The common logic is that it doesn’t hurt to subscribe to store newsletters, because you might benefit from knowing about discounts they run. Problem is, these email marketing subscriptions are way more likely to tempt us to shop, rather than help us save money. These emails are designed to create want over need, and that illusion can be strong.
Think about it this way: if you need an email to sell you something, you probably don’t really need it.
It’s not just about alcoholic drinks, which can be pricey. The innocuous daily cup of coffee or bubble tea is a nearly guilt-free expenditure, in comparison. But these things add up quickly, especially if you frequent the coffee shop. Just $4 a day means S$1,460 a year. That’s probably enough for a short trip to Bangkok, Bali or Hong Kong.
If you really need your caffeine in the morning, perhaps invest in a pour-over maker with your favourite beans, or even a Nespresso machine for the long-run. That $1,460 is enough for your holiday and the Nespresso.
Buy secondhand instead of new
From clothes to bags, to even furniture, there’s lots to be saved looking at preloved options over buying new. There are good deals all the time, from folks looking to refresh their wardrobes or people moving and not being able to bring their furniture along.
Keeping your eyes peeled for these sales online, in forums or on secondhand trading websites, is a hobby that could pay off as you get into it. Plus, you get to save the Earth at the same time. Way too many things are thrown away in perfectly good shape, and the world’s dump sites are paying the price.
Buy for quality, not brand
Buying cheap but low quality items doesn’t mean you’re being wise with money. If you’re settling for a lower quality than you need, you tend to buy multiples of such items in order to fill your needs, ironically spending more than you thought, in the long run.
And on the other hand, buying expensive items just because there’s a premium on the brand does not mean you are paying for quality. Most of the cost of a brand label item is brand equity. Instead of a Gucci t-shirt, you’re better off with a good quality conflict-free cotton tee, instead.