The USA might be home to Superman, South Park and Brad Pitt, but their currency has got nothing on ours, at least right now.
The Singapore dollar has hit a two-year high against the US dollar, which is a more welcome start to the New Year than any amount of fireworks.
But this favourable exchange rate isn’t going to last forever. So how can Singaporeans take full advantage of it?
Even if you never leave the house, you can’t escape the USA’s influence on our daily lives, from that episode of Rick and Morty you just watched on your computer and the article shared by your Facebook network about Donald Trump’s latest gaffe to… the plethora of online shopping websites which charge in USD.
So before the SGD’s strength wanes, knock yourself out and shop online.
Even if you’re more of a Scrooge than a shopaholic, you might be happy to know that there are quite a few products that cost less on US sites than in Singapore.
Here are some sites to shop at while the SGD is high:
- Amazon US site: Forget about about the pathetic local version of Amazon Prime. Amazon’s US site still reigns supreme in terms of availability of just about any product you could wish for, from books and electronics to beauty products that are unavailable locally or cost a lot more to buy at local retailers. Even when you use a shopping service like vPost or ComsGateway, you can still save some money.
- iHerb: This site is the holy grail of vitamin supplements, which are for some reason significantly cheaper than they are in Singapore. The site also has a range of health and organic products and cosmetics, including a few items from Korean brands like Laneige and Innisfree.
- Target – This discount store retailer offers many products at lower prices than you’ll find in Singapore, including baby products like milk bottles and air purifiers.
- ModCloth – This cute women’s clothing shop offers free international shipping on orders of 75 USD and above.
Go on holiday
There has never been a better time to visit the USA, Donald Trump notwithstanding. If you’ve been dreaming of a visit to New York or LA/San Francisco/Las Vegas, now is the time to do it.
For those with a smaller holiday budget, you don’t have to endure a 20 hour flight to take advantage of the weak US dollar. You can also skip off to a country where USD is accepted.
Here’s a list of countries where you can get away with paying for at least part of your trip in USD:
If you’re lucky enough to still be a student, you might be able to grab that study abroad opportunity right now while the US dollar is at its weakest.
Your parents don’t have to have a 6-figure sum to spend on a 4-year degree course for you to take advantage of the exchange rate.
Local university students can grab the chance to go on a semester- or year-long student exchange programme to a US university.
NUS counts amongst its partner universities a huge selection of US schools, including Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, SMU students have a shot at spending up to a year at schools such as the University of Southern California and Arizona State University.
Likewise, if you’re studying for a private degree or diploma in Singapore that enables you to enjoy a stint in the US at the awarding university’s campus, the overseas leg of your course will cost you less.
That includes MDIS students studying for a degree awarded by Oklahoma City University, or SIM students doing the SUNY Buffalo courses.
Is the weak US dollar going to influence your shopping, study or travel choices this year? Tell us in the comments!