1.07.2016

12 Saving Money Tips for the Singapore Dad




Being a Dad with 2 kids, I understand that financial resources can be easily depleted without proper planning. From your utility bills to tuition to home and car repayment, everything add up to $$$.

To help you ease the financial liabilities, these are 12 Money Saving Tips that might find it useful for a Dad.

1) Getting a good bargain for almost new items
Source: LG, Samsung, Landrover, Mercedes, BMW
Dads love gadgets . Period. We love getting new stuff, but sometimes the prices of such desired items( such as the high end TV model, the speedy computer or even the executive car) might be out of our range. There is however ways to get it at a great discount for almost new toys gadgets.

Display Sets
If you are in the market for a TV or computers, try to snap one up at one of the big boys ( Best , Harvey Norman, Courts) week long roadshows. Ask for the display sets as these sets are often BRAND new and open specially for the road show. Price wise, you could be looking at a generous 20-30% off the lowest retail price. If you are lucky, the set may be less than a few days old.

Tip : It's a first come first serve game, so ask the salesperson for upcoming shows and get their namecards to book your desired item first. Get the set only if if provides the SAME warranty as a brand new set.

Event cars
There are good bargains for Event Cars. If your favourite brands are sponsoring selected events, they would have such cars for sale thereafter. The dealers would usually sell these cars at a generous discount after the event. Savings can be as much as a whopping 10K.

Getting a Brand new car is great. Getting an almost brand new car with extra 10K to buy grocery for a year is even better. Other than event cars, ask for management cars. These are cars driven by the management for over 6 months to 1 year with VERY low mileage. Price wise is more wallet friendly and it usually comes with warranty for a piece of mind.

A brand new car once driven our of the showroom would become used. It really does not matter if you are the one driving it out or someone else. Most important would be the warranty and road worthiness of the car. Getting it used from the authroised dealer will always be better than compared to getting it used in the secondhand market.

Tip : When you visit the car showroom, casually ask for any upcoming event cars or management cars and request to put you down on the interested list.

Savings : From a few bucks to tens of thousands.

2) Refinance your house
Stock image
For many, housing loan forms a large chunk of our monthly expenses. Any form of savings from this loan would be significant in the long run.

Do you know you can refinance your mortgage property after every lock in period. If you do not ask the banks, they will just give you the retail rates which is often the highest bracket in the bank. Ask for refinancing within the bank. Otherwise the other option is to find another bank to take over the loans at a current promotion rates.

Tip : With interest rates going up in the next few years, you might like to lock in the rates with fix rates package.

Savings : A couple of hundreds to thousands depending on loan size

3) Buy Online

Online shopping has grown to be one of Dad's favourite pastime. It is a myth that only women shop online.... Dads do it too. If you are into console games such as LEGO Dimensions or Disney Infinity , you might find that online stores like Amazon retails selected items for this range for almost 30% off. If you are into quirky stuff and would like to go local, Qoo10.sg is the place to head to. Bargains for gadgets can also be found at Lazada and Omigo with the occasional discounts from credit cards tie up. There are cases where you can save more than 30% vs local retail price.

Here are some example
Lego Dimensions - Amazon SGD 40 vs Local SGD 53Disney Infinity The Force Awakens bundle - Amazon SGD 65 vs Local SGD 90*
*price do fluctuate at different time

Online shopping cannot replace all the shopping , Items such as clothes can often be a hit and run affair. Otherwise we have mostly positive experiences so far.

Tip : For the more adventurous and those fluent in Chinese, you might want to explore Taobao for better deals. Otherwise, stick to the recognized stall in order to ensure you have a refund option if needed. Do note the limit on overseas purchase at $400 to avoid GST charges.

Savings : A couple of bucks to a few hundred.

4) Delay the purchase , wait for sale
Do you really need the latest iPhone, the latest computer, the latest camera ,the latest TV?In reality, other than the pleasure of owning them immediately, there is no rush to replace your current toys. Wait for 6 months and you would usually get a better deal. Take TV for example, the latest 4K OLED 55 inch TV would probably cost a few thousand dollars lesser in 6 months!

Tech related products ALWAYS falls in price the longer it is in the market.

The bonus ...sometimes when you delay a purchase, you would also realised you do not need the item.

A penny save is a penny earned!

