Smart Money Hacks for 2024

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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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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.

Sources: 1,2, 3, & 4


5 Proven Ways to Save Money

While you may not have control over the economy, you do possess the power to influence your financial destiny through deliberate actions. With that in mind, here are five effective strategies for managing your finances:


Begin a nightly ritual of counting your coins and bills, setting aside your loose change with dedication. As these seemingly insignificant amounts accumulate, deposit them into your savings account. Witness the gradual growth of your savings, knowing that these seemingly trivial contributions will amass into a substantial sum over time. Moreover, utilizing cash for daily expenses can foster mindful spending habits, making it more challenging to part with physical currency. While this method won’t yield instant savings, it represents a steady and reliable approach to financial growth.


Achieving substantial savings at the grocery store requires a bit of proactive planning. Prior to your shopping expedition, assess your pantry and create a well-thought-out shopping list to fend off impulsive purchases. Learn the art of coupon hunting and enroll in loyalty programs at your local store to maximize your cost-cutting potential. Many stores offer additional discounts in exchange for contact information through their loyalty programs.

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If you possess a cash-back credit card, you could earn extra cash back on your grocery purchases. Some cards offer generous cash-back percentages, ranging from 5% to 8%. However, it’s imperative to pay off your credit card bill in full each month to avoid incurring interest and fees. Noteworthy credit cards for this purpose include the Citi Cash Back Card (providing 8% cashback at all supermarkets), HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card (offering 5% cashback at all supermarkets), and DBS Live Fresh Card (delivering 5% cashback for online and payWave transactions).


Guard against impulse spending by introducing a cooling-off period between the moment you desire an item and the point at which you actually make the purchase. If you find yourself shopping online, consider placing the desired item in your cart and stepping away for an extended period, allowing time for thoughtful consideration.

If waiting for 30 days feels impractical, experiment with shorter intervals like 24 or 48 hours for smaller purchases. I, for one, have an online cart filled with 5 items that I am contemplating on buying. I will give myself a month before I start to remove items from the cart.


Explore cost-effective alternatives for your cable and telecom services. This might entail downgrading your cable package or opting for a more affordable telecom plan. Additionally, consider eliminating your landline or trimming down on excess streaming services and premium subscriptions to curtail unnecessary expenses.


Liberating yourself from the shackles of high-interest debts can significantly relieve financial strain. Expedite your debt repayment process by adopting the snowball or avalanche methods, enabling you to minimize the total interest accrued and free yourself from debt’s burden sooner.

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Once you’ve conquered your debts, redirect the money you would have allocated to debt payments into your savings. If your disposable income doesn’t permit extra debt payments, contemplate engaging in a side hustle to generate additional income that can be channeled toward debt reduction.

Sources: 1 & 2


How to Spend Less on Food

We spend a chunk of our paycheck on food. If you tally up every dollar you spend on food, including groceries, takeout, and dining out, you might be surprised at the total.

No need to feel ashamed!

We all need to eat, and food expenses can really add up, especially when grocery prices hit record highs and continue to rise. To help you reduce those unnecessary expenses in the future, we’ve compiled some of our best money-saving tips.


Taking the time to create a food budget will give you a clear understanding of your actual food expenses and reveal shopping patterns that could lead to potential savings. Your ideal food budget should be tailored to your specific dietary needs and the number of people you’re cooking for, whether that’s a family or just yourself.

To get started, keep track of your grocery spending for a few weeks. Save your receipts, use a budgeting app, or simply jot everything down on an Excel Sheet. Gradually, you’ll gain insights into your spending habits, such as your typical purchases, preferred shopping days, and average spending per trip. This valuable information will enable you to make informed decisions about buying in bulk or opting for more affordable store-brand items over name-brand products.


One effective way to slash your grocery bill is to always have affordable staples on hand for quick and easy meals. Items like legumes, rice, pasta, and beans are low-cost and can prevent you from relying on pricier, less healthy alternatives.

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The beauty of dry goods lies not only in their affordability but also in their longer shelf life. Unlike perishable items, they won’t go bad quickly, allowing you to stock up and plan meals well in advance. This will curb the temptation to buy expensive last-minute options when you know you already have your next few meals covered.


Maximize the potential of your freezer to save money on groceries. Consider doing a freezer clear-out to make room for various frozen food items that can last up to 6 months.

Here are some freezer-friendly ideas to get you started: frozen fish, frozen veggies, frozen fruits, and frozen chicken.

Additionally, many fresh foods freeze well, such as bread, meat, chicken, hard cheeses, milk, and spinach. An excellent tip is to cook a whole frozen chicken or chicken pieces, which is a cost-effective way to enjoy meat.


Another smart approach to cutting down on grocery expenses is to reduce meat consumption. Incorporate at least 1-2 meatless days into your weekly meal plan and explore other protein sources.

Great alternatives to meat include:

– Canned fish
– Eggs
– Lentils
– Chickpeas
– Tofu

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These options are not only budget-friendly but also nutritious and easy to prepare. Embracing various protein sources will add diversity to your meals and bring down your overall grocery costs, especially if meat is a regular part of your shopping list.


When trying to save money, consider growing pricier vegetables, like tomatoes and melons, or cultivating large quantities of regularly consumed veggies. Some cost-effective vegetables to consider are beans, beets, onions, spinach, broccoli, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, and peas.

By incorporating these money-saving strategies into your food shopping routine, you’ll be well on your way to reducing expenses and enjoying more savings in the long run.

Bon appétit and happy savings!

Sources:1 & 2


How to Cut Your Expenses in Half and Still Live a Comfortable Lifestyle

As you strive to keep up with the vibrancy and dynamism of the Singapore workplace to sustain your daily needs, being intentional with your budget is crucial. Cutting your expenses in half while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle is achievable. Here are some hacks to help you save money and reduce your expenses.


