5 Easy Ways to Save Money Every Day in Singapore
In these highly uncertain times, saving money is no longer an option but a necessity. If you want to have enough funds to go on holidays, keep you afloat in between jobs, or supplement your CPF retirement money so that you won’t have to spend your senior years still working like many elderly Singaporeans, you better start saving every dollar you can.
Before you start complaining about how saving money in Singapore is a seemingly impossible feat because of the high cost of living, remember that you can always start small. Tucking away a few dollars every week through small lifestyle changes can go a long way if you do so consistently for years. If you are looking for ideas, here are five easy ways to save money in the Lion City.
Eat Your Lunch at the Hawker Centre
Instead of frequenting your favourite fancy restaurants to have lunch, you can save a lot if you make it a habit to eat at the numerous hawker centres that’s likely near your workplace. From noodles and dumplings to chicken rice and biryani, you will never run out of tasty and affordable meal options when you choose to dine at hawker centres or food courts.
Why spend SGD7 to SGD8 for a sandwich or burger when you can have a satisfying meal for half the price? Think about it. By merely changing where you eat your lunch during weekdays, you can save at least SGD 3 a day and over SGD 700 a year.
Choose to Ride the Bus or MRT Instead of Taxis
Take advantage of Singapore’s efficient public transportation system by taking the bus or MRT when you go to work or go around the city. Taxis may seem comfortable if you want to avoid the crowd, but you will end up spending so much more. Although you can save a bit when you opt for Grab rides instead of taxis, it is still more economical to ride the bus or train whenever possible.
To get additional 50-cent savings, try tapping-in at the MRT or LRT station before 7:45 am during weekdays. The Public Transport Council (PTC) introduced the Morning Pre-Peak Fares scheme last 29 December 2017 to encourage commuters to travel before peak hours.
While SGD 0.50 may not seem much, the amount will definitely appear more substantial if you add up your savings over time. Say you get the discount for 30 days. That means you save SGD15, which is equivalent to a couple of satisfying meals or several more MRT and bus rides.
Ditch Expensive Coffee Shops for Affordable Options
One of the best things about living in Singapore is that you have tons of options when it comes to food and drinks. Why not take advantage of this benefit when you want a caffeine fix? If you are used to spending at least SGD 6 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks every day, you should try patronizing the traditional coffee shops or kopi tiam in your area, which sell coffee for much less and throw in a piece or two of kaya toast to boot..
Imagine saving at least SGD 4 per coffee when you buy from your friendly neighbourhood uncle or auntie. If you want to save more, you can opt for instant coffee or brew a cup of joe yourself. Buy in bulk or bring the packets to your office, so you can enjoy a hot cup any time you want.
Bring a Water Bottle
Singapore is one of the few countries in Asia where tap water is safe for drinking. So, why would you spend a dollar for bottled water when you can bring your own for free? If you think that spending a dollar for water is inexpensive, try calculating how much you spend on bottled water for a year. You will be surprised.
Invest in a stainless steel or glass water bottle, and make it a habit to bring it wherever you go. Aside from saving at least SGD 200 a year, you can also help the environment by reducing your bottled water consumption.
Find Inexpensive Ways to Enjoy the Weekend
Enjoying a relaxing break does not have to come with a price tag, especially in Singapore. Instead of window shopping or going to the movies, you should try exploring the city-states’s many gardens, parks, and natural reserves instead.
Start with the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site that features the world’s largest collection of orchids, or the world-renowned Gardens by the Bay. You can also try Bukit Batok Nature Park if you want to commune with nature and learn a bit of history at the same time.
Besides helping you save precious dollars, spending time outside and being surrounded by luscious greeneries can lower your stress and anxiety levels. After the trip, you will definitely feel good and ready to face another gruelling workweek.
The strategies described above clearly show that saving money in one of the most expensive cities in the world is possible if you are willing to tweak your lifestyle and spending habits. Adopting these changes may be challenging at first, but the rewards are worth it. Try them for a year, and you will be surprised by how much money you’ll be able to save.