Singapore is a world-class country with a melting pot of culture. Anywhere you look, you see fusions of culture everywhere that east-meets-west is a daily fact of life. You can expect such a globalized country to take big financial leaps in providing the highest quality of life for its citizens. Thankfully, with proper planning and mindfulness, it’s easy to live with enough money in Singapore.
The country offers the best grocery shopping experiences, retail shops, natural and urban tourism in the world. Additionally, Singapore is at the forefront of exceptional public transport, services, and technologies. If you learn how to spend and save money the right way, you’ll find it’s easy to have just enough for everything that Singapore offers.
How Much Do You Need to Live in Singapore?
All Singaporeans and foreigners need the same things as human beings: food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment. Truthfully, Singaporeans have access to better financial services than Singapore’s foreign workforce. Fortunately, new financial rules and increasing legal relaxations make financial services much more accessible to Singapore’s foreign workers.
Foreigners living on rent need to earn more than S $700-S $1,500 living in the country because they’re paying for rent, utilities, and food, excluding the income they transfer to their families abroad. On the other hand, Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) renting need roughly the same amount. If they’re paying for an HDB property or any private contractor condominium, they’ll need to have at least S $1,500-S $3,000 monthly income.
Singapore has many temptations making overspending highly likely among consumers. To curb your appetite to take out your wallet, swipe your card, or use a fast-payment facility, here are 25 tips to help you save money in Singapore.
21 Ways To Save Money in Singapore
1. Avoid Digitally Storing Your Credit Card Information
In 2020, the virus COVID19 made online shopping one major convenience that became an enormous escape for many Singaporeans during the first and second quarantine phase. Thanks to technology, Singaporeans can attach their credit card information or synchronize their bank accounts with these online stores.
Aside from the high risk of entrusting your credit card information from data-collecting applications, regardless of how reputable and publicly accepted online stores can be, removing your credit card information helps you save money. Often, shoppers consume so much more online because convenience in a few clicks saves them from thoroughly processing the purchases they’re about to make.
Honestly, saving credit card information online is convenient. But, if it’s enabling your purchases due to its convenience, remove it. Doing so reduces the risks of identity theft too.
2. Pre-Owned Items Still have Great Value
New purchases give you the highest chances of value-for-money purchases. Additionally, you get the full picture of the item’s accurate performance, lifespan, and dependability. However, if you’re purchasing clothes and low wear-and-tear risk items, such as knick-knacks for tables, music speakers, computer components, and even smartphones, pre-owned items are still an excellent purchase.
Too often, many Singaporeans have fallen prey to brand-conscious purchases. While Singaporeans are open to exploring alternatives, it’s often other highly-priced brands too. Only a fraction of the country’s population explores the enormous quality and potential savings they can receive by owning pre-owned items with much use left in them.
3. Public Transportation Will Help You Save Enormously
Truthfully, Singapore outdoes the majority of its Asian peers with its excellent public transportation. With convenient digital payment options, established infrastructure, timeliness, and virtually zero traffic, your use of public transportation is one of the most convenient means to save money in Singapore.
Many Singaporeans and foreigners will prioritize using taxis or Grab, especially when they miss the early trains. However, with a few schedule adjustments, such as waking up early and recording the train timetables, you can use the MRT for less than the price you pay daily going to work or anywhere else.
4. Bottled Water From Your House
It’s the easiest and safest way to drink water in Singapore. While bathroom and sink water are relatively clean, bottled water sold in convenience stores guarantees virtually zero harm. Unfortunately, they’re quite expensive and can do so much harm to the environment.
A viable alternative is to bring your self-brought bottle of water when heading out. Additionally, if you’re heading for a hike or a stroll at Singapore’s parks, you’ll find drinking fountains with filtered water for refilling once you run out. These fountains are convenient if you’re planning to jog in the area too. Take note of their locations and see your small savings pile up to new heights.
5. Drink Homebrewed Coffee Beans
Singapore’s coffee culture is stellar, and both Singaporeans and foreign workers love coffee variants you can find in the country. Many people claim to buy from reputable coffee shops and barista-made drinks because they want to support startups. If you do this, remember to support yourself, too, especially if these products are increasing your monthly expense budgets.
