11 Things You’ve Been Paying Too Much For When You Can Get It For Free

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Last updated 23 February, 2017

From bottled water to cable TV and long-distance phone calls, here are 11 things you probably shouldn't pay for.

This post first appeared on Seedly.

Many Singaporeans spend money on things that they can get for free. While some are no-brainers, many people still pay a hefty sum for them for convenience. Sure, you may have a busy schedule. But if you take out just a little bit of time to work around it, you can easily save hundreds per month! Here are 11 things you absolutely shouldn’t pay for.

1. Gym Memberships


Unless you’re a sportsperson who needs to train regularly or someone looking to bulk up, you really don’t need a gym membership. For the average Singaporean who just wants to keep fit or lose weight, you can easily do so for free. There are many workout videos which you can catch on YouTube that will teach you how to stay fit on the go. You can also go running outdoors! No need for fancy machines to get in shape.

If you feel like you really need the gym, you can visit ActiveSG gyms. There’s no point in paying hundreds a month when you can get access to similar gym equipment for only $2.50 per visit. If you haven’t redeemed your free $100 ActiveSG credits, now’s  your chance to do so!

2. Newspaper

If you’re a millennial, chances are you get your news on the internet. News gets published on the web much quicker than print media so there’s no point in buying print newspapers when you can easily access content at your fingertips. Plus points for those of you who have already liked pages such as The Straits Times on Facebook. The news will reach you even faster.

3. Cable TV

When was the last time you sat down in front of the TV to binge watch your favourite show? These days, we hardly ever have time to sit down to watch TV. Even if you do find a chance to catch shows, chances are you catch them on your laptop. With so many online websites that stream network shows and movies for free, you can find any shows online. It’s time to cancel that cable subscription and save that monthly 50 bucks.

4. Long Distance Phone Calls

WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime. There are so many alternatives! I’m just slotting this in case anyone is not aware of the amazing inventions of the 21st century and is still spending money on calls overseas.

5. Budgeting tools


There’s something ironic about spending money for a budgeting software. While great tools such as YNAB exist, why should you pay upwards of 70 bucks for a software of which features you cannot thoroughly enjoy? YNAB is popular because of its integration with US & Canadian banks, accounts you probably do not have.

Download Seedly instead. Seedly allows integration with major retail banks in Singapore, and simplifies budgeting for you.

6. Pets

Why spend a fortune on buying a pet when you can easily adopt one from the SPCA or other animal shelters? Sometimes when you purchase a pet, you may also indirectly contribute to the trafficking of animals. Especially on popular or hard to find breeds. Adopt instead, and not only do you save some money, but you also get to save a life!

7. Extended Warranties

When you’re buying an electronic gadget, be it a mobile phone, television, or laptop, most stores will ask if you’d like to top up “just a little more” to extend your warranty another few years. Most of the time, your gadget won’t spoil before the expiry of the warranty. And what if it does (un)fortunately break during the warranty period? You will still have to go through a very shady and tiresome process to get your replacement, and sometimes leaving with nothing because they claim their warranty does not cover the issue.

8. Water


There is absolutely no good reason to spend 70 cents on a bottle of water every day. Not only are you spending money on something you can get for free, but it’s also not environmentally friendly. You can easily purchase decent water bottles for less than $20. Grab one of those and refill it at home or at work/school. We also mention this in the post: 20 Easy Ways To Save Money In Singapore.

9. Credit Card Interest

Racking up credit card interests ranks as one of the top ways to waste money. If you’ve decided to get a credit card, you should better have the discipline to pay off the bills on time. If you don’t have the discipline to pay off bills on time or do not earn enough to cover your impulsive spending, then you shouldn’t get one.

10. Car and Motorcycle Wash


Owning a motor vehicle in Singapore is already an expensive business. The least you could do to your baby is to clean it yourself. You’ll save on quite a bit over the years and at the same time, get some exercise ;). If you need to get it washed by a third party, you can get it washed when you’re over in Malaysia. Car washes are much cheaper there.

11. Travel-sized Products

The prices for travel-sized products gets jacked up pretty crazily. This one is especially apparent in Singapore because manufacturers know Singaporeans travel quite a bit. Instead, get normal-sized items and pack them into smaller packages. You still get the same product, and can keep the remaining for your next trip out!

Use SingSaver.com.sg to compare credit cards and find one that's right for you. 

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Seedly is an everyday personal finance assistant that aggregates your financial data across up to 6 local bank and card accounts and gives you a complete personal financial picture. We currently serve over 6,000 users and growing in Singapore and are supported by NUS Enterprise, TOP 9 DBS HOTSPOT startup and East Ventures. We aim to become the #1 personal finance management app in Singapore and the region.



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