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


Simple ways to save money every month starting today

expense tracker template

I’ll splurge today and save tomorrow.

Sounds familiar?

But having the mindset of doing things “later” almost always turns into “never.”

And if that’s you, this post is for you.

Automate savings

I don’t automate savings because I don’t see the need to.

But those with a fixed paycheck and on rather fixed pay dates may find it useful.

For instance, DBS has this eMySavings Account which promises “higher interest when you save more each month.”

DBS eMySavings Account

You can save any amount from S$50 to S$3,000 and edit the amount and crediting date anytime via the digibank app.

Not bad.

Or you can…

Use an Excel sheet

I used to spend money without thinking much about tomorrow.

But then having to repay a student loan got me into being more sensitive to the ins and outs of money management.

And speaking of repaying loans, you may be interested in this article I wrote 2 days back:

A student’s guide to navigating student loan repayment

Okay, self-promo’s over. Let’s get back.

I may be far from the money gurus out there but this method has gotten me quite far: using an Excel sheet to track salary and spending.

I have just one monthly log and two main tabs: spending & calorie count. Yep, TMI but I do track my daily calorie intake too.

Every dollar and cent that goes out goes into my spending tab. So whether I’ve topped out my EZ-link card or bought a McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone, it gets tracked.

At the end of the day, I tally my spending to make sure it says within my daily budget.

No choice, got to do this when you’re not rich.

Review at the end of each month

My Excel sheet refreshes every month, so I get a fresh document ready to track every last day of each month.

At the same time, I’ll be able to see at a glance the total I’ve spent and how much I’ve left.

I used to “roll over” the remaining amount to the next month so I can have more money to spend at the start of each month (especially with bills to pay).

But now, I’ve decided to just shift the “leftover” amount to my savings account instead, since I have other financial commitments ahead of me.

I’ve used this method for years and it’s working very well.

I like how it’s not too complicated and that’s why I’m sharing it with you. It’s simple to implement and doesn’t take a lot of time to track.

Tip: Get the Google Sheets app on your phone so you can always input it right there and then you make a payment.

Using this method, you won’t ever get to the point where you wonder, oops, what happened to my salary?

For folks who want to go a step further, you can break down the spending into various categories, whether it’s bills, transportation, or lifestyle/entertainment costs.

I have never exceeded my budget and it takes a hell lot of discipline.

But if you’re the complete opposite, then maybe having sub-categories would make sense. When the time comes for you to make adjustments, you can straightaway identify the categories that are taking up waaay too much of your budget, and make the decision to cut back wherever necessary.

Or you can try using the newly launched Budgeting tool from OCBC to sync up your spending and paycheck.

OCBC budget tool

Be a little aunty when it comes to coupons and discount codes

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a little kiasu when it comes to getting the best deals.

Every dollar you save adds up and the aunty in you will thank you.

I’m not a very outgoing person so staying at home works for me most of the time. But if you’re always meeting friends and having lots of gatherings to go to, take advantage of coupons, discount codes, and even existing brand loyalty programs.

Some brands may not offer much but as I like to put it: it adds up.

For example, Shopee has this daily cashback voucher (usually a higher percentage on weekends) that allows you to earn cashback coins on most purchases.

Shopee cashback vouchers

There’s also a daily app “check-in system” that allows you to earn FREE coins so you can accumulate and use them on your next cart out.

And for bubble tea lovers, the KOI card offers “leaves” for your top-ups and drinks purchases so you can use it to claim a FREE topping, 1-for-1 drinks at times, and more! There are also birthday privileges on your birthday month. The same goes for the Starbucks card.

And when it comes to local deals, don’t forget to follow the Money Digest Facebook page for all the juicy deals my fellow editors are curating daily 😉

Saving money really doesn’t have to be that difficult. Find a routine that works for you and build on it gradually. Don’t get overly ambitious right from the get-go because a complete change to everything rarely works. You won’t last. Period. So as we close, the main takeaways from this article are: automate, track, review, and be a little aunty with discounts. Now, go feed your bank.


How To Save Money When You’re Single

Managing your finances as a single man or woman has both its advantages and disadvantages. As such, you have the freedom to choose how you intend to save or spend. On the other hand, married individuals have the safety net of a second income.

The benefit of managing your money when you are single is freedom. There is no one else to check in if you want to spend your Christmas bonus on a trip to Europe. Complete freedom cannot happen when you are married. Living off peanut butter and bread may sound reasonable to you, but your spouse and children may disagree.

When it comes to the disadvantage, you do not have a partner to offer accountability. Moreover, you do not have a safety net of second income should an emergency such as job loss occur. You need to figure out how to pay for food, loan payments, rent, and other expenses alone.

Hence, you must start managing your money by creating a budget.


Control your finances by creating a budget. You can try the 50/30/20 method. With this strategy, you allocate 50% of your income for fixed costs, 20% for savings and debt repayment, and the remaining 30% for your non-essentials. Adjust these percentages when necessary.


