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Thank you all for your amazing submissions! Because the competition is super tight with everyone's good feedback AND hacks, the Community Team will be taking 1 more day to deliberate the responses.
Winner will be announced via this thread by 13 August 2021 and notified via your bank-registered email. Good luck!
I am so glad to share my WFH Saving Hacks with you all and when I start this, I cannot stop:
- Instead of making multiple trips for grocery, I would make only 1 trip to buy 1 week worth’s of grocery that can last the family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children aged 10 and 14) for 3 meals namely, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You might ask, is that evening possible? My answer is yes, for breakfast, we have bread with milo or coffee. For lunch, we cook one pot dish for example, curry chicken for Monday, braised chicken wings for Tuesday, Fish Soup with Noodles on Wednesday and so on. For dinner, we shall have 3 dishes, namely vegetables, meat and soup. On the last day of the week, it is the happiest time for the children as they prepare the hotpot and cook anything that is left in the fridge to prevent food wastage for lunch and dinner. This being said, we have saved a good $300.00 to $400.00 dining out or tabao-ing of 3 meals for 4 people weekly.
- We use a good thermal pot frequently which not only helps to continue to cook the food, it also keep the food hot for 10-12 hours. This means that we do not have to turn on the stove or rice cooker for hours to boil soup or cook a decent meal. Re-heating is also not necessary as the food is kept hot. Do a research and invest in a good one, my current one is as old as my 14 year old son (I bought it at $120.00 14 years ago) and it is still working like magic. I have also convinced many of my friends and colleagues to get 1 thermal pot of their choice from the open market and they are loving it.
- Cook only enough for everyone, not extra for just in case. If someone is still feeling hungry, a cup of milk helps.
- In the event that cooking is not possible, we will call the nearby food stores directly to place order and we will collect the food ourselves. This means that we do not have to order food via any food ordering platforms where the same food items are priced higher with delivery charges. If there is no contact number for the food stall that you wish to order from, there is one more saving tip for you. Bring your own reusable containers. Nowadays, each takeaway container will cost a minimum of 30cents. Please save your money and save the mother earth at the same time.
- We would usually do the grocery on days when there are promotions and charging to my credit card that has the highest cash rebate and mall points. Instead of driving that incurs petrol and parking costs, we will bring our grocery trolley along and walk home within a good 15 mins.
- If the family has the habit of eating their meals at different timings, this is a good opportunity to change! Eat together at the same time means more bonding time and lights at the dining room will be switched on for a much shorter time during dinner since everyone will be eating during the same period.
- When washing the dishes, soak all the dirty plates, bowls and utensils in a pail filled with water with little dishwashing liquid. This helps to remove the grease during soaking so that the cleaning is made easier and quicker while saving water.
- Look out for good promotions from the various open market electricity providers. They provide promotional rates and sometimes come with additional perks like shopping vouchers.
- Instead of constantly charging of laptops and mobile phones, we switch off the power socket as soon as it is 100% charged.
- We would turn off the wifi and Bluetooth on the mobile devices after 11pm to prevent the battery from draining out unnecessarily.
- To keep the temperature further down at home, we have purchased the solar film online and pasted them on the windows at home ourselves. For 3 bedrooms and 1 living room, our total expenditure was $80.00.
- In the afternoon, children would do their homework with me in the living room where my WFH desk is setup. This means that we only switch on 1 fan to cool everyone down instead of 3 individual fans.
- On hot nights, the four of us will bond together in the master bedroom with aircon switched on economic mode instead of the living room. At times, the children will bunk in with us too.
- Many times, we would add the items we need to purchase in the online shopping cart and wait for special promotions such as 7.7, 8.8 online sales that allow stacking of vouchers and utilise earned points to make online purchases such as fresh seafood like salmon, cod fish, prawns online, bulky products with free delivery.
- Being truthful, WFH means that you may be browsing online more often that you used to be. Before you purchase that pretty dress, latest gadget or cooking pot at that tempting special price online, please browse away from it for 30 minutes, walk around your home and re-think if it is truly a need or it is just a want. My family and I have been using this method and trust me, the final outcome is that it is usually a want and you end up not buying it, thus saving money.
Working from home can be tough. In the hot Singapore weather we often switch on our air-conditioning in order to stay cool in the summer heat. Instead we can often opt for other cooling methods such as getting an ice cold drink, placing ice in front of your fan or even investing in a misting fan!
