Here on the BankBazaar blog, we talk a lot about finding ways to save money, so that you can improve your financial situation. There are simple hacks to save money instantly, and there are cost-cutting measures should save you money now and in the long run. But sometimes, in our efforts to save money, we neglect the possibility that our frugality may end up being a problem later on.
Even if you’re penny-pinching, There are some things you should never skimp on. Make sure you plan to spend extra money on these 7 items.
1. Healthy Food
We get it, healthy food is not cheap in Singapore. If you work in the CBD, a healthier lunch consisting of Poké bowls or salads can easily set you back by S$10-S$15 every day. Hawker food is much cheaper alternative, but you can’t live on lard and noodles every day!
Never sacrifice your nutritional needs. Make sure you are eating enough protein, vegetables and fruits so that you don’t have to face exorbitant health issues later on.
Living in the moment is a good way to live, but it doesn’t mean that you should totally neglect your distant future. As soon as you’ve worked for a couple of years, start thinking about how much you need for your retirement.
Contribute to your nest egg as much and as often as possible, so you have enough when you are old and grey. Your first step should be figuring out how to optimize your CPF, and thinking about making extra contributions to your CPF accounts.
Related: 5 Things You Should Do with Your CPF When You Start Working
3. Home repairs and maintenance
As a general rule, any damage in the home could lead to a bigger problem that could break the bank. Solve these problems right away.
Don’t ignore leaking pipes. Water can cause rot and mould, and these damages are expensive to fix later on.
Conduct aircon maintenance every six months. A professional will remove the condensate drain in your unit, check the refrigerant level, and clean any dirty coils and fixtures. If left alone, it will cause premature wear and tear on the components, affecting your aircon’s efficiency.
Related: How to Combat the Rise in Water Prices with 9 Simple Hacks
4. Preventive medicine
Medical and dental check-ups are akin to maintaining your home. The more you are aware of your state of health, the more you can help yourself in preventing diseases and illnesses.
Health screenings at clinics may set you back by a few hundred dollars a year, but it sure beats paying through the nose for critical illness insurance policies. If you are diligent in going for your health check-ups, you can minimize the chances of illnesses going undetected until its too late.
Related: 2 Medical Checks You Should Know About And How Much They Cost
5. Safety gear
Infant car seats, helmets, protective shoes and other items that protect your life are worth your while. When accidents happen, we don’t want any injury or death resulting from a poor purchasing decision. If you are getting around with an e-scooter, it’s all the more important for you to get adequate safety gear. A bump in the road could send you flying.
6. Toilet paper
Cheap, dual-ply toilet paper is throwing money down the drain, literally. It has fewer fibres, so you end up using more sheets. It doesn’t feel and smell as nice either.
You don’t want your stash to run out quickly, so opt for three- or four-ply toilet paper and always buy in bulk to get discounts. Just don’t keep the habit of using as many sheets as before, since that’ll defeat the purpose completely.
Related: 10 Best Cashback Credit Cards for Grocery Shopping in Singapore
You spend a third of your day in bed, and a good night’s sleep makes a big difference. It’s worth investing in a mattress that will protect your back, and help you rest in comfort. If established brands like FourStar, King Koil, or Sealy is out of your budget, check out some of the newer mattress companies in Singapore like Haylee, Noa, or Baton Sleep. These affordable alternatives promise a good night’s sleep while being lighter on your pocket.
8. Charging cables and accessories
Charge cables are ridiculously expensive–particularly the iPhone cables. But all we need to do is to walk into any mall and you’ll find a charging cable for a fraction of the original’s price. It’s very tempting to want to buy the cheaper cables. However, our experience with these knock-offs is that they seldom work as well. It may take forever to charge, deteriorate your phone battery, or worse, result in a fire!
Having said that, not all third-party brands are bad. Go for cheaper alternatives but established brands to save a little and still get a good quality product. Phones are moving toward wireless charging, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there will be a slew of third-party charging pads that don’t work.
Bottomline – know when cutting corners will devalue your assets, and risk your life and health.