1. Lock in your savings
Even though you tell yourself not to, sometimes you can’t help but be tempted to spend your hard-earned savings stowed away in your bank account. It doesn’t help that most things are only a tap or a six-digit pin away.
If you have a holiday or something you’re saving up for, go into your bank and block yourself from accessing your savings account. Of course, make sure you have funds until the splurge, but this will stop you spending unnecessarily prior.
2. Delete the food delivery apps
We’ve all jumped on the bandwagon with the latest food delivery services, but they make it too easy when we’re too lazy — and usually end up being pricey. It’s simple to say cook instead of eating out, but deleting these apps (or using them less frequently) can be a big blessing to your bank account. You would be surprised by how much you can save, especially if you can cook up a variety of different dishes with a few simple ingredients. Check out our delish, fast-to-prep recipes here!
3. Understand your point
Financial advisors will tell you to work out your current net position. This means listing out everything you own and everything you owe (including interest rate, loan period and repayment amount). Seeing everything on paper will not only solidify your plans, but your resolve as well. It will also help you understand your current situation better and help you find out what you want to work towards.
4. Grocery shop after work...and when you're full!
It’s tempting to avoid boring jobs like doing a supermarket run after a long day, however some perishables may be marked down at the end of the day, so do a smart shop at night. Make sure you have a shopping list, to cut down on buying unnecessary items, and you’re sure to slash your bill.
And if you’re hungry while grocery shopping you’re guaranteed to want to buy more, whether you know it or not. So don’t go on an empty stomach by having proper meals before.
READ MORE: 10 Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries In Singapore
5. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
Do you need to be a member of all the movie-streaming websites? If not, pick your favourite and ditch the rest. Along the way, you may even find that there are some you are unnecessarily subscribed to! The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll see money in your account that you didn’t need to be wasted.
6. Unfollow on social media
“It’s so easy to spend today – throw in a little bit of scarcity mentality and comparison culture and we’re almost propelled to spend,” says CEO of accounting firm A&TA Melissa Brownie. “Unfollow brands which you know you’ll click to on social media.”
Out of sight, out of mind.
7. Split it up
“Set up separate bank accounts and make regular contributions for holidays, school fees, Christmas, etc. so the money is already there,” says financial advisor Helen Baker. Not only is it easier to track, doing this also makes the chore of saving seem less taxing and restrictive. Letting your money increase bit by bit barely noticeably, you would find out how sometimes a little goes a long way.
8. Reuse coffee cups
Not only are these good for the environment, some cafes offer discounts when you BYO cup! You may feel like this cut doesn’t make any significant changes to your budget, but we assure you that the trick to saving is understanding that the little things do count. Try collapsible mugs from Stojo, for instance.
9. Consider cost per wear
Will you wear that top again? Are you getting the most use out of that item of clothing? Sometimes choosing the prettiest clothes isn’t the wisest choice. Can they be worn for more than one occasion? Can you match them with more than one item of clothing? Consider these questions when buying clothes, then you’ll be confident with your wardrobe and wallet.
READ MORE: How To Get A Whole New Look With Pieces You Already Own
10. Focus on versatile food buys
You probably hate spending unnecessarily as much as eating the same meal for a few consecutive days. Plan ahead and buy foods that can be used for various meals throughout the week. Find ingredients that you love for more than one meal, and stock up for the week. Shop smart and you’ll save money plus avoid wasting food.
READ MORE: 5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Eating Leftovers
11. Go for restaurant specials
We all love dinner out with friends, but before you do, shop around for the best deal first. With all of your favourite eateries having a different dinner special every night, you can enjoy a delicious meal with wine — without breaking the bank. An extra step before a well-spent meal makes everything worth it. Check out some great-deal Japanese meals here.
12. Go for generic
We know sometimes you prefer your favourite brand, but when it comes to boring household products for less important food items, go for a generic brand. We know people always say that the price reflects the quality of the product, but maybe it’s time for you to try it yourself. Who knows — you might find it’s just as good, and it’s definitely cheaper.
READ MORE: The Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Are Making You Spend More Money
13. Carry around big notes
We’re used to collecting smaller notes because it’s convenient, but that may precisely be why we’re spending so much. It’s said if you carry cash you’re likely to spend less. Take it beyond the $10 note — try carrying $50 or $100 notes, and you might be more inclined to monitor spending.
14. Meat-free Monday
Take your vegetarian friend’s advice and give up meat for a day. Meat is known to cost more than vegetables, from hawker prices to even restaurant dishes. It doesn’t even stop there — you’re also impacting your body and the environment positively. Go here for some of the best vegetarian restaurants and eateries in Singapore.
15. Keep a social calendar
It’s stressful saving while being social, especially when there are birthdays, holidays and celebrations you need to be prepared for. Start keeping a social calendar so you know when you need money. This will help you keep track of those purchases, meaning you’re more likely to resist the urge to impulse buy.
16. Be kind to yourself
If you need a monthly massage to make you feel good, that’s totally fine, but just make sure you factor that into your budget as well, just like you would your utility bills and rent. Saving doesn’t have to be a punishment; in fact, this reward might just give you more motivation to keep going.
17. Sleep on it
Take a day to think about and rationalise a purchase. You’ll likely convince yourself you don’t actually need what you wanted to buy. Chances are your urge to spend was in the heat of the moment, and you were this close to falling prey to that trap!
18. Turn it off
Always turn off appliances at the power source, and switch off lights whenever you’re not in the room. You could even try candles as lighting for an evening, if you really want to save every cent. Bonus: It’ll give your space a nice ambience and relaxing vibes!
READ MORE: How To Save On Electricity Bills In Singapore
19. Talk money
Being upfront with your nearest and dearest about your budget not only lets them know where you’re at — and why you can’t afford that night out — but you could also have the opportunity to trade some saving tips! It may even be easier for you to work towards finding a budget friendly location to hang out, now that you both know you’re on the same page.
20. DIY as much as possible
Try to take on as many jobs around the house as you can. Try repainting your interior yourself, don’t pay a cleaner, and so on. Obviously DIY within reason — you don’t want to hurt yourself or cause any damage that will cost you more than a professional would. Check out these small and simple decor tweaks to refresh your home in a snap without breaking the bank.
21. Beware the points
“If you can’t pay the card off when the credit period is due, then don’t be fooled by the free points,” says Helen. Sometimes things aren’t what they seem, and during those times being calculative may be the key to finding out what’s good for your wallet or not.
22. Do a 30-day financial detox
Focus on a month of only buying essential items. “Doing this twice a year to reset your spending habits [can help] move you towards becoming a conscious consumer,” says Melissa. Maybe what’s month-long may even stick and be permanent once you’ve realised how much you don’t need!
23. Meal prep
If you buy $15 lunch an average three times a week, that’s around $2,000 out of your pocket every year. You can make your own lunches for much cheaper, and they’re often the healthier option too! Only when you prepare the food yourself will you know for sure how much the ingredients cost, and how healthy they really are.
READ MORE: The Best Pasta Salads That Will Get You Excited For Lunch
24. Use discount code apps
If you do find yourself desperate to make an online purchase, try rewards apps like Shopback and Fave that help you get cash back when you dine out or shop online. Cutting wherever you can has to be done if you want to commit to or reach your goal faster!