5 Mind Tricks to Help You Stick to Your Budget

When it comes to spending less and saving more, it is tempting to bury our heads in Sentosa’s sand. The way we manage our finances today is entirely different from the way money was managed in the past. It is getting increasingly easier to spend money, and more challenging to save money.

When done right, budgeting can direct a series of clever financial choices to move you closer to the things you want out of life. Take the time to get this right at the start, to give yourself a massive advantage and benefit from the results for years to come.

Start by using simple brain tricks to help you stick to your budget.


Consider your savings account as another monthly bill. Start by allotting money towards your fixed expenses, followed by assigning a certain amount towards your future. You can use this fund either for your retirement or your future goals, but do not go out and blow it on things you do not need.

Saving for your future is just as important as paying your other bills. When you treat it that way, you will develop a wealth-building mindset.


The convenience of online banking and banking apps cannot be denied. Your banking app can show you the movements of your funds in real time. Moreover, you have the ability to input your debit or credit cards directly onto your phone to experience fast payment processes. When there is no barrier between you and your money, it becomes easier for you to spend more.

Place a barrier between you and your emotional shopping tendencies. Whether you are keen on putting a long passcode on your banking app or using two-factor authentication for your online banking, you will be less tempted to spend when barriers exist.


Your small, frequent purchases add up. Every time you buy a coffee or eat out, your ability to save decreases. It might not seem too much at the moment, but it adds up to a significant amount. Track your expenses by writing down every small purchase per month. This will increase your awareness and help motivate you to cut down on your spending.

You might be shocked to see the number at first. However, you will be able to recognize why you are struggling to save.


As you are walking down the aisle of the nearest grocery store, you find it difficult to resist the promotions from left to right. Control your spending by giving yourself 15 minutes to ponder about your potential purchase. Giving yourself 15 minutes will allow you to resist your impulsive purchases.

If you can, it is even better to wait for a full day or a week before making purchases. Remember that having a waiting period is the best way to train your brain.


We are creatures of habit. This is why people resist changing their insurance provider, telecommunications provider, and so on. There is a desire to keep everything the same and anything different can be perceived as a loss.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

However, staying in our comfort zone means that we are paying more for services than we need to. Pushing yourself out of it will allow you to shop for the best deals. Start with reassessing your mobile plan, before moving to your utilities, insurance, and other providers. Revisiting these plans on a yearly basis will ensure that you are maximizing your hard-earned money.

Sources: 1 & 2



The 7 smart ways to shave your petrol bill in Singapore

While many parts of the world are enjoying declining petrol cost, Singapore faces an inverse trend. The copious number of traffic lights and low speed limits are no stranger to Singaporeans; they work together to stretch the energy bill further.  But overcoming these loathsome road characteristics is not exactly an Herculean task. Essentially, it just requires some minor tweaks to your driving behavior and the car.

  1. Tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve petrol mileage by up to 3.3%. Such information on the proper tire pressure can be found in the car’s instruction manual.
  2. Ensuring that the car has a properly tuned engine or has passed an emissions test can improve petrol mileage by an average of 4%, while addressing a severe maintenance issue can improve it by as much as 40%! Therefore, sending the car for regular inspections is a good practice!
  3. Use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil which can improve petrol mileage by 1-2%. Besides, purchase motor oil with the “Energy Conserving” label to ensure it contains chemicals that reduce friction.
  4. Stay above 48km/h as much as possible because the car consumes greater energy to combat wind resistance than rolling resistance at a lower speed. Carrying more loads and rolling down the windows can yield greater resistance at higher speeds, effectively cutting 1% to 15% of the fuel economy.
  5. Time your acceleration adequately where you neither strain your motor nor trap your car in lower gears for too long which erodes fuel economy.  A good estimate would be to accelerate to 80km/h within 15-20 seconds. Thereafter, keep a constant speed to prevent energy wastage on frequent deceleration and re-acceleration. Use cruise control function if available.
  6. Brake less since braking converts useful kinetic energy into useless heat energy. Choose the route that has the least traffic – use the much vaunted Google Maps to plan the best route – to reduce unnecessary fuel wastage.
  7. There is simply no need to warm up modern cars that are produced after the mid-1990s. Advanced engineering feat has made warming up irrelevant since sensors are now built into such cars to ensure the right mix of air and fuel in the engine – instead of relying on a warmed up engine to do the job uneconomically.






