How Much Can You Save When You Live Healthy?

Alexa Fang

Alexa Fang

Last updated 25 July, 2019

Healthy living in Singapore is not just a cool trend – it's a way for Singaporeans to save money and feel good about themselves.

Healthy living is all the rage in Singapore. Quinoa and Tracy Anderson-esque workouts are no longer a prerogative of Gwyneth Paltrow’s. From salad bars and poke restaurants to cold pressed juices and yoga studios, we are surrounded by more and more healthy lifestyle advocates trying to get the rest of us on board.

Sure, that’s a wonderful thing, except, more often than not, these are not also more affordable lifestyle choices. We overheard someone saying just the other day: It’s so much cheaper to have a McSpicy or char kway teow.

But before you completely use this as an excuse to continue living a life less healthy, you can actually go about it with a different approach — a cheaper approach: eliminating some of your bad habits that are also costing you unnecessary expenditures.

bad habits

1. Breaking Bad Habits

Talk about lifestyle vices, and one of the first things that pops to mind is smoking. (Surely, even smokers must acknowledge that it’s not good for health!) A packet of cigarettes costs about S$13. Assuming that you go through one pack of cigarettes a day, that could work out to about S$195 a month. In a year, you will have spent S$2,340. Basically, if you succeed in kicking this bad habit, you could potentially reward yourself with a holiday.

Next on our list are sugar-laden beverages. Not only are they bad for your wellbeing, for obvious reasons, they are also not exactly friendly on your pay check. Whether your daily fix is a bottle of coke (S$1.50) or a Starbucks frappuccino (at least S$6.30), are you aware that they set you back, respectively, S$45 and SS$189 each month?

Money Saved Each Year: S$540 - S$2,340

2. Walk Your Health Talk

Owning a car, paying for petrol and parking, taking a cab or Grab are expenses you could drastically reduce. If you’re serious about getting your health back in the pink and your fitness level up, then walk every chance you get. Instead of driving or booking a car to the supermarket, to work or a meeting nearby to clock those steps.

Too hot in the day? Well then, one trick is to take your public transport for only a portion of the journey home, and walk the rest of the way home. It’s quite the perfect way to work up an appetite for dinner, too.

Think of all the money you’ll save (let’s say S$300 a month for skipping your daily weekday S$15 Grab ride) and the kgs you’ll lose if you can keep this going.

Money Saved Each Year: S$3,600

DIY lunch in Singapore

3. DIY Your Lunch

We know, we know. It is so tempting to order your lunch, afternoon snack and dinner from UberEats, and have food delivered to your doorstep at no delivery charge or minimum order requirement.

As much as you think you’re saving on those, they do not always come cheap. And not always the healthiest. You might want to consider and try making your own meals. That way,  you control the calories that go into your meal and your budget.

Setting a goal: No more than $5 per meal, for example. Challenging a friend, colleague or family member to do the same could help make it fun, too. Amount you could potentially save per month: S$600.

Pro tip: use a cash rebate credit card like the OCBC 365 Card so you can save even more money when you do the groceries!

Money Saved Each Year: S$600

4. Healthier And Cheaper Activities

You may not realise it, but there is actually plenty of free things to do on weekends in Singapore.

Instead of shelling out S$50 on a movie with your friends or family, you could instead take them to the National Gallery Singapore, Gardens by the Bay or the Botanic Gardens and spend an afternoon exploring these magnificent spaces on foot and without spending a dime. They’re also educational, not to mention that they get you moving (they call it activ-ity for a reason!) rather than sit in a cinema for two hours.

Alternatively, bond over a friendly game of badminton or football, or go for the TreeTop Walk.

5. Save On Doctors' Fees

Eating well and upping your fitness level improves your general well-being. You know what they say: You are what you eat. In the long run, your body will thank you for it. Yes, your clothes will fit better, but you will also feel less fatigue, fewer body aches; you’ll sleep and focus better; you’ll even breathe easier.

Having a more active lifestyle, needless to say, works in tandem with a cleaner diet to make you feel stronger as your immune system experience a serious boost. What this eventually means is fewer trips to the doctor. That’s a hell of a lot of money saved.  

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Alexa Fang

By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.

Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.


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