All the best tips to save yourself serious cash this year!
CHANGE Your Account
No matter how much you earn, saving is tough and bank interest rates are often pretty poor. But some do offer better rates than others, so it’s worth shopping around. Some offer introductory bonus rates of up to 3 per cent for the first three months, while others offer extended bonus rates. Compare accounts at comparison sites like SingSaver, MoneySmart and ValuePenguin to find what’s best for you.
Get Paid To Be OPINIONATED
Earn a little extra by signing up to complete online surveys for cash. One of the most popular sites is www.mysurvey.com.sg, which is free to join and gives you points you can redeem for products, vouchers or gift cards. Typically each survey will earn 10 to 500 points, and 1,200 points roughly translates to $10 into your PayPal account or a $10 gift voucher. Money for jam!
Save On FLIGHTS
According to research conducted by skyscanner.com.au, the best time to book flights is 17 weeks before your departure date. This can save you as much as 5 per cent of your total cost – cash for cocktails when you get there!
Become a SHOPPER
If you love shopping and travel a lot, sign up with AirFrov (www.airfrov.com), a platform that connects you with buyers looking for products from a certain country. Look for buyer requests and if it coincides with your trip, offering to buy the product for them can help you earn some cash as well!
Learn To Love SPAM EMAILS
See spam in a new light by signing up for newsletters from your favourite shops, airlines and hotels. Special offers and discounts are often only sent to email subscribers, so it could be the perfect way to save on that Bali break you’re lusting after. Jetstar and Webjet both offer great sales previews to their subscribers before opening them to the public, and retailers such as Cotton On always give loyal customers a headsup on discounts before they become available in store.
RENT OUT A Room
If you have an extra room in your house, why not give it a go? – it’s a fairly simple way of making some extra money. You can advertise your spare room to potential tenants on sites like EasyRoommate (www.easyroommate.com.sg) and RentInSingapore (rentinsingapore.com.sg). Be aware that HDB flat owners of three-room flats and bigger may rent out their spare bedrooms, but must apply to HDB (www.hdb.gov.sg) directly.
Cash In With CASHBACK
It might sound too good to be true, but you could make money simply by shopping online through cashback websites. Retailers pay to advertise on such websites, so any purchase you make earns you a portion of that commission. Shopback (www.shopback.com.sg), for example, is free to join, and lists hundreds of stores on its website including Lazada, Qoo10 and Expedia. Expect up to 30 per cent of the total price you paid to be credited back to your account, depending on the shop.
READ BOOKS For Next To Nix
If you love burying your head in a book, but cannot afford to fork out the money on latest new releases, join BookMooch (www.bookmooch.com) and become part of the global book-swapping revolution. You’ll create a profile on the site, then list the books you own that you’re happy to give away. For every book you post to another member, you earn a point that makes you eligible to receive a book from someone else. There’s no joining fee. The only money you’ll spend is on postage. Expect to bring in average savings of $20 or more against the cost of buying a new book.
Do APPLIANCE CHECKS
Dirty or leaky appliances can run up your utilities bill. According to ValuePenguin, the top three most utilised appliances (air conditioner, refrigerator, water heater) account for 75 per cent of Singaporean’s overall household energy consumption and are also the culprits for excessively high utility bills. To reduce your utility bill and prevent costly repairs due to neglect, consider doing regular maintenance and efficiency checks on these. For instance, clean out the filter of your air conditioner to improve its energy efficiency and schedule it to run only when necessary. Additionally, clear out your fridge and check for leaks. This will put less load on its compressor and improve air circulation. If you notice your appliances are struggling to perform well or are costing you more than you expect, consider replacing them with energy efficient models. Though this will cost you money in the beginning, your energy savings can add up to $1,000 per year.
Sell Your UNUSED FURNITURE
Decluttering your home can reap more benefits than creating space – it can earn you some extra income. You also learn to evaluate your “needs” versus impulse buys for future spending. If you have furniture that are broken or redundant or even seldom-used items, find ways to sell or salvage them. You can sell gently used items on classifieds sites like Gumtree (www.gumtree.sg). Recycling your broken items through the “Cash-For-Trash” programme can earn you some money also. Although the money earned is nothing to write home about, there’s enough feel-good incentive to want to do your part.
TEXT: BAUERSYNDICATION.COM.AU & VALUEPENGUIN/ ADDITIONAL REPORTING: TAN GIN YEE & LISA TWANG/ PHOTOS: 123RF.COM