How kiasu are you, and how far will you go to make sure you get more bang for your buck? Following the recent Budget 2018 announcements, Singaporeans can expect to pay more in the years to come, with increases in GST, buyer stamp duty, and even foreign domestic helper levy.
Therefore, it is crucial to plan your finances wisely when it comes to buying a new home, or when renovating or maintaining it. Here are 10 useful tips that’ll help you save some money:
- Studying interest rates for mortgage refinancing
Find out what are the best available home loan rates based on your requirements. Enquire from various banks about the packages they offer and study trends of the past years to better gauge what to expect in the future.
- Look out for shopping deals
Shopping for furniture or home accessories? Get the best deals during seasonal sales, such as the annual Great Singapore Sale or Black Friday sale. Prices dip during these periods, and it’s definitely worth waiting for!
- Compare credit cards for rebates
Not keen on rushing with the crowds? Keep an eye on credit card perks or sign up for cards that cater to shoppers, such as the Citibank Rewards Card, which offers reward points — that can be converted into cash vouchers later on — when you shop at selected stores! The UOB One card gives up to 5 per cent cash rebates (with minimum spending), too! Find out which cards give you the best deals with SingSaver’s comparison function.
- Make big-ticket purchases before GST hike
GST is expected to increase from 7 per cent to 9 per cent between 2021 and 2025. Two per cent may not sound like much, but it adds up – especially when you’re purchasing big-ticket items such as furniture and appliances. Save while you can, and shop before the GST hike!
- Using the interest-free instalment plan on your credit card
Instead of wiping out your savings or emergency cash supply, sign up for interest-free instalment plans so you allocate your finances wisely every month. This way, you can manage your cash flow more efficiently without falling into debt.
- Check and service your appliances
Before committing to a purchase, do ample research! Especially for electrical appliances such as air conditioning units, washing machines and refrigerators, you’d want to yield the most efficiency out of it, without busting your utility bills. Look out for energy efficiency ticks or energy labels to ensure long-term cost efficiency.
After you’ve decided on which is the best for your household needs, be sure to keep these appliances well-maintained, so they can stand the test of time. For example, you can send your appliances for a free “health check” with the LoveHome programme to find out the condition of your appliance, and rectify any problems early.
- Change fluorescent lights to LED ones
If you’re still using fluorescent lights in your home, it’s time to change them all out with LED ones as the latter are more energy-efficient. Homeowners have reported long-term savings once they’ve made the switch!
- Ensure lots of natural light in the home
Aside from the aesthetics and interior styles you want in your home, plan the renovation wisely such that lots of natural light floods the space. Not only does it bring a welcoming ambience, this strategy also ensures you rely less on artificial lighting in the day, which equates to more energy savings.
- Study wind directions and sun path
If you think studying wind directions and the sun’s path are just for fengshui purposes, think again!
When searching for your new home, it’s best to visit the space at different times of the day to see if the unit gets morning, afternoon or even evening sun. You won’t want your home to feel like a sauna whenever you get back after a day’s work. Making sure it's a breezy, airy space also gives you the assurance that there’ll be less heat accumulation; so there’s lower reliance on air conditioning and, thus, significant savings on electrical bills!
- Conduct thorough defect checks before moving in
If you’re moving into a newly built apartment, be sure to thoroughly check the space for defects and inform the developer to get them repaired. Being kiasu in this situation definitely pays off, as you’ll save money on getting your contractor to fix problems such as hollow tiles, cracked walls or windows, waterproofing issues and scratches.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be thankful for being a little more kiasu with some spare cash on hand, at the end of the day.
Save more by comparing the various offerings available on the market, when choosing credit cards, personal loans and even insurance policies, at SingSaver.
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