For young Singaporeans who just entered the workforce, the thought of retirement is probably the last thing on their minds. After all, there are so many exciting things to buy, activities to try, and places to visit. One lifetime seems insufficient to enjoy everything the world has to offer.
If you are at this age and understand the feeling of inspiration to seize every opportunity, you better pause and examine your finances. Although it may seem tempting to splurge while you are still young, healthy, and single, the last thing you want is to reach your thirties with an empty bank account. Remember that very few regret not buying the latest iPhone model, but many people lament not saving for the future.
Perhaps you are wondering, “how much should I save per month?”. If so, there is no hard and fast rule. The answer depends on how soon you want to achieve your financial goals. Nonetheless, saving 15 to 20 per cent of your salary every month would be ideal.
Before you begin sulking at the thought that you can no longer live an exciting life now that you cannot spend as much as you want, know that there are hacks to enjoying life to the fullest without breaking the bank. Here are some of them:
Pack Your Lunch with Style
Bringing your own lunch to work will not only help you save precious dollars but also provide you with better nutrition than greasy, high-carb fast food and hawker centre meals. If you are afraid of raising a few eyebrows at work, pack your lunch with style and make it inviting.
Instead of a boring plastic container, try using a cute bento box with matching chopsticks and cutlery. Fill the multiple components with various food items so it will be more mouth-watering. Make it fancy by adding a bread roll with butter, cherry tomatoes, salad, and cupcake for dessert.
Lastly, post photos of your well-plated lunch boxes on Instagram and start a revolution. Follow social media influencers who brought the lunch box game to a whole new level for inspiration. Who knows? Your work lunches could be your ticket to increasing your social media followers and meeting new people.
Unleash Your Inner Fashionista as You Hunt for the Best Buys
Looking chic or dapper does not require branded clothing or accessories. You just need to mix and match the right pieces to come up with something unique and stylish. Cliché or not, it is true that what matters is not what clothes you wear, but how you wear them.
Unleash your inner stylist when living on a budget. Be creative and smart. Go window shopping at high-end malls for inspiration, but spend your hard-earned money on thrift shops. Try visiting REFASH or PraiseHaven Thrift Shop by the Salvation Army, and you will never look at pre-loved items the same way again.
You can even satisfy your desire for fashionable clothes since you can find dresses, tops, pants, shoes, and accessories from Esprit, Runway Bandits, TOPSHOP, and other popular labels. What’s more, you can find tons of air-conditioned thrift shops in Singapore set-up like boutiques and dress shops, so hunting for best buys is more convenient and more comfortable than ever.
Plan Your Get Together During Happy Hour
If you like meeting friends or going to clubs for drinks, you can still do so. But instead of going late at night, better schedule get-togethers during “Happy Hour” to score major deals on food and drinks.
Alcoholic drinks are expensive in Singapore. So, why would you pass up a chance to enjoy a beer-drinking session with your colleagues at only SGD 6 a pint when a bottle of beer usually costs double during regular hours, right?
Go Around the City Using Public Transport
Singapore has one of the most efficient and affordable public transport systems in the world, so take advantage of it by opting to ride the bus or MRT whenever possible. Think about it. Taking a cab from Punggol to HarbourFront will cost you at least SGD 25, while a bus or train ride only cost around SGD 3. That is over SGD 20 savings each way.
Besides the incredible savings, using public transportation also helps the planet because you reduce your overall carbon footprint. You can also get a good workout by walking to and from bus or train stations.
Pamper Yourself Sans the Pricey Deals
Just because you are saving for the future does not mean you can no longer go to the spa for a relaxing massage or treatments. With the help of deal websites and mobile apps, such as Fave and Entertainer, you will discover that pampering yourself does not have to come with a hefty price tag.
Where else can you find an hour-long massage for less than SGD 20 or a luxurious spa treatment for a little over SGD 80? These deal sites and apps offer up to 90 per cent discounts on various beauty and wellness services to help you unwind and feel good after a long workweek. Be smart when hunting for bargain deals by checking out online reviews before you make a purchase.
Swap Your Gym Membership for Free Workouts amidst Nature
Improving your fitness level does not have to cost serious money. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars a month on a gym or yoga studio membership, you may want to take advantage of Singapore’s beautiful parks and nature reserves.
Without paying a single cent, you can burn calories and boost your mental health by walking or jogging amidst fresh air, lovely greeneries, and stunning views. Try running late in the afternoon at Punggol Waterway Park, and you will be rewarded with a fantastic sunset. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take Instagram-worthy photos along the way.
Enjoying life does not always mean spending all your hard-earned money. While extravagant options abound in Singapore, there are plenty of ways to stretch your dollar and have a fabulous time. Start with the suggestions mentioned above and continue to make small lifestyle tweaks that bring happiness without sabotaging your financial future. You only live once, so make it count.