Singapore seems like an expensive place to live, and you’re not wrong in thinking that at all! In the country, you get first-class experiences in almost anything — even just by visiting their museum. However, you can still get great-quality experiences in Singapore and enjoy a bountiful everyday lifestyle by learning how to save your money the right way.
In this short guide, you’ll learn the 20 best and most effective ways to save lots of money when you live in Singapore. We’ll tackle everything with your everyday budget and grocery spending and improving the overview of your finances and handling it accordingly.
1. Make it a Point to Compare Prices
It’s not rocket science to see that global and local brand competition is fierce especially in the dining, food, and consumable goods sector. Whether you’re buying a new batch of soap, canned goods, or anything else you might need, make sure to compare prices between brands. In doing so, you give yourself good quality products without paying too highly.
Making it a point to compare prices leads you to new, upcoming brands with much more effective products or services. This is helpful especially if you’d like to save more but receive the same level of efficacy because new products want to attract new customers by lowering their initial prices. Don’t get lazy when it comes to grocery price comparisons — those dollars you save can end up saving you in the future.
2. Quality (Not Price) Is Always a Top Priority
When shopping for groceries or anything at all, it’s easy to find a cheap alternative in Singapore restaurants and stores. While most customers would prefer having the cheapest option because it’s “good enough,” quality should be your priority when it comes to looking for alternatives to expensive but effective options.
Most Singaporeans and foreigners often avoid choosing their preferred brands because of sudden price increases due to market movement. Then, they resort to using other subpar brands because of the cheaper price. Due to its inadequacy for their purposes, they end up accumulating a useless expense rather than fulfilling the shopper’s current need or objective during the time.
3. Buy in Bulk if You Can
Oftentimes, bulk buying is available from all groceries. In fact, most give huge discounts and rebates for buyers who go for wholesale purchases. The discounts can be huge such as 30-50% at times depending on the season. However, make sure you’re purchasing in bulk because you have a long-term need for the product you’re about to purchase.
Remember, bulk purchases will always be huge, bundled items that require special shipping and handling. If you run a local condo-based grocery (where people knock at your door to buy stuff late night) or you have a plentiful need for an item, then buying in bulk is a great way to save money.
4. Be Familiar With Typical Shopping Tricks
When it comes to shopping, you’ll often see the most attractive items on display shelves. In addition, groceries place the most expensive items at eye-level. This is one shopping trick that makes them more attractive and considered for an immediate buy when there’s an alternative product that’s similar in efficacy but for less than the price at feet-level.
Once you’re familiar with these shopping tricks and do online research about grocery products they offer at feet level, you can make the wisest decisions when it comes to your food and grocery purchases. In addition, don’t be fooled by discount tags unless you’d really want to try out a top-brand’s product at less the original price.
4. Pre-Ride Discounts
Before the train fees became a bit higher, Singapore’s transportation had a “free” morning time frame. If you use the trains before 7:45 AM, you won’t receive any charges at all. You can ride anywhere at any line free of charge. Nowadays, you’ll need to pay — but the fare isn’t as high as you’d think it can reach. It’s still S$0.50 off to ride anywhere using any line before 7:45 AM.
It’s a great way to save money even if you’re still paying a little bit more than just having a free ride. Pre-ride discounts are helpful incentives to get early to work or if you need to meet a financial objective as quick and painless as possible. In addition, who doesn’t love to cross out transportation bills without a single worry about making a dent in your budget?
5. Credit Card Discounts and Rebates
Singapore has allowed customers to use the SimplyGo app to pay for tickets using their credit cards. This opens up a huge potential for plenty of card rebates and discounts on your daily commute. For example, MayBank gives customers an 8% rebate for public transport rides, which is helpful especially if you’re spending more than S$800 on commutes on a monthly basis. You get the 8% rebate if you spend more than S$800 on your commuting bills.
Alternatively, if you’re spending more than S$600, then the DBS Live Fresh Card will give you a 5% cash back on public transport and cashless or mobile transactions you do with SimplyGo. This is symbolic of Singapore’s “forward-thinking” tech-heavy support that makes life convenient in the country.
6. Make Use of EZ Link Rewards If They Work For You
True enough, it isnt the most inspiring of applications to use when it comes to saving money. However, a free curry or discount on certain food through the vouchers it provides can come in handy especially if you planned on visiting the sponsoring business when you received your voucher.
In addition, if someone in your family or work team needs additional EZ cards, you can definitely take advantage of the rewards you can receive by using EZ cards consistently. True enough, even the smallest cent you can save is helpful in any circumstance.
7. Car and Bus Pool When Possible
Cars are great to have because you get privacy and a customised, comfortable ride going to work. However, with Singapore’s traffic being one of the most efficient in the world, public commuting is a better option unless you plan to camp outside and are carrying plenty of stuff.
