Technology and information are at everyone’s fingertips, and there are always numerous outlets to source for good deals. We have always sought better, cheaper or faster deals, and this mantra should be applied to our personal finance matters as well.
As important as it is, personal finance does not get the same attention our other favourite deals such as food, travel and gadgets receive. Perhaps the complex nature of the topic does not entice Singaporeans to actively search for such deals.
However, if saving money sounds like a deal you wish to get in on, we will introduce 5 uniquely Singaporean money hacks that all of us should already be using.
1. Using savings accounts that are giving you REAL interest
We cringe every time we see a long queue at a DBS or POSB ATM machine (think Bugis Junction on a Friday evening), especially when there are perfectly good ATM machines right beside them from equally strong banks like UOB or OCBC.
With both the UOB One and OCBC 360 accounts offering interest rates in excess of 2% per annum for fulfilling basic tasks such as getting your salary paid into the bank account, and achieving a certain spending on credit cards ($500) issued by them, there is really no reason why people should not be earning better interest on their savings since everyone should have a salary and a credit card anyway.
For example, if you or your your family have a total savings of about $30,000, using one of this accounts can easily give you about $600 more per annum, or $50 a month (assuming an effective interest of 2%). This could translate into one grocery-shopping trip or about 3 cab rides each month.
Potential Money Earned Annually: $600, based on $30,000 at 2% interest.
2. Using your credit cards
With the extensive acceptance of credit cards in our society, accumulating a spending of $500 each month is not as difficult as it used to be. In today’s context, there are many ways you can attain the spending. You can charge recurring telecom bills, your newspaper and magazine subscriptions, your grocery shopping and even your everyday public transport rides onto a credit card.
The additional benefits of using credit cards cannot be understated. You receive incentives such as cash rebates on spending, discounts at preferred outlets, points to receive shopping vouchers or miles and even free travel insurance when you use certain credit cards for hotel or flight bookings. In addition, you are receiving up to one month of interest-free money to pay for your products and can even use it to dispute charges if you think someone has scammed you.
Also Read: Credit Cards. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Potential Money Saved Annually: $300, based on 3 percent rebate on $10,000 spending
3. Save on your handphone bills
M1 has recently launched its MySim 30 plan that offers Singaporeans a much cheaper alternative to mobile phone data plans without any handset subsidy. At $30 a month, it gives you 300-minute talk time and more importantly, 5GB worth of data.
In comparison, the regular bundle that offers the same amount of data (5GB) and 400-minute talk time is priced at $81. And yes, you will get a handset subsidy for this deal. But unless you are intending to sell it to make profits, we don’t see why an individual would need to change a perfectly fine phone every 2 years. We doubt Candy Crush and Facebook take up that much space.
Also Read: Is M1-No-Frills-$30 Mobile Plan Cheaper?
Potential Money Saved Annually: $612 per year. (Assuming you take up the $30 deal at M1 instead of the $81 deal)
4. Grouping telecom plans in your family together
You will earn more rewards if you use the full spectrum of services from one telco rather than pick and choose various networks for different people in the family. The telecoms reward customers who use multiple services from them and we see no reason why locals should not fully enjoy this discount.
For example, if you get a home fibre broadband plan with M1 and subscribe to two mobile lines with M1 (you and your spouse), the mobile lines subscription would net you a 15% discount each month. If you have a total of 4 lines (two parents, two children), you get a 25% discount.
While this type of bundles are offered by all telecoms, we are going to assume that you are already doing your best to save money by opting for the cheaper MySim 30 plan at $30 per month. Even at this price, you can still save a total of $30 — and spend $90 — every month, for 4 lines based on the 25% discount.
Not bad, considering the fact that you might currently be paying $81 per month per person for almost the same plan.
Potential Money Saved Annually: $360, assuming a family of 4 uses M1 MySim 30.
5. Train For Your IPPT
Gone are the days when mere mortals who could not pass because their skinny legs could not propel them far enough at the standing broad jump station or their untrained arms could not lift them at the pull-ups station warranted an immediate failure for their IPPT.
The IPPT standards have
dropped changed. NS guys are now tested based on their ability to do as many push-ups (subject to an instructor’s acceptance of the legitimacy of our push-up) and sit-ups as they can in one minute and run the dreaded 2.4 km run/walk we have had to deal with since secondary school (Yes, the IPPT hack for that is to run it at MAJU camp).
The best part about the IPPT test now isn’t just the
lower different standards. In our opinion, the biggest change is the fact that doing well in one station can help offset what you don’t do as well at in other stations, since scores are based on the overall total. This is in comparison with the previous method, which was based on hitting a minimum score in each station.
For example, a man who simply can’t run can instead train to be a freak of nature by doing 60 push-ups and sit-ups in 60 seconds. This gives us the option to rely on our strengths and build on it, instead of always worrying about our weaknesses.
Sorry AWARE, this is mainly for the guys. Although, girlfriends and wives will definitely be in for a treat should their man achieve the required results.
Potential Money Earned Annually: $500 (for very fit guys), $400 (for fit guys) and $200 (for normal guys).
Total Amount You Can Earn/Save Each Year From These 5 Money Hacks: $2,372.
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