Small Ways To Save Big In The New Year

Take your first steps towards better financial health in the New Year

By Balvinder Sandhu      15 February 2019

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

It sounds scary if you tell yourself you’ll have to give up all nonessential expenses and save X amount of money each month. But if you save in smaller amounts – and do it regularly – it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. Saving money works best if you do it bit by bit. Start by setting a small amount aside each month, then increasing this sum gradually as you grow accustomed to the habit of saving. By the end of the year, you’ll have saved a significant amount of money without feeling the pinch, having done so consistently.

Pick The Right Bank

Shop around for the bank that gives you the best deal in terms of interest rates, monthly fees and any other perks that enable you to make the most out of the money you’re saving with them. This tip also works when it comes to credit cards. Choose the ones that give you cash rebates, discounts at certain retailers or even simple things like “no annual fees” terms, which could save you a few hundred dollars each year. And if you tend to carry over balances on your credit cards, look for balance transfer promotions to help stave off ballooning interest payments.

Reap The Rewards

Take advantage of loyalty programmes from brands, especially the ones you use often. For example, stock up on privatehire points, frequent flyer air miles, as well as credit card perks or cashback deals. As long as you don’t have to pay membership fees for joining such programmes, don’t be shy to give them a try and work towards getting the most out of their offers.

Sell Your Stuff

Decluttering is a growing global movement. Electronic marketplaces such as Carousell are ideal for selling your used items, both to declutter and make some money. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure after all, so you might just be surprised by what you’ll be able to sell online – and how much you can make. You could also use such sites to buy second-hand goods you need, often at lower prices than what brand-new items would cost.

Plan It Well

The best way to achieve a goal is to write down your plan towards getting to the finish line. So make a list of your financial goals – perhaps monthly – and how you plan to reach that milestone. Then make a list of how you’re going to save and it’ll motivate you to trim those corners. If you lose momentum along the way, just review this list to get you back on track.

Make Small Changes

A little goes a long way when it comes to saving money, and one of the most effective ways is to sacrifice some of the comforts you’re used to. Take the MRT instead of a taxi, grab a coffee from a cafe once a week instead of daily, choose food courts over

restaurants, and bring your lunch from home instead of eating out each workday. These might be small changes but they’ll add up to a fair amount of money saved at the end of the day, month or year.

Be A Volunteer

Getting involved in charity work is not only a good way to help your community and care for those in need, but it’ll save you money too. It’s a cost-free way to spend your leisure and is more fulfilling than seeking out consumerist pursuits.

Get An App

There’s an app for everything these days, and money-saving is no exception. Let technology do the work for you and help you achieve your savings goals. Seedly is a homegrown personal finance app that helps keep track of your money (with suggestions to

help you save); Spending Tracker is for anyone who just wants a straightforward app to track your expenses; and Monny even gives you challenges along the way to make saving more exciting. There are many more on the market, whatever platform you prefer, so choose one that suits you best.

Pay In Cash

Credit cards are useful, particularly for making bigger purchases or shopping online. But studies have shown that credit cards encourage higher levels of spending. Rolling over balances at credit card interest rates is also not advised. Consider paying in cash more often (or use a debit card for online shopping) to make it easier to keep track of spending and live within your means. Seeing how many bank notes you need for each purchase will help you better account for your spending.

Bulk It Up

Buy in bulk when you can. If non-perishable items are on offer, stock up on those to put off paying regular price. This is especially useful for household items such as laundry powder, or even canned and frozen foods. A few dollars saved each shopping trip is a few more dollars saved for the year!