These money-saving life hacks will help you start off the next half of 2016 on the right foot:
1. Set yourself a savings goal
It’s difficult to save when you have no idea what you’re saving for. Having a concrete goal to work towards to, like buying a new car or simply having S$5,000 more in your bank, makes saving a much easier journey than you’d realize. Break your big end-of-year goal into smaller parts and decide how much you should save each month.
Tip: Make sure your goal is realistic. Having an impractical goal can put unnecessary stress on yourself and make you lose motivation.
2. Keep track of your spending
At the end of every day, take a few minutes to recall and record down how much you have spent. There are many mobile applications, like these, that you can use to track your spending. These applications usually give you an overview of your spending to judge your decisions. If you take the public transport to work, would you save more by getting a concession pass?
3. Bring your own lunch to the office
Dining out is expensive and unhealthy. Packing your own lunch to work or school not only allows you to save more, it helps with having a more balanced and healthy diet too! Have control over what you consume for your meals by preparing them yourself. With fast delivery services that rival market prices, its a easier alternative to having to head down to the store. Alternatively, look out for cheap lunch deals or discounted cash vouchers on apps like Groupon.
4. Own a jar for spare change
Having a “piggy bank” may sound childish but it’s a really easy way to save more money! Simply empty your pockets of loose change every day and watch your money grow bit by bit. It’ll even save you the hassle of carrying a heavy wallet that’s full of coins. You’ll really be surprised by how much you can save with a little input every day.
Note: You can only watch your money grow with a transparent piggy bank.
5. Order free water at restaurants
Restaurants are charging exorbitant amounts for beverages including canned drinks. S$4 for a can of Coke and S$8 for a Banana Smoothie?! Save your money simply by ordering a glass of iced or warm water. Some food places are still kind enough to provide them FOC. Tap water is potable in Singapore after all, right?
6. Read e-books
E-books can be read from most smart devices these days. They are significantly cheaper than paper books and you can read them anywhere without carrying any additional weight. By doing so, you’re doing your part to save the environment too! Simply look for free e-books online or purchase cheap titles from Better World Books.
7. Buy breakfast the night before
To avoid selling stale bread the next day, many bakeries sell their leftovers at a much cheaper price at the end of the day – usually 50% off or even one item for just S$1. Their promotions usually start from 9 p.m. so drop by the bakery near your home and have your breakfast settled at a lower cost!
8. Look out for sales
What better way to shop than during a sale? Seeing those red signs up everywhere, slashed prices, and amazing promotions can make one reach for their wallet unknowingly. Why buy full-priced items when you can wait for a sale? Go home with your purchases, and a fuller wallet.
Sales are almost perpetual – especially at online stores.
9. Resist impulse buys
We all have difficulties with that fine line between a need and a want. Sometimes, it’s hard to even draw the line. Other times, we simply ignore the existence of it – and that is where impulsive buying comes in. Curb your urge to splurge because impulse purchases usually end up as a waste of money. Before spending your money, especially on a big ticket item, give yourself at least a week to think about it. An extended period of time will allow you to do some rationalizing on the necessity of a spending.
10. Use websites that help you save even more
Getting paid to shop isn’t a myth! For example, at Shopback, you can get up to 50% cashback on your online purchases. Simply enter their website, click on your desired merchant and make your purchase as you’d normally do when you’re redirected to the merchant’s original site – it’s that easy!
For more money-saving tips, read 5 Easy Expert Tips To Save Money, 5 Clever Ways To Store Food And Save Money and 5 Money-Savvy Things To Do With Your Pay Raise Or Bonus This Year.
Text: Yvonne Tan / Shopback.sg
Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew
ShopBack is a free online shopping portal featuring over 500 brands that helps you save money and earn up to 30% cashback, every time you shop.