How to save on your electricity bills

How to save on your electricity bills?

Before we go into the various methods on how to save electricity bills, let us find out what are the appliances that consume the MOST electricity.

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the three appliances that consumed the most energy are air-conditioner, water heater and refrigerator – with the former consuming the most electricity.

If that is really the case, what should be done to reduce the consumption?

Lets find out!

1. Set your air-conditioner thermostat to 25°C or higher

Singapore is a humid place and at times it can get really hot and stuffy in a room. Use the air-con if you wish, but you don’t need to turn your room into a Nordic country by setting your thermostat below 20°C to be comfortable. Set the temperature to 25°C or higher. Do you know that for every degree raised, you save an estimated of $15/year? If you can replace your air-con with a fan, bring your family out for a feast at the end of the year with the moola saved.

2. Reduce the use of heat-emitting appliances

Heat emitting appliances like iron, hair dryer, tumble dryer, induction stove and water heater uses lot of electricity. Here’s how to reduce the use of each appliances.

A. Iron
Instead of ironing clothes, try this – hang your clothes on plastic hanger and place them in the bathroom when you take a hot shower bath. Make sure the window and everything is close so that steam stays in the room. It takes about 10-15 minutes for your clothes to be wrinkle-free.

B. Hair Dryer
If you have long hair, drying it after a shower is a pain. Hair-dryer will usually do the trick but it is actually one of the main culprit for inflating your electricity bill. Try using a super-absorbent microfibre brush to comb your hair after a shower or wrap it up with a microfibre hair turban.

C. Tumble Dryer
Of course, you can hang your clothes on the traditional bamboo stick method. It’s the best method that does not consume any electricity. Also make sure you use the high-spin method on your washing machine as the electricity used to create the extra spins will be less than the electricity used to generate heat from a tumble dryer.

D. Induction Stove
Use a gas stove if safety is not an issue.

E. Water Heater
There are a few ways to save electricity consumed by the water heater. Here’s a few:
Use a smaller size heater because electricity consumed is based on the amount of water heated. Switch off your water heater immediately when not in-used. Keep thermostat at medium level and use heat insulating water pipes to prevent heat loss. Lastly, if you want to save water and electricity, go to Sembawang’s Hot Spring.

3. Fill up your refrigerator’s empty spaces

Who say less is always going to save you more money? For a refrigerator, it works the other way. First, you need to understand some physics on how heat moves in air. Air is dense and not a good conductor of heat, thus they moved by masses of warm and cold air trading places. In an empty fridge, lots of trading takes place when you open your fridge. If it is full, heat can only be transferred by conduction.

You can fill up your fridge with jug of waters, ice packs, or any empty containers and bottles so that there is no room for hot air to enter and replaces the cold air – which saves the energy to pump the extra heat out of the refrigerator.

4. Use a LED TV instead of a Plasma TV

A Plasma TV consumes more electricity than a LED TV because electricity is used to charge up every gas cell in a Plasma TV whereas in a LED TV, the light is independent and shared across in an efficient way.

A Plasma TV also generates more heat than an LED and if you keep your air-conditioner on the entire day, it uses more electricity to cool the room temperature.

5. Off appliances on standby mode

Appliances on standby mode contributes about 10% of a household energy use. Turn them off when not in use. Common items are laptop, TV, radio and heater.

6. Submit your own meter reading

Once every two months, SP Services will send someone to read the electricity meter located outside your house. The readings are estimated on months that meters are not read. To prevent overcharging, you can actually submit the reading yourself online to via their phone services.