Saving money is not new to Singaporeans. In fact, in 2019, Singapore was cited as the top country that saves the most. In 2017, the country had as high as 48% national savings rate (NSR). NSR refers to the money that individuals earn but do not spend. At times like these, saving money is more important than ever. For those thinking of starting to save up, here are 10 basic and easy steps to follow to begin saving. Follow these steps, and you will find out that saving is not difficult, after all.
1. Sell things that don’t spark joy anymore
Begin your saving journey through letting go of things that you no longer need. Realize that things you no longer use may be useful to others. One easy way to do this is to roam around your house and gather all items that you have not used in the past three months. These items, however sentimental they are to you, are no longer needed in your life.
You can then sell these unused items online. In Singapore, there are a lot of ways and platforms on the Internet where you can make a profit through selling used items. In most cases, you only need your phones to sell these items, which means that you are basically spending nothing in selling these unused items.
2. Automate your savings account
For those who have found it hard to save, you can force yourself to do so through automatic deductions. You can allow your bank to automatically deduct a certain amount from your paycheck, which will then go directly into your savings account. Since you cannot touch this account, you are forced to save on a monthly basis. Without noticing, you can have a lot of saved income in a year or two.
For some, this method is a little bit radical. Surely, you still need to alot a portion of your salary for daily needs and for emergency purposes. Hence, you can start to deduct a small amount from your salary. You can then gradually increase this amount in the next months to follow.
3. Plan your budget weekly or monthly.
Another way to force yourself from saving is to set a weekly or monthly budget. That sure that you’re spending the amount you set at the beginning of the week or month. This will force you to buy only the essential food and supplies. This will also allow you to look for the best products on the market that are worth your money.
One way to be strict with your budgeting is to write your grocery and shopping list and try your best to stick to it. Go to a big grocery where you can buy all the supplies you need. Learn to limit your shopping and grocery visits. In this way, you can make sure that you are luring yourself into new expenditures.
4. Do not make impulse purchases
Never fall into sale or discount promos of malls and other stores. Trust me when I say that these sales will only make your unnecessary spending. You do not really need new clothes or furniture items displayed on the sales racks. Choose to spend your money on items that you actually need and will actually use.
With this, you have to learn to discern which purchases are necessary and which are not. Of course, it is totally acceptable to spend. You just make sure that you are using your hard-earned money on things that you really need. Do not make purchases that you will regret in the future.
5. Use these ~amazing~ money-saving tools
Learn to save money in Singapore through different hacks and tactics. In most of these options, you only need a smartphone to potentially save hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year. Here are some of the top options for savers like you.
Shopback – This will give you coupons, discounts, and cashback for your online purchases. Use this when making big purchases such as electronics and appliances.
TaxiBot – For Taxi, Grab, or Uber users, this will give you promo codes for your rides. This is particularly helpful for those who travel regularly.
Money Digest – Aside from giving financial tips and advice, following the Facebook page will give you random deal alerts. This is helpful for those who are already thinking of purchasing something.
Fave – This will also give coupons and discounts on restaurants, hotels, and even beauty products. If you are considering dining out or buying beauty items, visiting their website can give you some worthy deals.
Carousell – Aside from selling your stuff, you can also buy more affordable items here. They have a wide option of things to choose from, which means that your specific needs will be accommodated.
RateX – This also gives you promo codes for online purchases on travel, fashion, and food. This one is particularly helpful if you are planning to buy products from overseas.
6. Purchase second-hand items
One way on how to save money on your purchases is to choose to buy second-hand items. Pre-owned items do not necessarily mean lesser quality products. On many occasions, you can find high-quality labels from second-hand stores. Plus, buying from vintage and flea markets is one good way of helping the environment.
You can also try to look online for second-hand products. Check out Carousell and GumTree if you have an item in mind. Just be reminded that even in these second-hand stores just buy what you need. Do not buy items just because they are affordable.
7. Monitor your expenses
An adage says “you cannot control what you cannot measure.” If you want to control your personal finance, learn to monitor your spending. You can download mobile apps that will help you monitor every purchase you make.
Also, you can look through your bank statements weekly and monthly and check if there are unnecessary subscriptions that you can cancel. This small spending can cost you a lot in the long run. Hence, make it a habit to check your bank accounts for this small but pertinent spending.
Those who are using credit cards should also monitor their credit card spending. The problem with credit card is that users fail to take notice of each of the transactions they make. Using their credit card allows them to spend uncontrollably. Knowing each of these transactions will allow users to be more intelligent in spending.
8. Bring your own water flask
A simple but effective method of how to save money Singapore-style is to bring your own water container. The Singapore heat would require you to drink a lot of water. But buying bottled water is expensive. Buying a bottle or two every day is costly. Bringing with you a flask or container which you can refill in water stations all around the city is a money saver in the long run.
Also, plastic bottled water is a nuisance to the environment. It takes hundreds of years before these bottles decompose. When these bottles are not recycled, they can pollute our waters and can even end up in the ocean. Hence, bringing your own water flask is contributing largely to the environment.
9. Find a side hustle
There are several ways to save in Singapore, but if you badly need additional income, your best chance might be to find a part-time job. Online jobs are in demand now with the global health crisis. Finding extra work could really help you and your family. While money save methods are essential, additional income can truly help your financial needs.
Just remember, though that you must still keep your main job. Your part-time job is only meant to supplement your regular income. Maybe you can spend your weekends earning extra income.
10. Cook in batches
One expense that is seldom discussed is food. We eat multiple times a day. This means that food is a crucial part of our daily survival. We can then save a lot if we learn to minimize our expenses on food.
Saving from food does not mean buying cheap food products. Buying food from restaurants and even from a food court can cost us. One method to save money is to cook your food in batches. Dedicate one particular day of the week to cook and prepare your food so that you will only spend little time as well as electricity consumption in cooking. According to Forbes, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant than it is to cook at home. Cooking at home will even give you the liberty to choose healthier options. During times of health crises, cooking at home is a great method of ensuring that your food is clean and fresh.
It cannot be denied that living in Singapore is expensive. Food and other needs come expensively. This means that people in Singapore must be extra creative in saving money. The ten steps enumerated above are meant to make people be mindful of their spending habits. They are measures to make sure that they only use their money to buy items that they actually need.
Moreover, I can not highlight this enough, but budgeting is everything. As a person living in Singapore, you must begin to realize that your earnings are limited. Loans and credit cards have high interest rates. Hence, the best option for you to be financially successful is to save. While saving requires a lot of discipline, bear in mind that saving is a commitment and a promise to your future self. You are doing this to make sure that you want the best for you and your family.
If you are ever stuck in a financial bump and need any form of financial assistance, check out Instant Loan, one of the top finance directory websites in Singapore.