It’s hard to consciously keep tabs on your spending, especially if it’s something you don’t usually do. Like dieting, these goals often end up becoming empty promises as we succumb to the temptation of all that’s nicer. To make the process less painful, here are 25 money-saving tips to weave into your daily life to help you be more savvy:
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
“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.
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!
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.
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!
Get your friends together for a clothes swap. You don’t exchange money, just clothes for clothes. You can do this with other items too, like books or accessories. Now people will be amazed by your endless repertoire of clothes and how you still manage to keep your spending in check all the time.