Monthly expenses skyrocketing and you have no clue why? Do all your expenses look like necessities? If so, you need to evaluate where you’re spending your money at, rather than what you’re spending on. Us Singaporeans have many ‘needs’, and we are also blessed with numerous options to fulfil those needs. In order to save money on essential services, we need to find cheaper alternatives that can do the job just as well. What are these alternatives? Let’s find out.
Looking to save money? Put yourself back in the driver’s seat with these cheaper alternatives for everyday services
1. Local cobbler to the rescue
Frayed threads and undone seams on your shoes, zips that need to be replaced on bags, or even heels that need fixing – repairs like these do not necessarily mean having to head to established chains at the mall and paying top dollar.
Reviving your favourite shoe can be as easy, and cheap, as stopping by the friendly cobbler at the neighbourhood market who has been mending shoes and bags all his life. He will charge you a fair and reasonable price for the quick fix. Fancy shoes and sneakers may not be his forte, but the standard stuff can be dealt with very effectively, saving you a considerable amount.
You may have to manage the pick-up based on the cobbler’s whims and fancies or unpredictable routine, but the cost saving is worth it.
Approximate savings: While costs are dependent on the repair required, using the local cobbler can bring down repair costs by 30-40% for things like heel replacements, broken straps, etc.
2. Get smart with your TV shows
Cable services like StarHub and Singtel bombard you with some 50 channels, most of which you don’t tune into even once. Customise your entertainment at a fraction of the cost – subscribe to Netflix, watch the shows of your choice, and save on subscription costs. Make your streaming experience cheaper by getting a premium plan for 4 users and sharing it with 3 friends!
Approximate savings: Singtel and StarHub subscriptions cost you over S$30 per set-top box and TV bundle. On the other hand, save over 80% by installing Netflix across 4 screens (read: people) for just S$20.
Related: 52 Ways to Save Money In Singapore
3. Work it out for your work-out
Save big on fitness! If you’re not in group workout sessions and prefer using the machines more, scale down your gym membership expenses and head to ActiveSG Gym for huge savings. Here is how it works: a branded gym charges you big bucks for the exercise machines while ActiveSG Gym charges you a fraction of the price for the same service.
Additionally, at ActiveSG Gym, you can also pay per visit, if you are the types that spend and forget about membership fees. It’s only S$2.50 for one-time use!
Approximate savings: While Fitness First or Pure Fitness will charge approximately S$160 per month, ActiveSG Gym keeps you fit at S$160 for 6 months! You just saved S$800 in 6 months or about S$134 every month.
4. Groom your way to larger savings
Look good and save well. Skip the nice smelling salons that burn a hole in your pocket as they trim your locks, and head to mid-range alternatives like Crème Hairdressing instead. You get the same service but without as many frills. Money saved!
Brow threading at smaller places around Singapore costs about S$5-S$7, and getting plucked at a fancy place costs at least twice as much (it will hurt the same!). The cost of a haircut at a nice smelling salon is anywhere between S$50 and S$80, while the mid-range salon gets you ready in S$28 to S$35.
So total savings for being well-shorn at a mid-range place – S$29-S$57 a month!
5. Car washing
When it comes to maintaining your cars, there are different levels of savings to be made. Considering that a premium car grooming service in Singapore offers a high definition wash and express wax between S$68 and S$148, cheaper alternatives are bound to be available.
A simple carwash at a petrol station costs between S$5 and S$8 – the service is basic, cheap, and effective. If you are a stickler for a daily wash for your car, you could hire someone who comes to your carpark and does the job for about S$35-S$40 a month (maybe pool in with other car owners and get the person to make a neat amount every month?).
Want to save even more? Wash your own car – all you have to do is carry your pail and cloth and pay for the water you use!
6. Dry cleaning and laundry
Another recurring expense that can ‘clean’ you out is laundry and dry cleaning bills. But not if you are smart about keeping those creases straight! You could go to the nice looking shop at the mall, drop off your jacket for an S$20 dry clean, and catch a cup of expensive coffee; or you could stroll down to the neighbourhood dry cleaner who takes about half the money for the same job. No coffee here, but if you are saving money, then this sans-coffee option seems more sensible.
Take your laundry to the self-service laundromats that are popping up all over the city. Again, avoid the fancy ones at the mall. It will save you a huge ‘load’ of money. You could also try out the Piing or the KnocKnock Laundry apps and save money with frequent promos, which translate into free rounds of laundry! Laundry apps work best when booked in bulk, so zero in on the one that suits you and go for it.
Next up: Check up how smart Singaporeans are saving money by buying these things in Johor.
Know of any other money-saving hacks that can help us save on essential services? Drop us a comment on Facebook to let us know!