Budgeting

4 Reasons We Get to Save Money Thanks to Singapore’s Hot Weather

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Joanne Poh

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Ask any Singaporeans what they hate about Singapore and you can bet they’ll mention the weather which, I think everyone can agree, is consistently crappy all year round. And by crappy, I mean it feels like you’re being cooked alive in a sauna all day, every day.

While even the most miserable temperate country experiences a pleasant spring or summer day here and there, there’s never a single nice day in Singapore. But the very fact that you can’t freeze to death here actually saves us quite a bit of money. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the weather too. But here are some ways to be, uh, grateful for the hot weather.

 

There’s no need to pay for heating

Ask anyone who lives in a country in cold weather and they’ll tell you their electricity bill goes up in the winter, simply because heating is very expensive. It is obvious that heating is not needed at all in Singapore, unless you’re suicidal and wish to gas your entire household to death.

Now, you might say, we don’t need heating but we need air con all year round. And air con is one of the most expensive electrical contraptions you can use at home.

But here’s the thing, whether you want to turn your air con on all day long or never use it it all is a choice. You will not die if you switch to using fans, and some households in Singapore don’t even have air con units. For most people, turning on the air con only for a short period to cool the room before you go to bed is doable, whereas if it’s freezing outside you are more likely to have to warm up your home whenever you’re in it.

 

You don’t have to buy winter clothes

There are people out there who criticise certain Singaporeans for their sloppy dressing, and the classic SG outfit which consists of Havaianas flip flops, tshirts and shorts.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. With only one eternal, hot season, there’s no need to buy clothes for other types of weather. Who needs coats, scarves or proper shoes?

It’s also worth noting that winter clothes tend to be on the expensive side. You can buy an entire outfit for tropical weather for under $50 (obviously this means no Prada), but you’d probably end up paying much more for a good coat alone.

If you’re one of those Singaporeans who lament about not being able to wear winter-appropriate clothing, well, your office is probably cold enough if you want to bust out the boots, scarves or trench coats, so go ahead if you like looking ridiculous.

 

Work never has to stop due to the weather

Anyone who grew up in a location where it might snow in winter probably remembers praying fervently that it would snow on a Monday so they’d be able to skip a day of school.

Fortunately or unfortunately, in Singapore, work goes on no matter what the weather is like. The closest we’ve ever come to an environmental emergency in recent years was during the haze in 2013, but even then many companies refused to let their employees stay home.

That’s good news if you’re the one doing the employing, or if your income depends on your ability to be out and about, as is the case with insurance agents for example.

If you drive or ride a motorbike or bicycle, you never have to worry about snow making the roads unpassable—although the monsoon rains and inconsiderate road users do a good enough job of that.

 

Cheap outdoor activities can be enjoyed all year round

Many Singaporeans choose to spend all their time in air conditioned malls because otherwise their faces will melt in the heat, but those who aren’t as high maintenance can enjoy the fact that you can enjoy cheap outdoor activities all year round here.

Having a picnic at the Botanic Gardens, going on a hike at MacRitchie, having a barbecue at East Coast Park, night cycling or just drinking a convenience store beer by the Singapore River are possible pretty much all the time except during monsoon season.

Granted, if you’re the sort of person who spends every weekend shopping in malls or trying out new restaurants, you do not really enjoy the cost savings of being able to spend your free time outdoors.

But seriously, if you haven’t tried yet, go chill out at a roofdeck like the one at [email protected] or organise a picnic at Gardens by the Bay.  Just avoid the 10am to 4pm window and you should be able to emerge from the experience without drowning in your own sweat.

How does Singapore’s hot and humid weather affect your spending patterns? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.