10 items you should stop spending money on

These things are a waste of money – don’t buy them! Feeling depressed about your dwindling bank account? While you can’t avoid paying for phone bills, taxes, and groceries, you’re probably wasting hundreds of dollars a year on things you don’t need. Here’s where you can trim your spending: 

10 items you should stop spending money on
10 items you should stop spending money on
11 Mar 2015

10 items you should stop spending money on

PHOTOS: Ingimage 


Feeling depressed about your dwindling bank account? While you can’t avoid paying for phone bills, taxes, and groceries, you’re probably wasting hundreds of dollars a year on things you don’t need. Here’s where you can trim your spending: 

1. Your mobile phone plan
1. Your mobile phone plan
11 Mar 2015

1. Your mobile phone plan

Thanks to Whatsapp, Line, Skype, and other communication apps, most of us don’t use up our monthly minutes and text messages. Customer service agents will always try convincing you to spend a little more when you sign up for a new plan, and while it might seem like the expensive package is a better deal, it’s pointless to buy something at a good rate if you don’t even use it.



2. Books
2. Books
11 Mar 2015

2. Books

Full-price books are a rip-off. Why pay S$20 for a book when you can borrow it from the library? If you’re desperate for your own copy, buy it secondhand. The only time you should pay the full price for a book is if you’ve already read it, love it, and want your own (in that case, splurge for a hardcover). We’ll also make an exception for long-awaited releases, like the sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire – otherwise, wait for secondhand copies. At the very least, read it first before buying. Nothing’s worse than paying the full price for a book that you can’t even finish. 

3. Designer clothes for babies
3. Designer clothes for babies
11 Mar 2015

3. Designer clothes for babies

Unless you earn millions of dollars a year, there’s no reason to spend S$200 on a designer jumpsuit that your infant will outgrow in two weeks. Think about how many diapers you could buy with that money. Or how many date nights it could fund. Or how little your baby cares about wearing luxury onesies.


4. Pets
4. Pets
11 Mar 2015

4. Pets

You can either spend a few thousand bucks on a purebred (likely inbred) dog from a puppy mill…or you could spend zero dollars by adopting one from the animal rescue shelter. Re-homing pets not only saves money, but it will save the life of a dog likely suffering from abuse or abandonment. 

5. Electricity
5. Electricity
11 Mar 2015

5. Electricity

Conserving energy isn’t just about going solar or sleeping in 30-degree weather without air conditioniong. Saving money on your electricity bill can be as simple as unplugging your devices, turning off the lights after leaving your room, using a clothesline instead of a dryer, putting your computer on sleep, using a front-loading washer, or replacing your 100-wat light bulb with an environmentally friendly one. 

6. Beauty products
6. Beauty products
11 Mar 2015

6. Beauty products

Just because a makeup brand is expensive doesn’t mean that it’s better than what’s available at the drugstore. Do some research on the ingredients and on the product’s performance. There are tons of popular beauty blogs that compare prices and suggest cheaper alternatives (called “dupes”) – a quick search could save you hundreds of dollars. 

7. Bottled water
7. Bottled water
11 Mar 2015

7. Bottled water

There are plenty of reasons not to drink bottled water – the materials are bad for the environment, it’s too much of a luxury, it’s not necessarily safer than tap water, and most of all, it’s a waste of money. Putting your water through a carbon filter will do the trick. Buy a steel or safe plastic thermos and learn to conserve. 

8. Your lunch
8. Your lunch
11 Mar 2015

8. Your lunch

If you work downtown, eating lunch out can cost you between S$50-S$100 a week, if not more. While bringing a bag lunch might be less glamorous and more time-consuming to make, it’s not only healthier, but it will save you several dollars a day. 

9. Show tickets
9. Show tickets
11 Mar 2015

9. Show tickets

Plenty of newbie theatre-goers make the mistake of buying tickets either on the spot, or on a website that doesn’t offer discounts (especially when overseas). To avoid paying the full price for shows, you should either opt for the student option, or subscribe to a discount ticket newsletter beforehand. Some cities, such as New York, have a special booth in town that offers tickets at up to 25-50 per cent off the full price. Spend some time doing research, and you’ll spend money once you buy. 

10. Coffee
10. Coffee
11 Mar 2015

10. Coffee

S$6 lattes are a treat, not a daily necessity. If you can’t stand the thought of drinking 3-in-1 or 90 cent street coffee, consider a drip machine or a French press. Both are easy to use and are a one-time investment that will save you lots of money in the long run. Plus, you’ll look cool knowing how brew your own drinks.   

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