As we step into the final weeks of 2023, it’s time to break free from old financial habits and embrace money-saving strategies that can boost your income and savings.
ALWAYS HAVE A SHOPPING LIST
Heading into a grocery store without a plan can be a recipe for overspending. We’ve all been there, wandering aimlessly and ending up with a cart full of things we didn’t really need. Avoid this by always carrying a shopping list with you. Having a clear plan in place will help you stick to your budget and make wiser purchasing decisions.
SEPARATE YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT
If impulse shopping has been an issue for you in the past, it’s essential to protect your savings from unnecessary spending. Keep your savings in a separate account, entirely distinct from your day-to-day spending. By creating this barrier, you make it more difficult to dip into your savings impulsively, promoting a healthier financial discipline.
MONITOR YOUR EXPENSES
Stay in control of your finances by cultivating a habit of tracking your expenses. Whenever you receive a paycheck, record it in your budget’s income category. Likewise, make sure to log every expenditure, whether it’s filling up your gas tank or treating yourself to a delightful charcuterie night. By keeping a close eye on your spending, you’ll be able to identify areas where you can save and make necessary adjustments to stay on track.
DELETE SHOPPING APPS
Did you know that 4 out of 5 Singaporeans give in to impulse purchases? With 54% of consumers admitting that shopping on mobile devices has led to increased spending, it’s time to take control. Cut down on impulsive buying by removing those shopping apps from your phone. Instead, opt for online shopping from your laptop or desktop where you can be more intentional with your purchases.
PRACTICE MINDFUL BUYING
Before you hit that “buy” button, take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself, “Is this the right time to make this purchase?” Give yourself some space between the desire to buy and actually making the purchase. Set a specific timeframe for consideration; for instance, commit to not checking out for 24 hours or even a few days after adding items to your cart. This simple money hack can be truly game-changing.
REGULAR BUDGET CHECK-INS
Whether you have ambitious financial goals as a family or just want to stay on top of your finances, communication is key. Schedule regular budget check-ins, either on a weekly or monthly basis, and involve everyone responsible for the family’s finances. By doing so, you can make informed decisions, track your progress, and work together towards achieving your financial objectives. Effective communication about family finances is vital, regardless of your specific goals.
CREATE A MINI-BUDGET FOR UNEXPECTED EXPENSES
No matter how well you manage your finances, there will inevitably be times when unexpected expenses arise. Rather than panicking and derailing your entire budget, it’s best to have a plan in place to handle these situations.
Consider creating a microbudget specifically for handling short-term unexpected expenses. Set aside a portion of your savings to serve as an emergency fund. This way, when unexpected costs arise, you can dip into this fund without disrupting your regular budget or long-term financial goals.
AVOID FREQUENT PHONE UPGRADES
Resist the temptation to constantly upgrade your mobile phone just to keep up with others. Telecommunication companies may entice you with appealing upgrade offers, but remember that you’ll end up paying for that phone through your monthly contract. Instead, focus on choosing a phone that meets your needs and holds its value over time, allowing you to save money in the long run.
REMOVE STORED CREDIT CARD INFORMATION
Increase your mindfulness and avoid impulsive online shopping by refraining from storing your credit card details on websites. When you have to enter your credit card information each time you make a purchase, it provides an essential pause to consider if the expense is necessary.
Additionally, by not saving your details, you reduce the risk of potential hacking and unauthorized access to your accounts. Keep your online shopping experiences deliberate and secure.
Welcome again to another episode of our ‘Travel Thursday’ series.
I’m taking a break from next week so this ‘Travel Thursday’ series will likely resume in 2024.
TMI, but just so you know.
Anyway, got a flight booked for Penang soon?
If you’re looking to spend your time in Penang relaxing in comfort with superb views, here are 3 affordable accommodation options I have for you this week.
Price: $41/night (for 4 persons)
Take in the cityscape of George Town from the comfort of this one-bedroom serviced apartment.
