Budgeting

The Secret to a Better 2015 – Save Money Just By Following These 4 Steps

save money 2015

Peter Lin

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It’s the end of yet another year, and it’s time to look ahead to 2015. You may have a list of resolutions already planned, but let’s face it, those resolutions will last about as long as a packet of TimTams in an office pantry. So we’ve decided to show you how your lifestyle is actually bleeding you of thousands of dollars each year. No joke. By the end of this article, you’d have made several resolutions for 2015 that you’re going to stick to.

1. Food

Don’t eat out every day. Not only is eating out bad for your health but you’re spending more money to stuff your body full of MSG and salt. There’s no point saving money if it’s eventually going into your heart surgeon’s pocket. Instead, go grocery shopping once a week to get what you need for the month. And no, I’m not talking about buying cup noodles.

Cook a larger meal for breakfast or dinner. Don’t be a glutton and eat it all. Instead, pack the leftovers and bring it to work for lunch. Think about it, not eating at a food court can save you up to $5 a day or over $1300 in a year. When you think of these savings, you’ll be surprised how good your leftovers taste.

Sure, some of that $1300 will go into the extra groceries you’ll buy. That’s a given. But remember, you can control of how much your groceries cost both your wallet and your body. What you’re not in control of is how much that unhealthy plate of char kway teow costs.

Here’s a tip: get your parents to go grocery shopping for you. You can actually save money by using their Senior Citizen status!

 

2. Drinks

Did you know you can save as much as $120 a month or $1440 a year just by not getting your daily cup of coffee from Starbucks? Well, maybe there’s no need to check yourself in to a caffeine rehabilitation centre and go cold turkey, but consider cutting down, or finding alternatives. Just to put it in perspective, buying a new Nespresso machine as well as a year’s supply of capsules will cost you $700. That’s less than half what it would cost you to buy your daily Grande.

Not a coffee drinker? No problem. We’ve got your alcohol needs covered. Here are 5 places where drinks start as low as $5.

Savings = $740 a year

 

3. Expenses

Transport

How often do you cab to work because you’re late or lazy? Twice, three times a week? That’s probably $30 a week you could be saving simply by sucking it up and taking a bus or MRT.

We’ve researched on all the costs of transport in Singapore, and taking a bus or MRT is almost 10 times cheaper than taking a cab, and 20 times cheaper than owning a car.

Saving $30 a week adds up to $1560 a year. So the next time you’re tempted to sleep in a little longer before the work day, remember just how much that cab ride is costing you.

Savings = $1560 a year

Television

How much are you paying on your cable TV monthly bill? $120? Are you even watching half the channels you’re essentially spending money on? Take a moment to evaluate your television watching habits and ask yourself if you can reduce the number of channels you’re subscribing to. Even better, admit to yourself that television is passé and that the era of watching a show at a fixed time, with commercials, is long dead.

Getting rid of your cable set top box means you’re saving $120 a month or $1440 a year!

Savings = $1440 a year

 

4. Money Wasters

Country Club membership

Having a country club membership used to be a symbol of prestige back in the day. You know, in those same Dark Ages when owning a gold credit card was a big deal. If you have memberships that you’re still paying monthly, but you’ve never visited in years, it might be time to finally cut yourself loose.

There are a range of monthly membership fees, from Aranda Country Club’s $48.15 a month to The Singapore Island Country Club’s $160 a month. Most clubs like Orchid Country Club charge members $74.90 a month. That’s almost $900 a year that you can save by giving up your membership.

Savings = at least $900 a year

Credit Card annual fees

If you’re actually paying annual fees, then you’re already losing out. Many of us have at least two or three credit cards, and their annual fees are between $60 and $160. Here’s the truth, very few cards are worth paying the annual fee for. Always contact your bank as soon as you see the Annual Fee in your statement, and if they’re not willing to waive it for you, cancel the card. Then, use our credit card comparison tool to find another card, one which probably better suits your lifestyle than your deceased piece of plastic.

Savings = $280 a year

 

This New Year 2015, make it a point to relook your finances. Just by looking at 4 broad categories, we’ve already demonstrated how to save thousands of dollars. Imagine how much you could be saving in 2015 just by taking the time to adjust your lifestyle and analysing how you’re unintentionally bleeding money.

Do you have any tips on how to get rid of the biggest money wasters in 2015? Share them with us.

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Peter Lin

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, technical writer, banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.