If you don’t like traveling with strangers in public commuting systems, you can ask a friend to have you ride with them to work or drop you off. On the other hand, GrabBus, ShareTransport, RushOwl, and other SG car and bus-pooling apps will always be helpful to get you right where you need to be while saving money on gas and car maintenance.
8. Rent Outside Densely-Populated City Centres
The rule of territorial costs will always remain constant. When you’re nearest to vacation spots, beaches, or anything that the public holds in high value, you’re going to pay higher for the rent or property you intend to purchase. However, thanks to Singapore’s efficient traveling system, you won’t need to worry too much about renting or buying properties anywhere else.
Densely-populated city centres raise demand for limited properties within urban areas. However, an off-centre location gives you an opportunity to pay less and have the same type of property without the added costs. You can definitely be saving money in Singapore in the process.
9. Consider Living in HDB Flats
Housing Development Board-built flats are effective alternatives to condominiums and traditional residential properties. They’re affordable and built to the best quality possible. In fact, even foreigners can rent them especially if they’re only working using a contract.
10. Use Rental Security Companies
Everyone in Singapore can greatly benefit from skipping the huge monthly advances and deposits of rental properties across the country. Thankfully, rental security companies have helped a great many by providing a better alternative. Here is how rental security guarantees work.
11. Sell Your Used Items Online
With Lazada, Shopee, Carousell, and other online buying and selling marketplace applications having more and more users, it’s easy to find items that you’re looking for — and getting rid of your unwanted items for the benefit of someone else is quite easy too.
This is greatly beneficial if you want to save money by selling some of your old but useful stuff before you move out and into another condominium. If you have some stuff just lying around and you think someone else can greatly benefit from it, then it becomes beneficial once you turn it into cash.
12. Do This Web Browser Secret
While the world made it a big deal to go up against unsolicited emails and unregulated customer data tracking and collecting activities for the protection of everyone, they still have permissions to store cookies in your PC if you want to access or use their browser-based services. If you’re using travel comparison websites, they’ll store the same cookies and track your activities (with your permission as per GDPR).
In turn, they can present you prices that might be higher than what it is originally. A great way to get the original and true price is to clear your web browser of all tracking cookies before using the website to look for deals. You might just see a huge price percentage shaved off the original price in the process.
13. Track Your Budget and Expenses Using Plenty of Available Apps
So many budgeting applications exist nowadays, and they’re all very helpful especially if you need to track your budgets and expenses. Whichever type of budget you want to adopt for your regular spending, there’s an app for it, and most of them can even synchronise with your bank account to help monitor your spending and give you money saving tips.
14. Have an Objective With Your Money
Objectives help steer us in a single direction where we guarantee productivity and benefit for ourselves. It also dissolves the problem of hesitation and indecision, which are key contributors towards higher expenses when it comes to spending and expenses. You can have anything as a monetary objective — having focus helps you keep your money in the bank and spend it only when necessary. A great way to start is to start your own emergency fund.
15. Use Your Credit Cards ONLY When You Have to
Convenient credit cards make it easy to shop online and spend money with almost any retailer. In addition, cashbacks and rebates make it irresistible to use. On the other hand, irresponsible credit card usage will lead to debt fast because of their immense interest rates in the near future. In this light, only use your credit cards when you have to — or when it’s beneficial for you such as the immense 8% cashbacks for spending on commute rides as we mentioned above.
16. Keep Track Of Your Favorite Brands’ Sales and Promotions
For many people, shopping is undeniably excellent therapy. Furthermore, buying items of great value ensures its high quality and longevity once the novelty wears off and you use it for utilitarian purposes. To save more money, make sure to keep track of your favorite brands’ promotions. If you have enough savings, you can definitely buy something from your brand once a sale happens right around the corner.
17. Get Used to Saying ‘No’ Even To Yourself
It can be difficult to resist your urges. However, by making it a goal to say “no” to yourself especially when it comes to excessive spending on anything, you can save up so much money in the process. The best way to start is to start forgiving yourself; if you failed the first try, don’t be hard on yourself. Never giving up on resisting your urges is the best step there is.
18. Face The Reality of Your Earning Situation
A great motivation to say “no” to yourself is to face the reality of your earning situation. List down your income and expenses after taxes. Next, cut down on expenses that you feel aren’t the most vital to your spending. It’s okay to splurge and enjoy your money sometimes — so leave a spot for it too. Moderate and conscious spending is the cornerstone of any successful saver and budgeter.
19. Find The Best Investments Around
The best investment can be subjective for many. For some, it’s allowing their money to work for them through stock market or real estate investments. Others find that investing in experiences through vacation and enjoyable activities with friends and family are the best ways to spend money. Whichever it is, make it your goal, and you can definitely have motivation to save money at all times.
Saving money can sound difficult when you’re living in Singapore — one of the most expensive cities in the world. But by completely understanding how much you’re earning, being conscious of your spending, and keeping this list of savings tips, you’ll definitely head in the right direction when it comes to your money.