Situated in the neighborhood of Jelutong, you will be steps away from shops, restaurants, and a 24-hour convenience mart.
The comfortably furnished space features a well-equipped kitchen, a spacious bedroom with a queen bed, and a living room with a sofa bed—perfect for a small family or group of up to four guests. But the true star is the view of the city skyline from your bedroom.
After a day of exploring George Town’s attractions, retreat to your oasis high above the hustle and bustle. Park your vehicle in the free residential carpark and relax, secure in the knowledge that you have an urban vacation sanctuary to call home away from home.
Price: $46/night (for 2 persons)
Live like a local in this stylish Straits Garden Suite apartment. Nestled just kilometers from the city center yet offering partial sea views, this modern one-bedroom retreat provides everything you need for a relaxing stay.
Wake up to sunlight filtering through blackout curtains in the queen-sized bed before making coffee in the full kitchen equipped with an electric stove, microwave, fridge, and all the essential cookware and dinnerware. Unwind with a movie on the smart TV or catch up on laundry using the in-unit washer and dryer. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, stroll over to the shared gym and swimming pool right on-site.
With over 260 glowing reviews and a 4.8-star rating, this apartment suite offers a home rental in a prime location just steps from the area’s best pasar malam and shopping.
Price: $59/night (for 4 persons)
Soak up the city and sea views from this light-filled apartment with a white-washed design.
The chic 1-bedroom suite features a spacious balcony attached to the master bedroom where you can lounge with a cuppa and book in hand. The double and single beds in the bedroom provide ample space while the sofa bed in the living room offers flexibility for up to 4 guests.
Smart conveniences like a flat-screen TV with gaming options and high-speed Wi-Fi keep you connected. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with natural light while modern and stylish accents give the unit a refreshed feel. Beyond the apartment, the shared condo facilities provide added value for your stay.
Wonderful for short or extended visits alike, this rental allows you to enjoy all the city has to offer from the comfort of a clean and comfortable home base.
And that’s all for this post. Hope the abovementioned will help give you some accommodation options to consider during your upcoming Malaysia trip! I’m sure you will have a lovely time with your friends and loved ones in Penang. Have an awesome trip to end 2023 on a good note! ✈️
With many people facing added mental, emotional, and financial stress, our overall health has never been more important. If you’ve been feeling less than yourself lately, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel burnt out from everything that’s been going on. Unfortunately, burnout can extend to all parts of your life—from work to family and everything in between, including your finances.
Symptoms of Financial Stress:
There are obvious symptoms of financial stress that we can identify when we experience significant situations in our lives, as well as more subtle signs of burnout that can make problem-solving seem impossible. Watch for these signs and symptoms of financial burnout:
a. Constantly thinking about your budget, or lack thereof.
b. Feeling stressed about where your money is coming from and where it’s going.
c. Feeling guilty, exhausted, depressed, or overwhelmed about your finances.
d. Feeling cynical or apathetic towards your financial goals.
e. Lack of sleep or increased anxiety just thinking about money.
What’s the best way to help you stay on top of your finances? Get your finances organized and focus on the future! Understand the finer details of your finances, like when you get paid, when your bills are due, your monthly budget, and your savings. Find an organizational tool that works for you—whether that’s in an app, spreadsheet, or journal. We have lots of great resources to help you get started!
SET UP AUTO-PAYMENTS
If you haven’t set up monthly auto payments yet, why not? Take the guesswork out of your monthly payments so you never feel strapped for cash or worried about making payments on time. Keep track of your upcoming payments in your money diary so you’re aware of what’s coming in and going out of your bank account each week. And then don’t forget to check your bank statements at the end of each month to make sure your payments went through!