Tip : There are many sales in Singapore, so you need not wait too long. The popular ones are Great Singapore Sale (June) , Christmas New Year Sale (Dec). Also look out for product recycle dates. For TV prices of older models tend to fall after March due to new models announced at CES every January.

Savings : A couple of bucks to a few thousand.

5) Take Public Transport
Park and Ride
Getting a car is good, it allows you the flexibility that public transport could not provide. However on occasions where your route is preplan ( i.e. going to work) , taking public transport might be a good option especially if you have access to them. Not only you are saving money, you are reducing carbon footprint too!

If you work in the CBD, you can opt to use Park and Ride instead of parking in the CBD that cost $480 per month. The Park and Ride cost me only $70 with a MRT card value of $40 inclusive. Not only will parking cost reduce, there is no need to pay ERP as the parking is outside the city. In addition, there will be savings from petrol. Personally , I use Park and Ride and saved about $700 per month.

Over a 10 year period, the savings could be as much as $84 000 which can can you a decent 2nd hand Mercedes C180.

Savings : A potential 2nd Car!

6) Choose a dividend/ cash back credit card
Source: UOB, Citibank, SCB
As parents, grocery shopping is the norm over weekends. It is unsurprising that a chunk of the household expenses goes to Grocery, In order to save more, we look for credit cards with grocery rebates among other cash rebates for petrol or utilities. Here are some of the cards you can consider

UOB One Card : Rebate of up to 5%
Citibank Dividend Card : Rebate up to 8
SCB Manhattan Card : Rebate up to $200 per quarter

Savings : A few bucks to a few hundreds a year.

7) Fun For Free
Fun for Free Singapore
There are many FREE activities to do in Singapore.

Looking for playground?

Shopping malls and Gardens by the Bay playgrounds are free. You can also walk on the wild side at Macritchie Reserviour or spend a day at the Beach at East Coast Park

Tip : Need more tips, check out our Explore Singapore Section.

Savings : Whatever you would be spending on alternatives.

8) Cook your own meals
Cook your own meals
Dads can cook too.... if you only try.Need some tips, how about simple dishes like Chessy Bacon Egg Muffin or Chessy Egg Boat for a start?

Given time and practice, you could whip up the gourmet meal in the kitchen for a fraction of the cost of going to restaurants.

Savings : A couple of hundreds if you intend to go for fine dining. A few bucks if otherwise... but plenty of food made with love!

9) Share old clothes and toys among siblings
Spot the Differance
If you have children of relatively close age, sharing clothes and toys will help offset a chunk of expenses spend on these. Kids grow up too fast and it is not necessary to buy new clothes all the time when you already have them in the wardrobe.

Tip : Get larger sizes for clothes, it will last much longer!


10) Buy / Sell Items on Carousell

Don't discard the old toy or the unused gift. You might want to try your luck selling the items at Carousell. It is a great way to clear your house and earn a little extra on the side.If you are lucky , you might also end up getting a few new stuff that you are looking for at a fraction of the original cost at Carousell too.

We are on Carousell too. Check us out and see if there is any item you might like.

Tip : Be nice in Carousell . If you are sincere and get positive feedback, you tend to get the items off your list much faster.

11) Invest in annual passes
USS Annual Pass
If you like an attraction and you find yourself visiting it more that twice a year, getting an annula pass might not be a bad idea. Usually the annual pass would cost the equivalent of 2 visits to the attractions.

Our favourite would be Friends of Gardens by the Bay and the Universal Studios Singapore Annual Passes.

Tip : Depending on the number of visits and the attractions, it could be as much as $200+ per visit for a family of 4

12) Set a budget and spend the maximum if needed to get what you want
Always set a budget as to what you need to buy AND spend the maximum on the item you wanted. This applies to Car, TV, Camera, Computers and anything 'up-gradable' . That way you will not have dissonance on your purchases and end up spending MORE to replace the product you bought. Spending the maximum cash also means that you already purchased the best you can afford and thus would not regret not purchasing the higher value item.

Trust me, I was caught in the same situation before and ended paying up twice what I should due to dissonance.

There you have it, 12 tips to help you save a pretty penny or a mini fortune depending on how you approach it.

*Products mentioned above are not sponsored. This is an Editorial Post base on personal experiences and may differ from your own. All Opinions are of our own.
#Notsponsored


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