5 Creative Money-Saving Tips For Under-30s Like Me

This post is my winning contest entry for a Singsaver blogger contest! πŸ˜€


Someone wise said this – “Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich.” But it’s tough. As our incomes go up, so does our expenditure, right? And before we know it, we find ourselves broke before the end of the month comes by, and saddled with credit card bills from spending on stuff we don’t need but bought anyway to impress people we actually do not care very much about.

Does that sound familiar to you? πŸ˜‰

Well, here I present some ideas of mine for bringing out the penny-pincher in you. Haha! πŸ˜€ It may not all be feasible for you, but feel free to tweak these ideas to suit your needs ok?

(1) Give More Donations, Pay Less Tax

Income tax in Singapore

( Pic Credit: internations.org )

How much you can potentially save: No Limit !!!

If you don’t already know, you can make donations to approved charities and organizations by the end of this year, and get 3 times your donated amount in tax rebates. Don’t quote me on this but I’m assuming this is how it works: Say you’ve worked out your income tax to be S$1000 and you’ll have to pay this sum in a few months’ time. If you make a donation of S$333 now, you’ll get tax relief of three times this amount, which is S$999. Then the balance that you’ll have to pay in taxes is S$1. So the total amount you’ve spent is S$334, instead of the original S$1000. You’ve thus saved S$666, and earned a lot of karma points. πŸ˜€

I don’t know about you, but this sure sounds pretty good to me. I’ve been donating to the National Kidney Foundation and the Children’s Cancer Society. Hopefully I don’t have to pay any tax in the end, and I’ll also have lots of karma points added to my tally. Wheee!~

(2) Get Cheaper Substitutes While Still Looking Glam

Credit thebeerpage net

( Pic Credit: thebeerpage.net )

How much you can potentially save: Maybe S$6 a day (?) [That’s S$2190 a year!]

Say, for instance, you like the coffee from a particular well-known coffee chain. But each cuppa sets you back by a few dollars each time, and you may even need a few cups each day just to keep you from looking like you belong in The Walking Dead.

I would recommend that you just buy the mug with the famous logo and all, and either fill it up daily with cheaper coffee from your neighborhood kopitiamΒ or, even better, with coffee you buy from the supermarket and brew at home.

This way, you can still walk down Shenton Way looking very chic with your coffee mug in hand, you still get your daily caffeine boost, you save a lot of money, and no one’s the wiser. You’re welcome.

(3) Go On Fully-Funded (Volunteer) Trips

How much you can potentially save: Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year

I’ve just returned from a fully-funded trip to Kuala Lumpur in which I received leadership training, learnt to make ecobaskets for sale to help marginalized women, prepared food and delivered it to the homeless in KL, helped in painting an orphanage, weeded an ecogarden, and also had high tea with a Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The airfare, accommodation, meals and transport were all provided for. I also got featured in the papers and on TV. Is that cool or what?

ASEAN4U with malaysian minister

ASEAN4U in the newspaper

Pic Credit: Rudy Malik

ASEAN4U news

I’ve only recently found out that there are so many volunteer programs and youth programs that cater to those under 30 years of age. You get to fly to another country, experience their culture and food, and also make good friends among the participants. And yes, I’m definitely dreading turning 30 next year. I feel like time is running out. 😦

(4) Become A Blogger – You “Might” Get Loads Of Freebies

Grace Tan

I’m not even kidding.

Of course, do not go into Blogging just because you want freebies. That’s just wrong. But if you have a passion for writing, or about writing about your Passion, then you should consider setting up a blog.

I’ve received so many freebies over the past 5 years I’ve been blogging that I’ve realized (1) Sponsored items mean I can spend less, and divert funds to donations, for instance and (2) If I’d sold all those items given to me, I’ll be rather rich now. πŸ˜€


From movie tickets to staycations, from food to fitbits, from shampoo to shoes, I’ve received quite a bit in sponsored items. And don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way boasting (because I have to work hard for them) and I’m not ungrateful either (sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve such awesome sponsors). So, a big ‘thank you’ to the Universe – please send more goodies my way. πŸ˜€

(5) Buy Items “Off-Season”

This probably sounds weird because Singapore only has one season (Summer), right? But there are many things that you should probably only buy after waiting a while.

For instance, we are approaching the end of this year. And many people will be buying diaries and planners for 2016, right? Well, I’m not. Why?

I’ve noticed that a planner that I buy in advance for the new year might cost me something like S$29.90 or more. But that same planner can be on sale in February and cost S$5 or less, because the stores are eager to clear them off the shelves as few people will buy them from February onwards.

So, what do I do? I simply have to print out a (free) one-month calendar for January (you can easily find one online) and then get a diary or planner in February at a huge discount.

It’s the same for clothes. I’m on the mailing lists of major blogshops and online boutiques. But I don’t buy their clothes when they have a new launch (and that’s quite frequent too). Instead, I wait for their clearance sales, warehouse sales, and even sales on special events (Boxing Day, anniversary, etc). And, of course, there are great deals just across the Causeway:

Bought in JB when S$1 = RM3

Baby clothes from JB

If you’re a teenager or if you are in your early twenties, instant gratification is the norm. But as you grow older, you’ll realize that delayed gratification actually makes you appear wiser and is better for your wallet. πŸ˜€

If you’d like to read about more money-saving tips from me, do leave me a comment or drop me an email. I do have a few more wacky ideas involving websites with return policies, coupon strategies, home purchases, etc. And I’d love to hear about your ideas as well. So please share them with me! πŸ™‚


7 thoughts on “5 Creative Money-Saving Tips For Under-30s Like Me

  1. Hi Grace,
    For the tax rebate savings for charity, it’s 3x taxable income and not tax amount. So the calculation in the article seems incorrect..

    • Hiyee… 3x taxable income? Say, for instance, your taxable income is S$100,000… then the rebate savings is S$300,000?! Sorry, I don’t get it.

    • Hi, sorry wasn’t clear.
      If you donate $1000, you can get $3000 off your taxable income. Say your taxable income was $100,000, it will drop from $100,000 to $ 97,000.

      Will be interesting to know if your experience is otherwise..

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