How to Save Money

Living expenses may be rising in various parts of the world, but I don't really care about that at the moment.

Haha what I care most about at the moment is living expenses in Singapore, simply because I live here!

As a student, my expenses are ridiculously high. And as a pampered daughter of a middle income family who was taught that I can have 95% of what I ask for... my expenses are through the Freaking. (HDB). Roof.

Don't judge me too badly please, everyone grows up and changes. ^^

Right. So with the realization setting in that my lifestyle has got to change, I've come up with 7 money saving tips that works for me! I'm sharing it here because well, one or more of it may work for others too.

"24 hour promotion!"
"Exclusively for online members!"

Sounds familiar? ;P
Above are three out of many reasons why you should cancel online subscriptions! These tend to tell you to buy, or tempt you to buy. This refers to blogshops, Groupon, Qoo10, etc.

And you know what, if you're really that bad at resisting, cancel online subscriptions to fashion websites such as Refinery as well, because these are going to let you know about things that you don't need, and quite possibly, make you think that you need them. For example, Refinery even has links to other websites where you can buy from! Talk about convenience- and tempting.


Forget about your money!

Forget about putting money in a bank- the interest is pretty pathetic anyway, unless you have like, a million bucks sitting pretty in one account. Then the interest rate is slightly higher.

Don't quote me on that, I have ummm... I don't know... like, $999,999 more to save up, so I don't care to find out the differences in the interest rates. #exaggeration

What I do is to keep some amount of cash out of the bank, and put it in the hands of someone I trust for safekeeping. I even hand it to my safekeeper/safekeepers (depends, I sometimes have more than one) in no particular pattern, so I have no idea how much money is with them.

It works because I'm ditzy. I usually forget I have spare cash and think that the measly amount in my bank is all I have. That really curbs my spending. I mean, how can I shop when I am so saddened by the pitiful bank balance? Even if I remember, I can't purchase too wildly, simply because I have no idea how much is with my safekeeper/s exactly and I don't want to bankrupt myself.

I take the money back after I've collected my Chinese New Year red packets, and chuck it all into my secondary account, which I don't touch.  Then I look gleefully at the "large" amount I've just deposited.

Or... you could just put it in a fixed deposit of some sort. That'll work too.

An oldie but a goldie. Just keep the money out of your sight!

Set up another bank account, and arrange it such that a certain amount of money is being siphoned from your main bank account, and into this secondary one! You can make this happen on a monthly basis, and chances are, after some time, you won't even think much of it. It'll look just like another transaction on your balance.

I even called up the bank one day to ask what the hell was that transaction about. It was embarrassing when they told me that it was going into my secondary account.

Make sure you don't give yourself access to the secondary account. Do not keep a card- it'll tempt you to draw money from the ATM.

Nope, I'm not saying that you should try and become a famous YouTuber and get cash flowing in (although you could, if you wanted to). These are tips on how to save, not how to earn.

If you need something, look at YouTube for videos to inspire you to DIY it, if it's possible! I mean, don't DIY things that you can't do such as how to blast out a wall in your HDB apartment that you don't like... I'm pretty sure you need permission to do that first. #legalmatters

But if you want things such as closet organization units or you want to try a new colour of lipstick that you aren't sure suits your skin tone, don't buy any until you've consulted YouTube. There's a bunch of very creative and cost-saving ideas that people have thought of!

And yes, there are really DIY makeup that won't kill you, and great for testing out rather than spending $25 on a lipstick that you're just going to toss in the bin after one swatch.

Well actually, you can just Google it. Whatever. I prefer videos. ^^

If you feel the urge to buy something, go check out your wardrobe. It's best to be familiar with exactly what you have, so you can buy items that you can optimize.

Don't end up with like, 5 white tops because "they're different". Even though that is so true.

We're trying to save money here! Buy one basic white top, and you can dress it up or down. Buy one fancy satin blouse with intricate detailing... it's pretty but you're probably going to wear it just once or twice before you throw it out because it's no longer trendy.

It's tough, ladies and gentlemen, but doable. Expand your wardrobe in the future when you have the means to.

I digress- Whee~ I'm almost done with my collection of clothes! I have pieces for each style that I like that can be mixed and matched... edgy, casual, girly, formal.... passing up on the glam style because I don't get many chances to glam up for anyway. Can't optimize it, so I don't buy it.

Haha simply because I wanted an adjective that began with an "F".

So when you're eating out with friends, surely you spend more. That's usually what happens, because humans are social creatures. We don't want to feel left out by not eating, or created issues by always being the one who can't afford to eat someplace that the group wanted to try.

That's why you should plan ahead. When you have no plans to head out, call home and ask your parents to cook for you! Either that, or you should cook your own food. Most of the time, this makes your meal free/cheaper.

No worries about the clean up, because if you're smart, you'd wash the dishes and cutlery in stages. I always wash a bunch of plates that I used for holding ingredients and the knife when something is simmering on the stove. This way, I don't have to face a massive mountain of dishes after my meal. Simple, but people don't usually employ this tactic.

With the amount of money you save when you eat on your own/without friends, you'll find that you have more leeway to allocate money to eat out with friends! That brings me to my next tip...

Seriously, it is.

We have no idea how much we really are spending. I'm sure most of us are really really underestimating how much we actually spend.

It'll be great if you keep track of your expenditure. You can use the good ol' pen and notebook, or download an app!

Other than keeping track, it's helpful to set aside a budget for each part of your expenses... like, set a price ceiling for Food, Travel, Shopping, etc.

Lastly, my dad's tip is a great component of this tip- once you get your income, be it your allowance, wage, or salary, immediately split it into 2 piles: "save" and "spend". He recommends at least a 50/50 split, but I seriously doubt that I can survive, and I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. So each to his own! Just make sure you take the "save" pile and put it somewhere where you won't spend it.

Yes, this is just my own drawing. I felt like doing it.
This is like dieting- it's a long term process. If you don't restrict yourself too much, it'll be more bearable. If you splurge, forgive yourself and get back to saving at your own pace.

With that, of course I don't set my standards too high for saving because I still want to spend on things like clothing, good food, and the occasional taxi ride here and there. It makes it easier to continue saving, and what we want, is long term savings.

Well, what I want anyway.

Hope my tips are useful to someone out there! :)

- Anna


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