’ll be less inclined to see and buy their latest arrivals.
5. Purchase Second-Hand Items
The misconceptions about second-hand items always being out-of-fashion or of poor quality are, well, just misconceptions! Pre-loved items are often just as good as new, but half-priced, or even more! Some people even sell second-hand branded bags that are in mint condition.
In fact, thrift shopping is an ongoing trend for those who want to practice sustainable living. It’s more eco-friendly and it can be lighter on your wallet.
6. Set a Realistic Budget for your Shopping & Entertainment
Match your budget for shopping and entertainment to your current earnings and salary. Set a realistic budget and never go above it. This will cut down on excessive spending and also make you more aware of how you’re spending your money.
Sticking to your new budget might be hard, especially when you have to resist buying the new camera model or think twice before dining at that fancy restaurant, but practising some self-restraint will help you ensure that you’re spending within your means.
7. Pay For Quality Products
It might seem counterintuitive to pay more for quality products when you’re trying to save money, but actually, doing this is more cost-effective in the long run. Quality products last longer and buying replacements can be more costly. For example, spending a bit more on a good pair of shoes that will last you for two years is cheaper than if you buy two to three pairs of shoes at a lower price to last you for the same duration.
In addition, choosing quality products for electrical appliances will help you save more on your electricity bills in the long run. Buying energy-efficient aircons might cost a little more upfront, but it uses less energy, allowing you to save even more over time.
8. Switch from SP Services to Electricity Retailers
Instead of sticking to SP Services, switch to electricity retailers such as iSwitch to enjoy monthly savings on your electricity bill. Not only will you be able to save up to 30% off your monthly electricity bill, you will also enjoy essential lifestyle perks such as free personal accident insurance and cashback on your electricity bill payments when you use selected credit cards.
Ready to save big every month? Learn more here!
9. Use Coupons and Discount Vouchers
Don’t hesitate to use those vouchers you have! From GrabFood to FoodPanda, seize opportunities to make the most use out of discounts offered by companies. Before you purchase anything online, do a quick Google search for online promotional codes and cheaper alternatives.
You should also check out food discount apps such as Eatigo and Chope to see if your favourite restaurants offer discounts. Fave and Shopback offer both food discounts and discounted deals for other products and services.
10. Use Cashback Sites to Stretch Your Dollar
Cashback sites, such as Shopback, provide customers with a cash refund whenever they make a purchase through the site or app. Get promo codes as well as cashback from Shopback every time you make a purchase.
Fave also has a cashback system, which rewards customers with up to 30% cashback when you use FavePay to make purchases. These extra savings accumulate and go a long way to help you cut cost!
11. Automate Your Savings Monthly
Do you know that you can use banking features to help you save money too? Like an insurance policy plan, set up your bank account to transfer a fixed sum from your checking account to your savings account monthly. It’s a form of forced savings that you won’t even need to think about, immediately restricting the amount of money you have to spend.
12. Opt for Credit Cards with Rebates or Points
Some credit cards give you discounts, rebates or points. Opt for these credit cards for greater savings when you use your credit cards.
The DBS Live Fresh Card gives you up to 10% cashback when you use it for online & Visa contactless spending, including SimplyGo rides.
However, it does depend on your spending situation. If you love to buy items online, opt for credit cards with online cashback.
13. Use Public Transportations
With the exorbitant prices that often come with owning a car, you might be better off using public transportations instead. Enjoy discounts with the adult monthly travel pass and if you are still studying, the student concession cards offer even greater discounts.
However, it’ll be useful to first calculate your monthly travelling frequency to see if the concession passes are worth it.
When you tap into the MRT before 7.45am on weekdays, you can also enjoy the early rider fare of 50 cents off your ride.
14. Carpool & Rideshare when Possible
Rather than taking up an entire taxi by yourself, carpool and rideshare when you can. Set up a schedule with your workmates to fetch each other from home to work and back.
Alternatively, if you’re alone, opt for rideshare options like GrabShare, GrabHitch, and Ryde – these options are cheaper than the standard ride-hailing.
15. Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Are you frequently tempted to buy a drink whenever you go out because of Singapore’s hot weather? Instead of buying a cup of bubble tea every day (which is bad for both your wallet and health), bring a water bottle everywhere you go next time and save money on drinks.
