Budgeting

5 Ways to Make Being a Woman Less Expensive in Singapore

woman less expensive singapore

Joanne Poh

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Everyone expects you to always look pretty and fresh as a flower. But confirming to society’s idea of what a woman should look like isn’t just time-consuming, it can also get expensive. Here’s how to save money while continuing to be awesome.

 

Know what health screening to go for

No use looking great if your health goes under. Breast cancer is Singapore’s biggest killer of women, and no that has nothing to do with auntie-killers like Bae Yong Jun. As a woman, you should be getting screened for the following:

  • If you are or have been sexually active, get a pap smear once every two years from the age of 21 until the age of 30, then once every three years until you’re 65. Women aged 25 years and above are eligible for cervical cancer screenings once every three years under NHB’s Screen For Life programme.
  • If you aged 40 and above, you are eligible for subsidised screening of chronic diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Women aged 50 and above are eligible for subsidised mammograms and colorectal cancer screening.

As we all know, falling ill in Singapore is expensive, so max out on your screening subisidies in order to detect any problems as soon as possible. A subsidised screening costs only $5 if you’re eligible.

 

Make sure you have adequate health insurance

Unless you want to put your health at the mercy of the public healthcare system, which often involves long waits, make sure you have adequate medical insurance. If you don’t have a basic health insurance plan, use MoneySmart’s health insurance wizard to receive a free quotation.

Depending on your family history and your level of paranoia, you might want to splash out a bit more on an insurance plan for women. These are usually designed to supplement your regular health insurance policies, give you coverage for female-specific illnesses such as breast cancer and may also come with a comprehensive screening programme.

For those women who intend to have kids, you might also want to ensure that your existing health insurance policy or policies cover pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions.

 

Look for a supportive employer

There is no politically correct way to say this—there are many employers in Singapore who are misogynistic in their hiring and management practices.

If you’re unlucky enough to get stuck with a bad boss, you might be penalised for not showing your face for sufficient hours even if you are taking work home. You might be paid less than your male colleagues doing the same job. And you might become the victim of sexist remarks and harassment at work, like the woman in the recent Mediacorp sexual harassment incident.

So actively search for an employer who will support you and help you achieve your potential instead of settling for one who keeps bringing you down.

 

Use a menstrual cup

Having to buy tampons and pads every month is not exactly the kind of shopping that counts as retail therapy.

A menstrual cup will change your life if you manage to learn how to use it comfortably. These things are extremely durable and can last for years, so they’re worth the initial investment and will save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

 

Learn some DIY hair maintenance methods

Running to the hairdresser each time your bangs start poking into your eyes or you spot a split end can get very expensive. Learn some basic DIY hair maintenance tricks so you’re less reliant on your stylist.

For instance, learn to trim your own bangs by watching YouTube videos and asking for tips from your hairdresser if he doesn’t offer free trims. You can also learn how to trim split ends without ruining your hairstyle, and do some spring cleaning by twisting sections of hair and cutting the ends off stray hairs.

Those suffering from dry or frizzy hair should try sleeping with their hair in braids and using a silk pillowcase, which can make a lot of difference and prevent you from having to resort to as many hair treatments.

Finally, don’t dismiss DIY hair mask recipes until you’ve tried them. They are certainly less convenient but can actually work as well as or better than many store-bought masks.

How do you save money while still looking great? 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.