TALK TO SOMEONE
When you’re facing money problems, there’s often a strong temptation to bottle everything up and try to go it alone. Many of us even consider money a taboo subject, one not to be discussed with others. You may feel awkward about disclosing the amount you earn or spend, feel shame about any financial mistakes you’ve made, or be embarrassed about not being able to provide for your family. But bottling things up will only make your financial stress worse. In the current economy, where many people are struggling through no fault of their own, you’ll likely find others are far more understanding of your problems.
Keeping money worries to yourself only amplifies them until they seem insurmountable. The simple act of expressing your problems to someone you trust can make them seem far less intimidating.
DEVISE A SOLUTION
Brainstorm ideas with your family or a trusted friend or consult a free financial counseling service. You may decide that talking to credit card companies and requesting a lower interest rate would help solve your problem. Or maybe you need to restructure your debt, eliminate your car payment, downsize your home, or talk to your boss about working overtime.
EMBRACE YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Get up at your normal time and stick to your usual routine. If you lose your routine, it can affect your eating – you may stop cooking, miss breakfast because you’re still in bed, or eat snacks instead of having proper meals.
LIVE A LITTLE
Don’t make the mistake of budgeting out fun! Budgeting, like dieting, is all about balance and choosing moderation over deprivation. If you restrict yourself too much, you’ll feel unmotivated and less likely to see your financial goals through. Make sure to incorporate fun with friends, date nights, and “splurges” like spa days, haircuts, or coffee runs. Acknowledge your hard work by rewarding yourself when you need to.
Want to readily have clean, fresh water on standby?
When you’re busy and dehydrated, having a water dispenser provides the motivation you need to stay hydrated.
Here are 3 options under $200 to consider.
Price: $79.90 (was $89)
First up, we have this affordable compact dispenser that brews boiled water in an instant.
Select from seven temperature settings ranging from 45 to 100 degrees Celsius, as well as 4 volume options up to 300 ml, and the Aerogaz boiler dispenses your desired amount of hot water in just 5 to 10 seconds. The digital control panel features an LED display for easy viewing, letting you precisely set the temperature and volume for making tea, coffee, instant noodles, and more.
Crafted from durable materials in a stylish black or white finish, this space-saving appliance is a must-have for any kitchen, dorm room, or office pantry. With the touch of a button, enjoy instantly boiled water anytime, anywhere.
Toyomi’s sleek water dispenser goes from zero to boil in just 5 seconds flat.
Its cutting-edge technology and 6-stage filtration system work together to deliver clean, hot water instantly on demand for tea, coffee, or just a refreshing cup. Simply choose from 5 preset temperatures and 4 volume options for the perfect cup every time.
An advanced boiling system and high-pressure pump bring water up to a scalding 100 degrees Celsius while a high-temperature sterilization cycle destroys bacteria for the purest, safest cup. Just replace the filter cartridge every 6 months or after 1800L for optimum performance.
With the Toyomi water dispenser by your side, you will always have an endless supply of filtered water at your fingertips whenever and however you like it.
This sleek, slender water dispenser brings the joy of customizable hot water right to your fingertips.
Available in dreamy lavender and pink hues as well as classic white, the Bruno Water Dispenser heats up as fast as 3 seconds and offers 5 precise temperature modes to suit your drink preferences. Whether you need boiling water for tea or a gentle 80 degrees for your morning coffee, this compact wonder dispenses just the right temperature every time.
The easy-fill, 2.5L water tank slides right in for fast refills and simple cleaning, while the auto child lock ensures safety when not in use. Ideal for busy working parents, young professionals, or anyone who appreciates convenience and style in the kitchen, this minimalist hot water dispenser eliminates the need for clunky kettles and allows you to brew that cup of comfort whenever the mood strikes.
All things considered, these 3 tabletop water dispensers, each under $200, are not just affordable but also enhance your health by promoting regular hydration. Believe it or not, drinking water has never been so easy and convenient. So, kick those excuses to the curb and make a wise investment in one of these water dispensers. Drink up, stay hydrated, and let your body feel the difference!