We all need help. If you are single and you are having trouble with staying within your budget, you can find an accountability partner. Here is a helpful phrase: “It is not in the budget!”


You may be tempted to simply order takeout or eat at restaurants, but this strategy can easily get expensive in the long run. Cooking your own meals can save you a lot of cash. Search online for budget-friendly recipes for one person.


Set specific, measurable, time-sensitive, and attainable financial goals. Put them into writing. It will be easier to stay motivated when you can read these goals on a daily basis. For instance, you can create a list of goals and stick it to your fridge or make a desktop wallpaper out of it.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

Sources: 1 & 2


6 Clever Tricks To Help Singaporeans Spend Less On Groceries

Perfecting your grocery budget can help you make serious contributions to your savings. Best of all? Saving on groceries does not have to mean skipping on delicious meals or depriving yourselves of quality produce. Read the following backs before you complete your grocery shopping trip.


Whether you want to write down your grocery list on a piece of paper or bring a portable list through a mobile app, you can save time and money by sticking to this list. Free apps such as rShopping List (available on Android) and AnyList (available iOS & Android) let you create customizable lists to help you avoid unnecessary purchases. Some of these apps have built-in calculators too! Use this app to help you split the list when shopping with friends or family members.


Believe it or not, study showed that consumers tend to spend 40% more money than usual when the size of their shopping carts were doubled. Simply put, people tend to feel more comfortable with filling up trolleys due to its larger size. Trick yourself to narrow down what you need by carrying a basket instead. It may be easier to push a trolley but carrying a basket can help you spend less time and money in the supermarket. What’s more? You can enjoy a free arm workout.


Supermarkets strategically put their pricier and popular items at the eye-level so you can get tempted easily. Next time you shop, give yourself the opportunity to comprehensively look at the shelves from top to bottom. While you are at the fresh meats section, filter through the displays to spot the reduced-price items. These packaged meats may be on the display for a few days, but they are still good for the same-day cooking.


Since every aspect of the grocery stores are meant to entice you to buy more, you must not buy the first brand you see. Chances are, products in the lower shelves are of the same quality, but they are cheaper. House brands are typically placed there. Moreover, fresh milks that expire next week are usually hidden behind the carton that expires tomorrow. Feel free to look around.


A fresh whole chicken retails for about S$6 at the supermarket, whereas buying separate parts of the chicken can cost twice that amount. So, do not be afraid to cut the whole chicken by yourself. There are useful and free tutorials on YouTube. All you need is a sharp knife!


Whether you are living with your kids or by yourself, groceries can cause a huge dent to your wallet. Since they are essentials, you cannot exactly cut down so much on the costs. However, you can still get cash rebates.

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If you have a grocery credit card, you can earn cash back rebates whenever you shop.  While some cards can help you save money on Giant, others can increase your savings at NTUC FairPrice or Sheng Siong. Get the best grocery credit card that suits your needs and your grocery preferences to save up to 8%!

Sources: 1 & 2



Budget-Friendly Tips For Singaporean Teens

Saving money as a teenager is challenging, especially when your social media is constantly flooded with #OOTD posts. Online shopping is so tempting! Your peers may influence your spending habits too. It is important to note that while saving money is hard, it is not impossible!


They say that knowledge is power. This age-old statement highlights the importance of handling your own money smartly to make less financial mistakes. Educate yourself by purchasing books on financial literacy, by taking free money courses online, or by asking your parents for advice.

Parents and guardians play an integral role in shaping their children’s financial behavior and attitude towards money. May teenagers rely on their parents to set the right example when it comes to spending. Of course, it is not always easy to navigate the tricky waters of personal finance at this time. Hence, parents must teach their kids about the value of money and notice their spending habits.


Know where your money is going by downloading a software that can help you note down every single expense. I used to use either Mint or Spendee. Both apps are free.

While you crave for independence, you seek for your parent’s help when you run out of cash. Another way to keep track of your expenses is to allow your parents to view your transactions online. You may discuss meaningful ways to use your extra cash upon sitting down with your parent. Some financial apps such as DBS PayLah! allows the parents to monitor the teen’s digital allowance. It is safer as auto-debit is disabled. Furthermore, teens 16 and under will have a limit of S$999 to reduce the risk of fraud or theft.


Your student ID is more than just a representation of a less flattering picture of yourself. It can also get you discounts and promotions from different retailers. For instance, POPULAR bookstore offers student cards to teens. This will enable you to have a subscription of about S$8 for a year and S$20 for 3 years. This membership card includes birthday privileges, complimentary magazines, exclusive invites to members-only events, member’s discount, and more.

Moneys inside a pig

(Image credit: Anders Steen Nilsen, via Flickr)

Getting all the discounts or maximizing your privileges as a student can make saving a whole lot easier. It ensures you can put more of what you make in a safe place until you need it.