Cooking instead of ordering delivery would also be a great option to save some cash. This even allows us to eat healthier and cut down on salt! Alternatively we can take a walk to our nearest kopitiam to grab our favourite dish without the unnecessary delivery fees while getting some exercise
Best #WFH saving tip is to remember how we can become more environmental friendly. Apart from saving our planet, this helps to save our pockets !
This range from supporting our local food stores at the hawker or coffee shops instead of food delivery, thus reducing carbon footprint and allow you to bring your own container, reducing plastic waste. This meant a reduction of delivery fees and takeaway container fees from your pocket.
Secondly, tap on natural sunlight and fans instead of switching on lights and air-conditional. You will see a reduction in your utility bills.
Remember this tip, those few cents saved each day will be accumulated and can become hundreds of dollars shortly.
Here are my #WFH money hacks:
-Cook easy one dish meals (i.e. using a rice cooker) instead of delivering food. It's healthy and fuss-free!
-Let in natural light instead of turning on your room lights (Save money and the earth!)
-If the weather is crazy hot, on the aircon for a short while just to cool the room down..
Buy (or order) food in bulk, and freeze them for later consumption.
- save on delivery fees or transport fees.
- avoid having to leave home as much as possible.
- avoid covid.
- save your money, save your life.
#WFH has allowed us more time to prepare our own meals as compared to dining out. Planning for meals ahead help to consolidate grocery expenditure and saved us a significant amount as compared to constantly dining out. Preparing home cooked meals also let us become more conscious about the food that we eat, leading to healthier diet, which in turn less visits to the doctors and cost savings!
Since #WFH, our areas of spending has reduced, making it a good starting point to keep a habit of tracking our spending. Being aware of our spending also helps us plan our finances better, as it shows clearly which areas can be better budgeted, and how much we can set aside for investment/ future plans.
Another point to note is to pick and choose which credit card to use for our general spending, since most cards have a minimum spend to get the most rebates.
Since WFH, the main portion of our expenses usually goes towards food. I reduced this expenditure by reducing the number of times I dine out/takeaway or order delivery. Instead, my family does grocery shopping and we take turns to cook for the family during the week. This way we drastically reduce the amount spent on food, plus we get to eat healthier food and learn a new skill all at the same time.
But not gonna lie though, the first 2 weeks of this arrangement was real tough since only my mother was a good cook prior.
Of course, due to our schedules, sometimes no one is available to whip a meal up for the family. When this happens, we order delivery instead. By grouping up with neighbours at times, the order is eligible for more discounts saving us a ton. I usually order via Grab using paylater. This way at the end of the month, I can charge the amount to my DBS credit card, then use My Preferred Payment Plan to pay off the charge over 3 or 6 months which happens to have an ongoing promotion with no one-time processing fee and 0% effective interest. The cash “saved” then works harder for me in my investments or simply by earning interest in my bank account.
I am a healthcare worker and unfortunately, work from home is not a norm for me. However, my girlfriend is working from home.
This means that I’ll arrange to have dinner at her house every weekday before going home.
This helps us to save at least $15 in total every weekday!
$15x20=$300 per month, which is a lot of money to save for young couples aspiring to buy a house and build a future together.
My favourite WFH money hack? I simply reduced all my nonessential expenditure and consolidated the extra savings from my WFH routine (vis work in office), and regularly buy or do regular savings plan in a variety of bond-focused unit trusts with monthly dividends, as well as equities.
With DBS multiplier interests being cut, I simply moved the money I don't intend to touch out of the multiplier account to a mix of Digiportfolio, REITs and fairly OK credit-rated income-focused bond fund unit trusts. This way, I raise my monthly "interest" payout to compensate for the muted DBS multiplier interest rates.
While my payment of credit cards is always very stable and reliable, I choose pay by interest-free instalment for purchases above $100, so that I have more cash in hand at any point in time and can use that to RSP my income-generating unit trusts to pay off these mini instalments. Bills and expenditure are very easy to monitor when you don't spend a lot.
I don't sleep with air-con, so that my children can. Also eat their leftovers.
