The pandemic has forced us to make changes to our lives, some of which will stay with even after the circuit breaker ends. Given that life will not return to normal, certain expenses and subscriptions can be cut down to fit your post-Circuit Breaker lifestyle. Here are some of our suggestions.
#1 Gym Membership
Gyms and fitness studios will remain closed in Phase 1 of the post-Circuit Breaker period. They will only reopen in Phase 2, which could a few weeks after the start of Phase 1, depending on the community spread situation.
Most gyms would have waived off the fees during Circuit Breaker, extended your membership expiration date, or have temporarily frozen your membership. In the meantime, some of us have turned to at-home workouts or set up a mini home gym. While it may be a poor substitute compared to the gym, but with the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, it’s worth thinking about that gym membership we have on hold.
Even with strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols, gyms are hardly one of the safest places to be at during this COVID-19 pandemic, as a shared space where people congregate to sweat and breathe heavily.
Terminating your gym membership might come to mind, but it is hardly an easy route to take. Most gym memberships allow you to do so only after you have passed your minimum commitment period, and provide a valid reason for doing so, such as a serious injury, bankruptcy, or you are no longer living in Singapore.
One could check on if the gym has COVID-19 cancellation policies, or consider freezing your membership when gyms reopen in Phase 2 (often comes with a freeze fee). Otherwise, your next alternative is to stop the renewal of your membership, and to do so ahead of time before it is automatically renewed.
For those who own fitness subscriptions such as Classpass or ActivPass, a cancellation or a break from your membership would be much more straightforward.
#2 Beauty And Fashion Subscriptions
For the beauty enthusiasts out there, a monthly curation of makeup can be a bang for your buck. It introduces you to new products and allows you to test them out before committing to a particular item. Plus, no one (save for your wallet) is complaining about receiving a ‘gift’ every month. The same goes for a fashion subscription box or a clothing rental service.
But with the Circuit Breaker measures, some of us have gone for weeks without makeup or new clothing. With the normalcy of face masks, it is likely to change your beauty routines, and the type of makeup you put on. And with new clothes, there’s hardly an occasion that you can wear it out for.
#3 Music Streaming Services
For those of us who rely on music for entertainment during our daily commutes, our music streaming subscriptions may be less useful now. As the pandemic forces us all to work from home, our commutes have disappeared, and will stay so in the foreseeable future. The same goes for those who used to depend on our Spotify or Apple Music to block out chatty colleagues or noisy office environments, but now have a peaceful working environment at home.
Working from home may mean more time for entertainment, but if on-demand music is hardly your first choice of entertainment and you notice a lower volume of usage, cancelling that subscription before your next billing cycle can help to cut unneeded expenses.
#4 Food Memberships
If you own a food membership programme such as Burpple or The Entertainer, it is likely that you haven’t utilised it much in the past two months. The annual membership fee has already been paid, and no refunds are allowed, but you can still tap on the delivery and takeaway options to maximise your food deals before they expire.
The Entertainer has launched its delivery option so that members can still use their 1-for-1 and discount offers during this Circuit Breaker period. On the other hand, Burpple will be partnering ComfortDelGro Taxi to its Burpple Beyond merchants, with an aim to offer lower delivery fees, merchant commission and greater choices to consumers.
#5 SIM-Only Plans
Save for the two occasions of Internet outage caused by M1 and Starhub, there’s hardly a reason for us to use up much of our data during this Circuit Breaker period. So, for those who currently own a SIM-only plan — and are willing to go through the hassle — you can save up a small sum if you choose to switch to a lower-data plan. Besides, companies are encouraged to continue telecommuting practices even after the Circuit Breaker ends, which means that most of us would still be working from home indefinitely.
Most SIM-only plans have no contracts, so it is generally easier to terminate your plan, and port in the same number to another plan, at no cost. With the intense competition in this SIM-only space, most telcos are typically more flexible with their terms and conditions. A quick check at your telco’s FAQ page will often reveal the necessary steps for termination or porting-in. If you choose to make the switch, be sure to terminate before your next billing cycle.