Singapore is a first world country with first world problems. One of the first world problems I am referring to here is the high cost of living. And the standard of living has been increasing ever since. Ten years ago, a plate of chicken rice would only cost about $2 but now it costs an average of $4 at food courts. Inflation is real. Besides investing every dollar to beat inflation, you can also learn how to reduce your expenses so as to save some money to build your golden nest.
If you know me personally, I am quite frugal when it comes to money. I don’t like to splurge because I know that money is hard to earn. So over the years, I’ve adopted ways that would help me save money so that I have sufficient amount to spend on doing the things I love, like travelling the world.
Even though Singapore is one of the costliest cities in the world, there are still ways to get by on a small budget. Here are a few of my personal tips on how to save money in Singapore.
1. Saving on Food Expenses
While you can still find $2 Chicken Rice at the food stalls located at MRT stations, the portions are so small that you would probably need to buy 2 packets of rice to feel satiated. One of the best places to get cheap and good food is a trip down to the hawker centers in the neighborhoods. You can get a decent plate of Hokkien Mee for $3 and even Michelin-star hawker dishes which costs below $4! What a steal!
If you prefer to dine at fancy cafes and restaurants, you can rely on apps like Fave, Eatsy, Burpple Beyond, Entertainer and Chope where you can enjoy 1-for-1 deals or meals at discounted prices. Recently, I’ve been hooked on the Fave app because they feature a few of my favourite eateries in Singapore.
2. Saving on Gym Fees
Instead of signing up for gym membership, I say why not exercise in the parks on your own? The monthly gym membership costs at least $100 and within a year, you would be spending $1,200 on exercise. The prices of gym memberships are also increasing as it has begun to gain more popularity among the working crowd.
If you prefer to exercise in a group setting, you can join the free outdoor exercise classes organised by Health Promotion Board (HPB) or even sign up for free gym classes under HPB’s Sunrise-In-The-City Programme. You can attend fitness classes like yoga, HIIT and Zumba in gyms and boutique fitness studios like Fitness First, Orange Theory and Platinum Yoga.
3. Saving on Transport Fees
As you might have already known, public transport like MRT and buses are the way to go especially when Singapore has such a well-connected transport system. You can also hop on the public bicycles to ride from place to place. Another alternative is to walk if you are not rushing for time. Thank goodness Singapore is a small country and it isn’t very far to walk from one MRT station to the next in town area.
However, if you are in a rush, you can book a GrabHitch ride. Hailing for a taxi may be more expensive.For instance, it costs me only $16 to get a GrabHitch from Jurong to Changi Airport. Normal taxi fare would costs between $25 to $35 for the same distance. Besides, it is also more eco-friendly to be hitching a ride or doing a carpool.
4. Saving on Shopping Expenses
My favourite shopping haven right now is Shopee and Taobao. Shopping items online is cheaper than buying stuff at the physical stores. You can shop for almost anything online from toys, clothes, books to even furniture!
If you do not mind hand-me downs or second-hand items, you can browse through the Carousell app. You might even earn some cash back when you sell unwanted items you have at home.
For fashion, I like to purchase clothes from Zalora as they constantly have promotions. They also provide quick delivery and free returns. You should also look out for big shopping events especially during the year-end where there are more discounts available like Shopfest, 9.9 Sale or Singles Day. That would save you a couple of bucks
5. Saving on Travel Expenses
Singapore is considered as a travel hub in the South-East Asia region and flying out from Singapore is made affordable with the introduction of budget airlines. To save on air tickets and accommodation costs, you can try to travel during non-peak seasons.
To enjoy the best deals for accommodation, you might want to check out hotel booking portals like Agoda where they often offer rooms at discounted prices. If you wish to have a more immersive local experience, why not rent a room or apartment via Airbnb? You can also earn cashback on Shopback if you book via these online portals for accomodation.
For more travel hacks on planning a simple vacation, check out this article here.
Who says saving money is difficult? All it takes is a little effort and being more money-savvy!