I never spend more than what I can afford, eat/take out only 1-2 times a week, and always try to save about 10-20% of my salary, which is near the national household median (I am the only earner). I'm a single dad of 2 kids and have a very litigious-minded and mad ex-wife, so I have also very unnecessarily spent a ton of money on lawyers to handle her madness. WFH made me work longer hours and on weekends. Further, I got no investment or finance background. So if I can still save and do money hacks and make my savings generate fair recurring income, so can most folks.
Other very lucky breaks - dumped a ton of CPF OA into the STI ETF during the 2020 market crash, so am now taking "accumulate" or DCA approach in that area. Emptied out most of life savings to buy bank shares during 2020 dip and exited at 20-35% profit less than a year later. Dumped the earnings into multiplier account, Digiportfolio, income funds unit trusts and large market cap REITs - and reinvest dividends.
Cut down on food delivery expenditure, or cut off completely.
Reduce expenditure on beverages from food courts, coffeeshops; instead either live healthily by drinking water or getting your beverages from the supermarket.
If you don't already have them, invest in a hot water pot/dispenser, a toaster oven and a rice cooker. These can be used to make simple drinks and meals. Get your food from the supermarket, and set a target of 5-8 home-cooked meals a week to reduce cost of buying takeouts or ordering deliveries.
Spend less on new clothes given WFH is part of the new normal. If there are bulk discounts, buy some of the same presentable clothes because you are after all going to appear on Zoom anyway.
If you don't already have it, invest in a fan to keep cool while WFH. Use your air-con for an hour and turn it off for 2 hours, versus using it for 3 consecutive hours, then use the fan instead.
Cancel your gym memberships. Just go to the playground or fitness corner and bang out your dips, pull-ups, inclined rows, step-ups, burpees and mountain-climbers. Jog around your neighbourhood or cycle on the park connector. Most of us live in HDB, so walk up the stairs. Stay active and healthy without spending too much.
Move your recurring payments (bills, season parking, utilities) to your POSB everyday credit card to get cashback, and also check the boxes of your DBS multiplier account.
Use the above savings and do dollar cost averaging with your - based on risk profile and appetitie - Digiportfolio, bond fund unit trusts, equities unit trusts, or stock market equities.
All the best! Don't survive, but thrive!
My Tip : (Re) Budgeting....
Take the time to review how your cash flow has changed while working from home. Go over the past few months of bills to see how your spending has changed from before WFH. This will help you understand if you actually are saving more money or just redirecting your spending to other categories.
In short, budgeting means awareness !!!
You need to be aware of where your money is going and how much you are spending in light of now working from home. Factor in your rent, car payment, food expenses, subscription services, and entertainment costs. The math is simple. You cannot build wealth if you spend as much or more than you make.
My #WFH Money Hack includes:
Dedicating more time to exercising since I do not have to commute to and from the office. This allows me to maintain a healthy lifestyle which can reduce my healthcare cost in the long run (indirectly saving money).
If I'm gonna order food delivery at home, I will pool my order together with my family and neighbours to save on the delivery charge.
Using different DBS cards for cash back. For example, if I'm ordering food delivery, I would use my DBS Visa Debit Card for cash back on food delivery.
If I'm ordering takeaways at hawker centres, I will bring my own containers as some stalls do charge extra for their containers. Moreover, this also reduces the plastic used, which is beneficial for the environment.
Using the money saved from telecommuting for investment. For example, I regularly top-up my DBS digiPortfolio to make my money work harder.
It's incredibly important to have a budget and a broader financial "roadmap".
I started using DBS' NAV Planner more actively this year and it has great features that everyone should be aware of.
NAV Planner does the following:
tracks your monthly cash flow (and even automatically adds expenses you have made using your DBS accounts/cards)
allows you to create and keep track of various budgets (e.g. dining, bills, transport, etc.)
calculates your net worth which shows your assets and liabilities using SGFindex (so it connects all your other bank accounts too)
Suggests insurance and investment products based on your existing levels of coverage and investment knowledge and risk-appetite
Gives you a money "roadmap", where it forecasts your monthly cash flow/assets over the rest of your life. This enables you to plan to achieve your retirement goals and budget effectively for shorter-term goals (e.g. vacation, wedding, house downpayment, etc.)
On whole, these are killer features that give other free personal finance apps a run for their money. As part of this new "tech-savvy" generation, I appreciate the financial heavy lifting DBS' Nav Planner does for me. It is like a digital personal financial advisor and takes me a step closer towards that elusive financial freedom.
