As much as I love spending money, I love saving money. The joy of seeing my bank account grow under conscious decisions to put aside money in it is as fulfilling as – or even more so than – buying that cute wrap dress. I attribute this to my horoscope – Taurus’ money management traits are lauded not for no good reason.
Lately, coupled with wisdom that came with age (I’m entering late 20s now, gasp, adulting), I have been even more careful about my spending habits, and have been making greater effort in saving up. Here are some tried and tested tips that work for me, which I hope will work for you too.
1. Shower at the gym
There was this period of time when I spent almost all my evenings after work at the gym. I showered in the beautiful gym changing room after my workout before heading back, and my shower room at home was dry for days straight.
Not only was my water bill lower that month, I also managed to skimp on body soap, shampoo as well as hair conditioner. Oh, to go into the nitty gritty, I also saved a little on electricity I otherwise would have paid for hair drying.
I mean, as much as this sounds really cheap, I’m already paying (so much!) for the membership, might as well maximise the perks, right? Also, another motivation to workout at the gym more often.
2. Share Netflix account
I have friends who bought a one-time access from someone who in turn got the information of the hacked account from the dark web, but as I do not condone illegal actions (G is a lawyer) and I believe in forking out for entertainment where it is due, I purchase my own Netflix account and pay for it monthly.
That being said, I actually bought an account that’s meant to share between two screens for three people. This works out for me and my two brothers because the youngest brother is currently living in the UK, the time difference makes it almost impossible we’ll three be fighting over the screens at one time. (It happened once, but me being the sole person paying for the account, one of them relented.)
So yes, share with your family or friends, and divide the account fee to enjoy some savings! It may just be a few dollars a month, but they all add up.
3. Use ShopBack for online purchases
You have no idea how late I was to the party! I only discovered the wonders of ShopBack a few weeks ago, and have been using it to rack up almost S$300 now!
Basically, ShopBack is a site where you can go to earn cashback from your online purchases. They have teamed up with many popular retailers, from beauty and lifestyle portals like Qoo10 and Hermo to giant travel aggregators like Booking.com and Expedia. Others worthy of mention include Amazon and Lazada. Whenever you purchase from these stores, accessed through the ShopBack website, you are eligible to earn back a percentage of what you spend! Used on bigger spends like flights and accommodations for vacations, it can amount to a significant figure quickly. Cashing out takes time as there are rounds of verifications, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Just, don’t let it be the reason to shop more.
4. Answer online surveys
I have been using Toluna on and off for a while since end 2016, and I can confidently claim that they are legit, although not the most user-friendly, web interface-wise. So far, I have accumulated a total of S$120 FairPrice vouchers, S$60 in cash, and just yesterday claimed a S$20 Grab voucher (they changed their reward system lately and Grab voucher seemed more economically-sound than the other rewards). It’s honestly not a lot for the amount of time that you might have to spend on the surveys, but it’s hitting two birds with one stone – helping an organisation learning its needs and earning quick cash at one go!
As a marketer myself, I feel obliged to urge you to please answer these surveys as honestly as you can. That survey could be one of the main tools the organisation is using to determine a product or make a certain decision, and if you’re not careful with your answer, karma could get back to you.
5. Try to fix things before replacing them
I almost threw away a good standing fan that was making noises and coming lose at the blades but my dad saved it with his magical fingers! Not sure what he did, but a few tweaks here and there with his screwdriver, the fan was as good as new, and saved my wallet from thinning.
There’s something called the Repair Kopitiam where you can learn how to fix things at/send your broken items for repair. I haven’t tried it, but it seems really interesting. Minimise spending and minimise wastes – what a win-win situation!