You’ll find numerous coffee bean suppliers from farmers who grow their crops or import from nearby countries in the country. These might look pricey. However, if you look at it, these beans are potentially bulk purchases that can last you for a month or two of homebrewed coffee. Plus, you’ll get started on your diet because you can control the sugar and creamer amounts, too.
6. Hawker Centers Help Your Budget A LOT
Singapore has an extremely diverse culture, which comes with an enormous variety of food, drinks, treats, and other goodies you’ll love to try. Skip your fast-food dates or convenience-store sandwiches. If you’re looking for something good to eat without hurting your wallet (and diet), get to your nearest hawker center.
With hawkers, you have unlimited options for your lunch or dinner palette. You can opt for seafood yesterday then meat the following day. What you spend here for lunch or dinner costs you about 30-50% less than your spending costs eating in fast-food chains or convenience stores. Plus, you can be sure hawkers always use fresh and natural ingredients when making their dishes, too.
7. Cook and Pack Your Lunches
Truthfully, the best alternative to cut every possible fat off the food expense is to prepare the food by yourself. While it’s a challenging task, cooking is a necessary skill, and it will take time for you to enhance the overall flavor and taste your dishes have. Additionally, you’ll need to sacrifice some relaxation time to prepare your lunch for the next day or week.
However, the pay-off is you can accelerate your savings by the minute. Do your grocery for fresh ingredients every weekend, then prepare your meals for the weak. Both your grocery and refrigeration costs can save you a significant chunk than by purchasing food from fast-food chains and even hawker centers.
8. Yoga at Home And Have ‘Focused’ Training
Bodybuilders and strength athletes must use specialized gyms with the proper equipment and personnel to help them achieve their goals. However, if you’re a calisthenics or yoga trainee, you can trim some fat from your monthly gym and instructor bills by performing your bodyweight-based training routines at home.
While you’re training in an isolated room or park, you will possess double the motivation from your training center. Without distractions and waiting time to use certain equipment or spaces, you can concentrate on achieving your training level’s next tier. Additionally, you can take your discipline and mental strength the highest it can be each solo training session.
9. Anticipate Happy Hours in Recreational Centers
If you plan to drink outside with friends, it’s okay to turn them down, especially if they plan your recreations in expensive restaurants or clubs. On the other hand, you can advise them that all of your head there during happy hours. These small timeframes give merrymakers substantial discounts on drinks to encourage spending through bigger consumption.
Happy hours in restaurants and clubs are beneficial for big groups with more than ten members. By having the chance to order plenty of food and drinks at a lower cost, you’ve saved yourself so much more than the expenses you’ve originally braced yourself.
10. Bulk Buying Works (With Caveats)
Groceries encourage you to buy in bulk because they often have significant discounts for these products. Thankfully, bulk buying does not translate to purchasing an entire product case or box because that practice can create enormous consumption capable of increasing the goods’ price in the future.
Even if you’re living as a minimalist, bulk-buying can work for you, especially in planning your meals and snacks for the week. Additionally, it works all the same for discount hunters looking to buy non-perishable goods in bulk, saving themselves 20-40% of the original product costs in the process. On the other hand, if you’ve purchased some excesses, especially perishable goods, it always pays to be generous despite the discounts you’ve obtained.
11. Share Subscription Costs
The information technology age allows everybody to watch any show on-demand thanks to streaming services from Netflix, Disney, Amazon, and the like. However, shouldering these costs on your own can be extremely budge-taxing. Thankfully, virtually all these streaming services provide you with individual-device alternatives, which easily shave off 30-50% of the original price.
On the other hand, if you’re paying for a household of adults, ask them to share the subscription costs. If you’re brave, you can scout special streaming forums that give you subscription share members from all over the world to help you pay for a single account.
For example, Netflix allows up to five members in a single account. If you find five people willing to pay for the single account’s price, you can drive down the original cost up to 80%!
