A tourist in Singapore may be able to afford the extra luxury for a week, but living here as a permanent resident can change the game completely. Singapore is listed among cities with higher costs of living for a reason. It’s the price you pay to live in a country with a more stable economy as well as comparatively greater safety and cleanliness. Even those with enough disposable income could stand to reap the benefits of cutting down needless cost. Here are five ways you could cut down your daily budget considerably.
Time Your Trips Outside Of Peak Periods
Singapore’s public transport service is reasonably priced, considering how much more reliable it is, compared to other cities with far more expensive rates. But if the prices still scare you, there’s a way for you to cut down on travel costs: time your trips outside of peak periods. For example, commuters taking the MRT before 7:45am on weekdays can travel at a discount of up to 50 cents. Mere cents may not necessarily seem like much but can count for a lot in the long run. Consider the math: you can save up to $10 if you take the MRT every weekday for a month this way. All you have to do is set your alarm clocks a little earlier, and if you want to save even more money, bring your breakfast from home to your respective destinations.
Explore Food Courts And Hawker Centres
If you harbour any kind of antipathy towards cooking, you may wish to eat outside far more often. Singapore does offer a wide variety of delicious food options across the island but many of these places can be particularly hard on the wallet. Even mid-range restaurants can set your budget back by $20 per meal. That amount of money could have gone to your emergency fund or other necessities such as maintenance for your home or daily transportation.
Food courts and hawker centres should be your favourite haunts for those of you on a budget. More Singapore-based websites have some of them covered in reviews but be your own judge and explore these steals on your own. Some of them even offer meals within a $5 budget, which can go a long way in cutting down budget set aside for food. Of course, the best way to control your budget is still cooking your own meals but you know your own limited abilities in the kitchen — or even how little time you have.
Avoid Hair Salons During Festive Periods
More people tend to go for makeovers during festive periods; it’s human nature to want to look our best, especially on special occasions. In response, hair salons and other beauty services tend to spike their prices — with great demand, comes great wealth for them. It’s not all that unreasonable, considering the fact that hair salon employees have to handle greater workloads during these periods. However, if you do wish to go the extra mile in tightening your purse strings, plan your hair appointments as far away from these times as possible.
Some of the major festive seasons include Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali as well as Christmas. Most calendars readily available in Singapore have these dates marked for your convenience. Do note that the window of opportunity between some of these periods can be small, such as the period between Chinese New Year and New Year’s Eve in recent years. Just be sure to pay extra care to avoid running away from one festive period only to still fork out extra money because of another one.
Look Out For Major Sale Promotion Periods
For the money-conscious shoppers among you, take note of some notable promotion periods that take place throughout the year here in Singapore. The Great Singapore Sale, for instance, is the longest and arguably the biggest one out there, usually lasting from June to August. As the name suggests, thousands of retailers across the island offer up to a 70% discount off original prices. Even smaller businesses found in heartland areas, as we tend to call areas that are heavily residential, may cut their prices considerably during this sale.
Start Recognising The Value Of Water
Avoid bottled water at all costs. They may seem pretty cheap, especially the bigger bottled ones, but why pay $2 for them when you can pay even less for tap water at home? The prices can even go up to $6 in some places, making them even more expensive than a meal in a hawker centre! Instead of letting your money go down the drain this way, invest in your own bottle and carry around water everywhere you go. Some public places even offer water coolers for you to refill your bottles with potable, drinking water.