A can of Pepsi might not cost much, but these costs add up quickly. Bringing your own bottle forces you to drink more water as well, which is much healthier than sugary drinks.
As we all know – health is wealth, so choose water over soft drinks!
16. Drop the Fancy Cappuccino for a Local Fresh Kopi
The price of a ‘branded’ barista brew at cafes such as Starbucks and The Coffee Bean is steep. A cold brew venti at Starbucks usually costs $6.30. Frappuccinos and fancier lattes are even pricier!
A local fresh kopi from a hawker centre, in contrast, only cost around $1 allowing you to save $5 from dropping the fancy cappuccino! If you drink coffee every weekday, doing this simple swap can save you $100 in a month.
17. Dine More at Hawker Centres instead of Restaurants
Restaurant prices are easily twice or thrice the price at hawker centres, depending on where you eat. A bowl of noodles at Koufu can cost $5, while a plate of spaghetti bolognese can easily cost $15 in a restaurant. Even if you choose to buy the set lunch for the discount, it’s still more expensive than hawker food.
The food at hawker centres are pretty delicious too, so if you’re looking to save more money, skip that restaurant and head to the nearest hawker centre or food court instead.
18. Eat More at Home
Rather than eat out, head to your parents’ home for a home-cooked meal. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s a good chance for you to spend time with your parents. Schedule regular family visits over meals and if you have time to spare, you can even prepare the meals with your family and bond over cooking. Cooking for several people is a lot more affordable than eating outside – and sometimes, it’s healthier and more delicious too!
19. Skip the Expensive Gym for Home or Outdoor Workouts
A gym membership can be quite expensive, especially if you choose to go to a boutique gym like Ritual Gym, Crossfit, or F45. For a month at the famed F45 Orchard, get ready to fork out $244 to $276. If you prefer to pay only for the sessions you attend, it’s $30 to $35 per session. The prices vary according to the boutique gym and location of your preferred outlet.
Prefer a big chain gym or fitness centre, such as Fitness First? It’s cheaper, but the monthly membership will still cost you $133 on average.
Keeping fit might seem pricey, but do remember that health is wealth. Exercise has many great benefits – it can increase your productivity, improve your mental well-being, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
Instead of skipping out on exercise altogether, opt to work out with friends in the natural outdoors or at home. There are several sports and exercise options in Singapore that don’t require a gym membership.
Cycle around Singapore’s parks through the park connectors, go for a hike at MacRitchie Reservoir or Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, or play some badminton with your friends.
You can also Skype your friends to exercise together from the comforts of your home. There are many workout routines by fitness trainers on YouTube. Test out Chloe Ting’s free workout programs, dance to POP Pilates with Blogilates, or challenge yourself with one of Cirque Du Soleil’s short but brutal workouts.
20. Always Bargain For Services
Another tip to save money is to always bargain when paying for services, such as gym memberships. Ask if you can get freebies, free months, or a discount if you pay upfront or use certain cards.
Some credit cards offer rewards and discounts as well, so remember to check with the person before making your payment. There’s nothing wrong with asking for more deals, so don’t be afraid or ashamed to do so!
21. Plan Your Vacations Early
Want to go on a short getaway? Plan it early! Planning any trips and vacations early on will save you a significant amount of money in both the flight cost and accommodations.
It’s cheaper when you book your flight tickets and accommodations for one year in advance. Take some time to also find out the best deals overseas, such as the best transport pass that’ll suit your travel needs.
For example, if you’re going to travel through several cities in Japan, the Japan Rail Pass might be worth getting.
Planning early can be quite fun since you’ll be more involved in planning the itinerary and familiarising yourself with the vacation destination beforehand!
Stuck At Home? You Can Still Save Money!
We often use a lot of electricity when we’re at home (especially if we are stuck or forced to work from home). This includes watching the television, leaving our computer on charge all the time as we surf the internet, or switching on the aircon for greater comfort in our hot and humid climate.
That means your electric bill that can balloon up fast! Thankfully with the Open Electricity Market, you can now switch to iSwitch for consistent savings on your monthly electric bill.
It’s easy to sign-up online and it only takes 5 minutes to boot.
Learn more about our prices plans and start saving now!