12. Write Your Shopping List Beforehand
Groceries and malls are convenient because you can find everything you and your home need within your arm’s length. Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose sight of your purchasing activities once you start overthinking all your purchases. Alternatively, some people go on autopilot purchases when they’re in shopping centers, especially when they start seeing enormous time-sensitive discounts.
To avoid straying from and hurting your budget, you’d best write your shopping list before leaving for the grocery or mall. In doing so, you can tell yourself to remain focused and only make purchases that you need as your list dictates. With a clear list of objectives that you can hold, your discipline is highly likely to take over your purchasing decisions.
13. Unsubscribe From Online Shop Newsletters
The temptation is everywhere, and making payment options easy is only helping your credit cards escape from your wallet. While they’re helpful and remind you of things you need, online shops and e-commerce newsletters ease in the idea of your wants much more frequently. The best way to save money is to unsubscribe from these newsletters.
Truthfully, having your wants out of sight keeps them out of your mind, allowing you to focus on following your budget. Additionally, minimizing the notifications you frequently receive helps you concentrate on your work or find relaxation during your office breaks, which helps a lot mentally once you return to your routines.
14. Learn to Find High-Quality Products
The major similarity between high-quality products and luxury brands is often the price. However, their objectives greatly differ. Luxury products are all about aesthetics and recognition. On the other hand, high-quality, value-for-money products use top-tier materials, designs, and engineering to provide exceptional functionality.
An expensive product isn’t necessarily a high-quality product. On the other hand, a top-brand product isn’t always a luxury product. The best way to learn about high-quality products is to research their performance and read reviews from buyers who’ve had any experience using them.
15. Prepaid Electricity Might Work For You
Pay-as-you-use electricity meters might seem impractical, but if you’re rationing electricity that you use in Singapore (which builds discipline), you can save so much more by using them. However, you’ll need to be mindful when your electricity runs out, or else you risk having yourself in a power-less, problematic situation.
16. Automate Your Savings and Payments
Many unpaid loans and ballooning utility bills in Singapore is a result of delayed or forgotten billing notifications. Nowadays, you can get your bill notifications online, and new technology enabling you to automatically pay for your bills or save your money without your confirmation.
Ensure that you always remember to set the billings on and off, especially if you’ve just been laid off from work or are encountering a financially-gripping situation.
17. Eat More at Home
We’ve discussed preparing food at home for your office. In some cases, Singaporeans might choose to eat more outside during the weekends. For a healthier body and budget, limit your restaurant and outside dining. Wholesale purchases and grocery prices will significantly lower your daily expenses.
18. Make Your Vacation Itinerary
If you’re planning to go for an outing the following year, don’t go for vacation packages. It’s better to plan your itinerary. It brings both a sense of fulfillment because your dedicated preparation had given you a successful vacation and enormous savings because of your meticulous research on the best budget-friendly location spots.
19. Identify Your Purchasing and Investing Objectives Beforehand
It’s easy to enter the national and international stock market with today’s global brokering services. On the other hand, ill-informed investors who act on impulse stand to lose money. When purchasing and investing, make sure to have your objectives beforehand. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has a great checklist for new and experienced investors to keep themselves on their toes before making any purchasing and investment decisions.
20. Establish a ‘Five-Minute Rule’
When picking up something by impulse and putting it in your digital or physical cart, delay your decision for five minutes. You won’t have to think about the purchase’s value or budget impact. A five-minute rule each time you reach out without question allows your brain to process the preceding events subconsciously, allowing you to either reverse or go through with your decision with full intent.
21. Always Have a Rainy Day Fund
An emergency fund is essential for any Singaporean or foreign worker because it gives them a financial safety net or buffers for unexpected events. Truthfully, insurance policies and savings work well to support any situation, but access to an enormous sum during a time-sensitive emergency will always be beneficial.
Use A Financial Product Comparison Website
Moneylender Review is a financial product comparison website that uses an advanced algorithm to provide you with updated quotes from Singapore’s top licensed moneylenders. In case you have no resources to spare for an emergency fund, you can find the best personal loan rates, which can go up to six months your monthly salary, to aid you in any emergency.