There can never be enough ways to save money.
2014 may still be young but we’re sure you’ve come across dozens of lists by now. List on things to buy (or not to buy), list on things to do (or not to do) and a host of other list. And since the majority of things on these lists would require money, we think it is important you also find ways to budget for them.
So here are 5 of the best ways you can leverage on to help you save more money this year.
1. Preparing your own meals
Preparing your own food and drinks will go a long way towards your savings balance each month. Making lunches at home and coffee in your pantry instead of taking out is cost effective. An ordinary lunch will cost you anywhere from between $5-$12 these days, and coffee will range from $1.20 to $6 depending on whether you insist on upmarket beverages or not. And we are not even including the added benefits a home-cooked meal can have on your health, which could result in even more saving due to lesser visits to the doctor.
Potential savings in a year: About $2,000
2. Buying alcohol
Given that you’re just felt the repercussions of your New Year Eve binge drinking, you’ll know that alcohol is not cheap, especially in Singapore. Buying in bulk, say a carton of 24, is much cheaper than buying loose cans from convenience stores.
That being said, proper planning on binge drinking sessions will also help save money. For example, getting someone who is coming back from an overseas trip to purchase duty-free alcohol for your drinking session can result in huge savings.
And the next time you go clubbing at Clarke Quay, drink to half your heart’s content at the bridge, instead of buying it entirely at the clubs in the area.
Potential savings in a year: Easily a few thousand dollars, depending on your alcohol intake.
3. Good internet connection
Having a good internet connection does wonders for your finances. It allows multiple users to tap on a single connection in the household (without causing anyone too much distress of a snail-paced connection) and it boasts superior downloading speeds which of course helps when you stream content from websites like YouTube.
As content on YouTube becomes more vibrant, and more local content producers begin to grow on the platform, the streaming website will start to be a real daily entertainment option. This will ultimately see you renting less DVDs, not requiring your cable subscription and even going to the movies less often. And all this can translate into more savings.
Potential savings in a year: About $1500 a year, for an average family.
4. Understanding your usage of credit
We are almost entirely sure 99% of Singaporeans have never looked at their own credit score, despite owning multiple credit cards. 2014 could be the year to change that.
Keeping tabs on your credit rating could alert you to incorrect entries and keep you aware of how good (or bad) you are as a credit liability for the banks. This could ultimately determine the interest rates you pay on loans taken in the future.
Another aspect to understanding your credit usage is getting credit cards. They are an excellent way to make use of “free” money. Think about it, how many times in life do you get an extension of free money usage?
Do note the perils of going down this road, as it is both a boon and a bane depending on how savvy you are with credit. We suggest you read more about it if you are new to this area.
Potential savings in a year: Minimal, but you’ll understand your financial standings much more intimately.
5. Sharing the road
By becoming a public transport user, you will have great potential savings while losing out only slightly on convenience. If you work at an office in the CBD area, you will have to pay for parking and ERP on top of car insurance, road tax, parking (at home), servicing, fines, petrol, the exorbitant COE and then finally, the actual price of the car.
Taking a taxi everyday could even be the cheaper alternative, and you don’t even have to worry about finding a parking lot after arriving at your destination. There might be a few pros to owning a car in Singapore, but the cons surely outweigh the pros, especially if you’re barely able to afford a car.
And besides, with the rule that you have to put down 50% of the car purchase price, you’re better off investing that sum of money and using your monthly wages to pay for cab fares, in our opinion.
Potential savings in a year: Easily $25,000 a year, for an entry-level sedan.
This article was written for and first appeared on Mothership.sg.
Top photo from here.
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