From watching movies on the beach to shopping for exclusive Super Mario items and learning how to draw iconic Disney characters, here are budget-limited-time activities in Singapore that can transport you back to your childhood.
IMMERSIVE DISNEY ANIMATION @ MARINA BAY SANDS (MBS)
Experience the magic of Disney like never before with Immersive Disney Animation, a 360-degree multi-sensory journey into your favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios movies. From timeless classics to modern blockbusters, this exhibition features state-of-the-art responsive projectors, bringing over 40 beloved animated films to life.
Best of all? You can discover behind-the-scenes secrets and learn to draw iconic Disney characters. Making its Southeast Asian premiere in Singapore, the exhibition runs from November 18, 2023 to December 31, 2023.
Price: Ticket starts at S$33. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the MBS website .
Location: Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
WARNER BROS. STUDIO MOVIE MARATHON @ SENTOSA
Celebrate 100 years of Warner Bros. Studio at Sentosa today! From now until November 26, 2023, enjoy free movie screenings and the opportunity to pose with giant figurines of the Justice League squad.
Watching movies under the stars on a giant screen is a rare treat, especially for FREE! So, don’t miss the chance to experience this at Sentosa’s weekend screenings at Southside, featuring films like the recent Barbie and The Flash (2023) and classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
What’s more? DC superhero fans can explore the World of DC at the Emerald Pavilion, where Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman figurines await.
Price: FREE Admission
Location: Siloso Beach, Sentosa (11 am to 9 pm)
NINTENDO POP-UP STORE @ JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT
Nintendo fans, rejoice! Nintendo has opened its first pop-up store in Southeast Asia at Jewel Changi Airport, featuring exclusive merchandise from popular games like Super Mario and Animal Crossing.
The store runs until January 1, 2024, and offers a wide array of merchandise, including iconic characters like Mario, Yoshi, and Luigi. For avid enthusiasts of Super Mario, keep an eye out for the iconic mystery block.
Jewel Changi Airport will also host ‘Pipe Around the World at Jewel,’ a Super Mario-themed event until January 1, 2024, at the Shiseido Forest Valley surrounding the Rain Vortex. Take pictures or it never happened!
Price: FREE Admission
Location: Jewel Changi Airport
CANDY CARNIVAL @ CHANGI AIRPORT T3, DEPARTURE HALL
Step into the vibrant and colorful Candy Carnival at Changi Airport Terminal 3 – Departure Hall. This delightful carnival features games, kiddy rides, claw machines, a bouncy castle, and adorable displays perfect for photos.
Don’t miss Candy Wonderland, a candy-themed display with a five-meter-tall bear and seven-meter-tall Ferris Wheel. It’s a fantastic photo opportunity, and there are snow shows at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM from Monday to Thursday and at 7:30 PM, 8:30 PM, and 9:30 PM from Friday to Sunday.
For the Candy Snow House, it is open daily from 12 pm to 10 pm until January 1, 2024, is located at Changi Airport Terminal 3, Level 1, outside McDonald’s.
Price: Entry starts at S$18 per pax (via the Changi App)
Location: Changi Airport, Terminal 3 – Departure Hall
ROLLERMANIA 3.0 @ PLAZA SINGAPURA
Transport yourself to the 70s at RollerMania 3.0! As it is taking over Plaza Singapura’s Level 7 car park from November 17, 2023, to January 1, 2024, you will be able to gather your friends and loved ones.
Glide through the neon-hued skate rink featuring LED-lit wheels during the 2-hour session included with each ticket.
The Level 7 car park will also host a carnival with rides such as the Basketball Shoot-out Challenge, Creamy Carousel, and Battle Ships Merry-Go-Round. You can also try your luck at timeless carnival games like Hook a Duck and Lobster Pot.
The event runs from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Price: Admission starts at S$20
Location: Plaza Singapura, Level 7 Carpark, 68 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238839