Before you travel to Orchard Road, take a look at popular shopping websites such as Shopee and Lazada — many of the brick-and-mortar stores you’re planning to visit probably have online stores, and the discounts might be bigger there.
Plus, many online sales will kick in at midnight, so you’ll be able to check on the day itself if it’s cheaper to buy your item online or in-store.
Hacks for shopping online:
- Look for promo codes and stack them if it’s possible
- Follow store pages on Shopee for greater discounts
- Use shopback for extra cashback on your purchases
- Use BNPL services such as Atome (so that you don’t bust your 4mpd cap)
4. Shop with a friend with similar personality and taste
Works for both online and offline.
You and your friends can buy in bulk for cheaper pricing or to hit the minimum spend to qualify for more discounts.
Besides saving money together, having a shopping buddy can help you stick to your list and your budget, therefore avoiding unnecessary spending.
However, watch out for enabling friends.
If you are trying to save money, the worst way to do it is to shop with friends who are enablers.
They are the ones who encourage you to give into impulse buying, because YOLO. We get that the microwave-airfryer-oven-vacuum-cleaner gluck gluck 9000 is extremely high tech and luxurious, but do you really need it enough to drop S$500 on it?
Text your thrifty friends if you need a shopping companion.
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5. Charge everything to your credit cards (but do not do so randomly)
Chasing miles or cashback? The worst thing you can do is to charge your retail purchases to your petrol card, or use your MasterCard when a Visa would get you a bigger discount.
Most credit cards are optimised for specific purposes.
For example, you’ll earn 4mpd on your UOB Lady’s credit card when you choose ‘Fashion’ as your bonus category. For all other spend, you’ll get a miserly 0.4mpd.
Another example is when you’re trying to book cheap tickets online via Klook.
Welcome Gift: Score a Samsonite Prestige 69Ccm Spinner Exp (worth S$670) or up to S$200 cashback when you apply and make a min. spend of S$500. Valid till 31 December 2022. T&Cs apply.
SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Receive an ErgoTune Supreme V3 (worth S$850) or an Apple iPad 9th Gen (worth S$499) or the latest Apple Watch SE 2nd Gen (worth S$379) or S$350 Cash when you make a min. spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 2 October 2022. T&Cs apply.
Shop carefully and pay with the right card!
You can check our blog to find cards that match your purchasing decisions. Comparing credit cards earns you more rebates, air miles to redeem flight tickets, reward points for further discounts, and more.
6. Keep every single receipt
You’ll never know what you’ll need to return/refund. What if the electronics you bought came with a defect, or perhaps you bought a gift for a friend in the wrong size?
Most stores offer free exchanges and returns within 30 days of the purchase date, and most require a physical paper receipt in order to process your refund.
7. Never buy on credit
Only use a credit card so you can maximise rebates or points. If you use your card, ensure you can repay the full amount before the next billing cycle to avoid the high interest rate (around 24 per cent per annum).
If you must buy something that you cannot pay off at once, consider a credit card with an interest-free instalment plan or a personal loan. However, we’d recommend that you don’t buy it at all.
Overall, we suggest that you avoid using loans for shopping. Personal loans should only be taken out for crucial needs (like an education or housing loan), and not for retail shopping.
8. Skip it entirely
If there’s nothing on sale that you’re interested in, why bother? There’s nothing wrong with skipping GSS.
Ultimately, you’ll be saving more money than a shopaholic even if you wind up making a few full price purchases down the road.
Conclusion — Don’t dive in without a plan
Without a plan, it will be tempting to spend money you don't necessarily have on items you don't necessarily need. In the end, your experience may be fraught with exhaustion, impulse buying, and possibly even be in debt in the long run. It is recommended to have a plan in mind, if not, just skip the shopping altogether.
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