Far from being clueless about money, millennials can be surprisingly resourceful in getting bang for their buck.
Millennials don’t necessarily have the best reputation, since it seems to be all the rage to dissect and discuss their I-am-a-special-snowflake tendencies and penchant for frivolity.
But what no one seems to focus enough on is the resourceful way in which they spend their money. You heard that right – how they spend money.
Being young, most millennials don’t necessarily have fat bank accounts, so they can be pretty smart about their money habits. Can we learn a trick or two from them? Absolutely.
Load Up on Apps
The right app can be a great way to shave off dollars on shopping and dining out, and millennials are quick to catch on to ones that offer good deals.
Carousell is popular, because even if you don’t have the funds to get something new, you can find a like-minded soul to trade with for something they like.
Many have the ezbuy app, which allows you to trawl through all the cheap-yet-still-trendy goodness China’s mega e-retailer Taobao has to offer – in English. The ezbuy app sends out weekly notifications about promotions and deals, for example shipping discounts.
Eatigo is another favourite, as it lets you search island-wide for restaurants that offer discounts when you make your reservation through the app.
Ride With Strangers
Once upon a time, happily hopping into a car with a complete stranger was unheard of. These days, it’s the norm, because it comes with significant savings.
GrabHitch, GrabShare and uberPOOL – all ride-sharing options on the Grab and Uber apps – are common lexicon in the millennial vocabulary.
And why not, when, if you’re lucky, the fare can go as low as… free! It might take a little longer to get to your destination because the driver rarely takes a direct route when there are other passengers to drop off, but it’s nothing leaving your house a little earlier can't fix.
You know what else is common in millennial speak? Promo code. Being perpetually glued to their smartphones, millennials are pretty clued in on the various discounts and promotions the Grab and Uber apps throw out every now and then.
Adding to the list of cheap transport options millennials are adopting is bike sharing. OFO, oBike and Mobike bicycles parked everywhere are a common sight.
Using one is convenient too: you only need the correct app installed to unlock a bike, and you can ride it to your heart's content. Prices are wallet-friendly too, averaging about a dollar for an hour of use.
Sharing is Caring
Sharing a Netflix account is pretty common with millennials, because not only do you get to enjoy the hottest Netflix Originals shows on the go, you’re strengthening the friendship by helping each other save money.
Netflix’s standard plan allows you to watch shows on up to two screens simultaneously for S$13.98 a month. Split that with someone, and Netflix costs only about S$7 a month.
Or maybe you have a music-loving family – never mind if everyone has vastly different tastes in music.
Spotify has a Spotify Premium for Family account, which costs S$14.98 a month. That works out to about S$2.50 per person per month if you have a large family of six – the maximum number of users allowed.
Since every user gets their own individual account, your sister can listen to Charlie Puth while you indulge in some The xx.
Having a great night out can be expensive, especially when cover charges and cocktails are involved.
That’s where happy hour and ladies nights come in, because drinks can be had for the cheap or you might even score free booze if you hit the bar scene at the right time or day. You just have to do your research on where to go.
Being well connected also helps when it comes to being in the know about which clubs or bars have the best deals.
Considering many millennials have a ton of acquaintances on their social platforms, a great deal is not difficult to hear about.
Pack Your Own Lunch
Tupperware party takes on a new spin with millennials. It may be surprising considering their penchant for café culture, but some young ‘uns have been known to pack lunch from home because it’s cheaper than eating out every day.
After all, this is the generation that is living through the proliferation of homemade #foodporn on Instagram, which inspires them to make their own meals.
Bonus: It’s healthier, too! Which is also trending.
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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.