That's a real #WFH money hack to me
Working from home allowed me to save alot of money!
Control yourself from buying unnecessary things from shopping portals and remember to apply the 4321 rule!
40% - Expenses
30% - Loans
20% - Savings
10% - Investment
After going back to being a broke student facing the new environment of 'Zoom University', I thought back on the positive sides.
One being the luxury to choose my own meals. In the past, I would opt for any food that piqued my interest but also leave a dent in my wallet. Now, I am left with a very real choice to eat healthier while just putting a bit more effort into planning what to cook and shopping for groceries.
With my new lifestyle, I stay home most days to enjoy the fruits of my labor while also getting healthier and more creative with my food options. I do believe that a good diet is a key investment for your own life, as with any other beneficial choices you make. Having an Ergotune chair counts as well to safeguard my back from any further distress!
I ponder so much about this and finally, I am able to share my favorite WFH money hack.
Being confined at home most of the time, I have more time to use my phone for social media. I realized that there's so many contests going on around social media that's not actually a scam.
I won quite a lot of vouchers (and even a staycation) which I used to buy my needs and wants. This is a money hack because I did not spend anything but I end up gaining some. Well, 30% of the time.
Joining contests can be shameful at times.. but rather than just browsing the internet for nothing-- I thought why not use my time and mind for something useful (winnings are tax-free, btw). That said, I only need to invest my time for thoughtful entries. To be honest, most of the contests I've won was because of my thoughtful responses and creativity, and that I always read terms and conditions thoroughly.
I love contests that are not based on pure luck, not those "randomly selected" kind of thing.
Used to spend at least $200/month on meals at work in the CBD!! Now that it's WFH, I follow my family out to buy groceries on weekends and home-cook my lunches instead. It's saved me at least $100 per month :)) preparing meals during the weekend, ahead of the work week, also prevents the temptation to Grab food, saving yet another $20-25 per WEEK! No more excuses for myself like "it's faster", or "it's more convenient"!
To qualify as a #WFH money hack, I feel it has to be one was possible as a result of wfh, so I commend and kudos to those who shared abt ur home cooking journeys and the associated savings w DIYing while I feel that money hacks cannot be at the expense of others like how some are suggesting, eg hawkers and f&b establishments who are surviving on thin margins, food deliver riders making an earning, when we think we save more by certain actions, these groups of people will earn less so consider again if what we are doing is a thoughtful money hack
As for my #WFH money hack, I have started to order tingkat catering for my family for fixed days of the week, it offers healthy options, free delivery to your doorstep, less food and transport wastage being orders are consolidated and prepared in a central location, and help my family save time and cost on travelling and reduce exposure for my elderly parents as they no longer need to leave the house as frequently to buy grocery or do takeways. Moreover, you can save even more if u opt for longer term subscriptions. Do look up Fresher Diners.
Wfh has also given me opportunities to support more home based businesses in the areas of food and fashion. There's a lot of variety and personalisation offered and also a chance for me to speak to them and learn abt their stories, and hear how some are supporting worthy causes. It is a money hack bcos I get to buy items at higher quality and last longer than mass produced items and food wise I know Im getting more quality and fresher ingredients as they are prepared when there is demand. I also see this as a way of supporting them in their #WFH money hack since they wld have pivoted to a Wfh setting - a win win scenario for all. Checkout Project Cookoh!
Finally, with wfh, I do my grocery shopping online and here are few tips:
- find out the min spend for free delivery (can choose 'eco-friendlier' time slots if u r always home) and consolidate or pooling your orders for your family and maybe your eldery neighbors
- look out for bundled deals on the site and certain brand, credit card or partner (Safra, Passion Card) promo codes, you can use app like Price Kaki to compare or get an idea of prices for individual items
- use services like Shopback to get a couple of % extra savings
- if no hurry, make your orders on sales dates like 8.8, 9.9, DBS has a 8.8 special for online spend and with certain online retailers
- look out for the banner and notification where they either give free samples or PwP items per order
Anyway, all the best, take care and stay safe everyone! Happy discovering new money hacks, and if possible think of them in a more thoughtful and holistic way, benefiting more than just yourself!
My go-to #WFH hack is to pool food delivery with neighbours. It helps save delivery fees (it almost becomes negligible) and helps qualify for minimum spending promotions!
We order meals together in one order and split the delivery costs while enjoying more promotions