Okay. These tips might not help much towards becoming a millionaire.
However living in Singapore is not easy when things are not exactly cheap.
Hence in order to live more comfortably we have to build up our savings for the proverbial rainy days (not the kind that we experienced these few days) and at the same time achieve income increment that at least beat the inflation rate.
There are essentially two ways to go about achieving the former.
One: Increase our income.
Two: Decrease our spending.
Easy isn't it?
Since increasing our income isn't always within our control especially when it comes to salary, the other way is to look out for money-saving opportunities in our daily lives.
As a matter of fact, I did not consciously set out to do these acts. Somehow they have became part and parcel of my life after so many years, so much so that it is almost natural.
So here is goes.. Some of my money-saving tips for sharing..
1) Not ordering canned drinks at coffee shops
Canned drinks are by far the most price-inflated drink in a typical coffee shop. For the same canned drink that costs $1.50 at the coffee shop, I can get it at the neighbouring super market at half the price or less. Luckily I'm not a particular fan of canned drinks too.
2) Return appetisers and wet tissues in restaurants
Usually restaurants place appetisers like peanuts and pickles to your table before you even begin ordering your meal. However since I don't really fancy appetisers like these, I usually ask the staff to bring it back.
Same for the wet tissue. I don't really mind using my handkerchief or own tissue to wipe my mouth after meal.
3) Always check the bill
This is important. Always check your bill before and after payment. I have on more than one occasions been billed wrongly at eateries and super markets.
Simply by checking, I have saved quite a sizeable amount over the years.
This also applies to all your purchases, not only for meals and groceries.
4) Buy Online
I'm not saying everything must be bought online. Personally for items such as shoes, I still prefer to buy in brick and mortar shops.
However certain things like hand phone covers, casual attires and household items do indeed cost much lesser than in physical shops.
One of my recent online purchase:
Cost me a grand total of S$47.90 and 1 hour for assembly. Worth it isn't it?
5) Compare and Compare
This has been my habit for the longest time whether in my private life or in my work.
Shops like Watsons and Guardian are often located near each other in the mall. It helps to compare the price of same product between similar shops before buying. Sometimes the price difference can be significant.
6) Bulk pack isn't always cheaper
Again, this require some work on your part. Whip out your hand phone and calculate the unit price of the bulk pack item that you are eyeing.
There are times where we found the single pack is in fact cheaper than the unit price of the bulk pack of the same item.
7) Discount cards
Member cards like the Kopitiam card need no introduction. 10% discount off meals by using the card is a no brainer.
I don't usually pay to sign up for member card. But sometimes I do that if the advantages outweigh the price. For example I am a Jumbo member as I figure the savings achieved easily exceed the member fee.
8) Use credit card as far as possible
My style is to use my credit card as far as possible especially for big ticket items.
Nowadays cards like OCBC 365 card and UOB One card are tied to the respective savings account. By using the card, I can get cash rebate on my card and increased interest on my savings. Win-win.
Importantly: Pay off all the bills before due date.
9) Movie tickets
Yes I do watch movies too though I may sound miserly from above.
The trick here is to buy the tickets on the spot instead of online. Simple enough but I have friends who like to buy online thus incurring unnecessary surcharges.
However I heard from a friend that the surcharge is a fixed amount no matter how many tickets are bought. If that's true then bulk purchase of tickets might be worth it after all.
Having said that, I have an even better deal when it comes to movie tickets. As a M1 customer, I get to watch movies for free on Sundays! M1 customers enjoy one-for-one tickets on Sundays at Shaw cinemas. It used to be Cathay cinemas though.
Caveat is that I need to wake up early to buy the tickets as there is a limited number to this deal.
Nevertheless to me, it pays to wake up early and at the same time I get to spend more quality time with my loved ones.
10) Free parking
I always look out for free parking when I drive. It costs a lot to drive in Singapore so every little saving helps.
Certain malls offer free 2 hour lunch time parking.
Some areas offer free parking after 5 pm.
On Sundays there are plenty of free parking in estates around our sunny island. Even those close to malls. Very often I see cars queuing up to enter the malls' car park. But just a stone throw away there is free parking available at a HDB block and I don't even have to wait to enter.
Some times the free car park is 10 min walk away. But that is not an issue for me and my family. The walk back to the car park can be a nice time for a heart to heart talk.