Living in urban spaces is getting more difficult with each passing day. Singapore has the 3rd highest population density in the world and the cost of living is on the higher side. An average Singaporean spends 45% of their monthly earnings on rent. With utilities and bills only getting higher, money management is more important than ever.
While some advocate splitting bills among roommates sharing a flat, others recommend working overtime for renters. Here are some practical money saving tips if you are a renter.
Do not get service apartments
The disadvantages of service apartments or small apartments in Singapore outweigh the benefits. The service quality of most service apartments are often not up to par. You may have to face many problems, such as, lack of hygiene, poor response time, and not getting immediate help from reception at odd hours. Above all, renting service apartments would cost you more in long run.
Cut on commuting costs
Transport is a major expense and hence calls for better management for those living on rent. If the nature of your work allows, ask to be allowed to work from home for at least 2 days a week. If not, you can always use public transport or invest in alternative methods such as carpool. This not only helps save on fares, but on gasoline.
Spend in a 50:30:20 ratio
This rule helps you allocate money for different expenses. Start well before your lease starts in order to save more money. Allot 50% of your earnings to rent, phone bills, car insurance, loans and so on. 30% should go towards the rest of your expenses and the rest should be savings. Do make sure your rent is only 30% of your monthly income.
Rent furniture instead of buying it
If you plan on living on rent for a fair amount of time, this is especially important. When you rent furniture, you give yourself more options and do not have to splurge on bulky pieces. Customised furniture is another option. You can borrow items like suitcases, appliances that your friends no longer use. You will be surprised at how good an idea of renting a furniture is.
Get multitasking items
For instance, buy a multifunction printer. As a renter, your apartment might be on the smaller side. Customised furniture lets you pack functionality with design. For the kitchen, buy appliances like blenders and multifunction cookers.
Cut on your energy use
Saving on energy is not only cost-effective, but it is also environment-friendly. It is a good practice that you can teach yourself for life. Install energy-efficient lighting, use shades for lighting in the day, buy appliances that save on energy. Buying programmable thermostats is a great option. If your agreement allows, you can even switch your energy supplier.
Ensure you get your deposit back
Before the contract ends and you need your deposit back, read the agreement carefully. Make sure the requirements are met. Patch up any minor damages and fix any broken furnishings. Ask a friend or relative to come over and check any leftovers. You should also take pictures verifying you have left the place in order.