Why some people are losing $10,000 every year

Jes , 10 Comments

Getting more savings comes easier not by cutting down on some one-off items, but more of cutting down on the expenses of your daily life. The things that you consume regularly will take a huge chunk of your annual pay and these are some tips you can consider to stop the bleeding:
Coffee, tea or money?
1) Coffee
I understand that you need your daily joe but Starbucks and Coffee Bean are luxurious items and should not be a daily affair. 
-> Downgrade to Yakun, Bread talk, coffee shops or even 3-in-1 coffee. 
->> Go further by drinking whatever your company pantry has, anything to save another cent! 
Unnecessary losses: $3 x 200 working days = $600

2) Restaurants

Sometimes you just want to relax and splurge. I have colleagues who like to go restaurants during lunch and then still go for expensive food with their family for dinner. Actually, you can eat like a king in hawker centres and coffee shops and still will not burn a hole in your wallet! 
-> Downgrade from high to mid range restaurants from Sushi Tei to Yayoiken, from Crystal Jade to Ding Tai Fung. It's best to always be conscious of the price of the food item and try to limit to less than $20 per person. Do away with drinks in restaurants as they are the most profitable item. 
->> Go further by limiting from twice a week to once a week of restaurant food and slowly to a monthly affair. 
Unnecessary losses: $100 x 52 weeks = $5200

3) Transport

I have friends who take taxi every day or every other day. Actually, since you do not have to be punctual heading home after work, do take public transport. This is a bad habit because there are so many people taking public transport everyday for more than 1 hour, only a selected 'feeling rich' group likes to give their hard earned money to the taxi drivers.
-> Downgrade to only taking taxi in the morning
->> Go further by only taking it during Mondays and Fridays.
Unnecessary losses: $30 x 100 days = $3000
Shopping at the comfort of your home! (Source: wikipedia)
4) Clothes
I can only comment on ladies fashion and most dresses still cost around $80 in retail stores. Do you really need another Qipao that you can only wear once a year? Ask yourself the frequency that you will wear the dress versus the price, chances are you can live without another piece in your closet that will soon be forgotten. 
-> Downgrade to doing online shopping like Lovebonito and Agneselle. 
->> Go further by only buying when you have sold/donate/dispose of an existing piece at Carousell.
Unnecessary losses: $50 x 20 dresses = $1000

5) Desserts 

Deserts are never healthy, it gives you extra calories and is not cheap too. Bubble tea is also under this category in my opinion. Judging from the crowds at Llao Llao, Gong Cha and Honeymoon Dessert, it seems that I might be alone in feeling that $5 is too extravagant for desserts. There are really some die hard fans out there who has to buy something after lunch every day, that explains the queue!
-> Go for the cheapest option at $3 at these stores or downgrade to McDonald's ice cream at 80 cents. 
->> Go further by buying your own Ben and Jerry's ice cream and eat it at home.
Unnecessary losses: $2 x 100 days = $200

Always be generous to people who matters and stingy on yourself. Never pass up a chance to go weddings or gatherings just to save money as you are putting money in front of relationships and that means incorrect priorities. Likewise, I don't believe in cutting down on travelling as the knowledge, insights and memories gained are priceless!

Remember, baby steps first... Every amount saved is more money gained to invest and travel!


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  1. jes,

    I am guessing you do not own F&B, transport, and retail stocks ;)


    One man's meat is another man's poison :)

    1. Hi SMOL,

      My god, you are sharp! But I have Breadtalk stocks so now you know why I suggest those downgrades... *wink wink*. Don't analyse me so much leh... haha!

  2. Good breakdown and then aggregation

    1. Hi Kyith,

      Thank you for the compliment! Nice to see you dropping by, I must be doing something right and writing about things you are interested in :)

  3. I am 4/5. I fail the taxi part.
    but there is a reason behind the madness.
    cost of owning a car in Sg with present COE comes out to be around $1.8k per month. My office is aroung 8KM from my place but in the absence of any direct link it takes me around 45 minutes each side by public transport.
    my taxi fair each side is around $12-14, so it comes to be around $750 per month ( I work saturdays Half days).
    So I am saving around $1k per month. :P
    Once the COE goes down & the difference is lesser than $500, I am planning to buy a car.

    1. Hi GP,

      Haha, actually if you know your poison then it's fine. You are making a decision to spend on things you deem necessary and that is ok. But if you think about it, you could be saving another $750 from your taxi every month and get a car sooner.

      Not easy I know, I am also guilty of spending too much on online shopping, now this post is to remind myself to save instead. Thank you for reading! :)

  4. Good read, I was contemplating hard whether to drop 60$ for moon cakes for my gf's parents and the last paragraph struck me.

    You're right, it's important not to take being frugal to the extent where relationships and life experiences are not maximized!

    1. Hi Joel,

      Happy that I got through to you! You will definitely be happier especially when your gf's parents are happy with you... that's an investment not an expense :)

      I thought about why I try to cut down on my own expenses but when my family meals come up to more than $200, I am happy to fork out. I took quite long to understand that being frugal and stingy are different concepts. Have a good mid autumn!

  5. Haha good one. I contribute one MORE! Overseas Travelling, some do ("need" so they say) 2-3 trips a year. Per trip at least $800 minimum. So if limit to just 1 trip/year will save at least $800x2 = $1,600/year per person.

    1. Hi Angel,

      Actually I did mention that I don't believe in cutting down on travelling because it helps broaden the horizons and the memories from the trips particularly when you travel with family are priceless. However, you are right to point this out as I have friends who have zero savings and spent all their money in travelling. I can't talk sense into them because I am also travelling quite a lot.

      Thanks for reading! :)


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