At the onset of the pandemic, I started learning how to cook. Eating out can be costly, and making my meals at home helped me to be conscious of my spending and what I put in my body.

You can create a weekly meal plan using the ingredients you already have and make a shopping list of any missing items. Shopping online can also help you reduce costs through store vouchers and occasional sales. Opting to include more veggies in your meals can also lower your food costs.


When shopping for groceries and other essentials, keep an eye out for deals and promotions to save money. You can also consider buying toiletries in bulk to reduce costs.

Additionally, you can explore shopping at local markets instead of big chain supermarkets. Local wet/dry markets offer a greater variety of options and provide an opportunity to haggle for the best prices. Gain freedom of choice while sticking to your budget!

Related Post: 4 Wet Markets Offering Fresh and Affordable Groceries In Singapore 


Singapore offers a wealth of free or low-cost entertainment options, such as museums, festivals, and parks. Take advantage of these options instead of costly activities like shopping or hotel hopping.

Furthermore, review your monthly expenses to see if there are areas where you can cut back. For example, you could cancel your cable TV subscription and retain your Netflix subscription only.


With a reliable public transport system that continues to expand, you can easily ride buses and trains on a regular basis. Consider using public transportation instead of owning a car, which can be subject to high taxes and fees.

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Not to mention, you would also have to maintain the vehicle’s condition and regularly purchase petrol.


Don’t let your dinner leftovers meet a moldy end in the back of your fridge. Forgetting about them wastes both money and food. Instead, consider enjoying them for lunch the next day or incorporating them into a new dish, like egg fried rice. With a bit of creativity, you can spruce up your egg fried rice by adding leftover rice and other ingredients to make Uncle Roger proud!


Make a positive impact on your wallet and the environment by ditching disposable items like paper towels, sandwich bags, and single-use water bottles. Instead, opt for reusable alternatives.

For example, a pack of paper towels can cost around S$4.50 at FairPrice, while a hand towel from the same store is only about S$2.90. By switching to a reusable hand towel, you’ll save S$1.60 right off the bat and get many more uses out of it. Plus, using the hand towels you already have tucked away instead of grabbing a new paper towel sheet every time you make a mess means fewer trips to the store and less waste in the trash bin. It’s a minor change that will benefit you in the long run.


One of the biggest expenses for most people in Singapore is housing. To reduce your housing costs, consider living in a less expensive area or finding roommates to share the rent with. Downsizing to a smaller flat or house can also be a viable option.

Yes, you need shelter, and you want to live in a lovely place with amenities. While these factors are important, you don’t want to spend so much on your housing that you can’t achieve your financial goals.


For everyday expenses, avoid using credit cards. Remember that interest rates can be high. Instead, consider using cash or debit cards to keep track of your spending and avoid accumulating debt. By being mindful of your spending habits, you can achieve your financial goals and avoid the burden of credit card debt.


Don’t spend money on things that you can make yourself. Search for DIY tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest, and social media platforms to create your own soaps, household cleaners, ant killer, rugs, and face scrubs. The possibilities for home DIY projects are endless!


Cheaper alternatives for products and services are readily available but finding them requires some research. For instance, you can save money on handphone plans or other service subscriptions by choosing more affordable plans or cancelling unnecessary subscriptions.

When it comes to cleaning supplies, medications, and groceries, opting for store or generic brands can help you reduce your expenses while still getting quality products. You can also choose to splurge on a few select items to treat yourself.

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With a dash of foresight and smart decision-making, you can enjoy the Lion City’s luxuries while staying within your financial means.

Sources: 1 & 2


How To Not Waste Your Money On Valentine’s Day

How can Singaporeans express their love in the sexiest way on Valentine’s Day? Well, they can do the seemingly impossible feat of spending less and saving more.

Enjoy a fruitful experience without breaking the bank using the following tips.


For the first time, my significant other has offered to cook for me on Valentine’s Day. It is a sweet and intimate gesture that maintains his frugality as well. Much like him, you may offer to make a limited edition menu together. It is better than braving any crowded restaurants or bars nearby!

Excitement starts with planning your favorite indulgences as one. If you have no time to spare, you may have the food delivered to your doorsteps. However, please prepare the table setting and reconnect over that. What a great way to end a nice evening!


Who says Valentine’s Day can only be celebrated through expensive romantic excursions and gifts? There is no reason to settle for the traditional route. It is fancy and overly hyped. Instead, you may do something that is out of the ordinary.

Visit museums, parks, or zoos (e.g., Jurong Bird Park with tickets starting at S$30 each). These options are fun and less expensive. You may also go for a lunch date instead of a dinner. Lastly, skip the cinema by watching a movie at home. I am talking about Netflix and Chill, baby!


Taking a leaf from the traditional book is the giving of flowers. When choosing a stalk or a bouquet of flowers, you must look for the ones with tight buds.

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It is your job to look for flowers that do not “look good” at the moment. You see, they will blossom in a few hours and will stay that way for the days to come. In contrast, flowers whose buds are already opened will only last for a day or two.


When it comes to giving gifts on February 14, you must choose the best! Do not be afraid to take items back to the grocery store whenever necessary. You do not want to cook pasta with expired tomato sauce!

Moreover, you may ask to replace some of the flower buds that seem dull. If you have taken all these advice and they die early, you may want to request for a replacement.


Many people cannot tell a good booze from a bad one. So, why bother? Expert Dawn Sandomeno suggests, to “keep the cork on the Champagne and pop the Prosecco”.

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For those who are not familiar with its origins, Prosecco is a sparkling white wine from Italy. It know for being not too sickeningly sweet. Much like your love, I suppose. A glass of this starts at S$10 in our local bars.

Sources: 1 &2