7 Top Money-Saving Hacks For Young Families In Singapore
Let’s face it. Singapore is expensive and the cost of living keeps going up, while salaries necessarily don’t. And when you have a young family to take care of, saving every dollar counts!
Check out these money-saving hacks that might help stretch your hard-earned dollars a little further without too much inconvenience or thought:
1. Avail fee subsidies for children
Every child has the right to an education and luckily, you don’t need to scrimp on the quality of your child’s education in Singapore to make it more affordable. Did you know that your child might be eligible for infant care and childcare subsidies, especially if you’re from a lower-income family? Check out the hyperlink above by ECDA (Early Childhood Development Agency) to see if you’re eligible to receive anything from $150-$600 depending on your family circumstances.
2. Sign up for family memberships and kids-enter-for-free deals
Take advantage of family memberships for some quality time out with the family while still saving as money as possible. Most annual family memberships are priced nominally, but come with good value for money. Usual perks include kids eat free or at a discounted rate for shopping and dining at the very least; special prices for the family; free extras; invitations to members-only events, and so on. And Singapore has a ton of family memberships on offer at your favourite family options - RWS Universal Studios, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Singapore Zoo, Gardens by the Bay, ArtScience Museum, Singapore Science Centre, National Gallery of Singapore, even Sentosa Islander, and many more.
Likewise, most of the attractions listed above and even places such as the Museum of Ice Cream offer free entry for little ones under 2-4 years when accompanied by a full paying adult, so take advantage of such offers before heading out.
3. Get an IKEA family card member
Who doesn’t love IKEA? We all go needing to buy only a couple of things, only to come out with bags full of stuff! So get the IKEA family card. It’s free and gives you special monthly discounts on selected IKEA range; better member prices; you earn 1IKEA Family point per $1 spent in-store, online, at the restaurant, Bistro or the Swedish Food Market, and you’ll receive $5 to offset your purchases with every 500 points accumulated; and you also earn 3x Family points for your first purchase during your birthday month.
Likewise, sign up the kids for Småles, The IKEA Kids Club that’s designed especially for little ones from 4 years old. Kids enjoy discounted meals; $0.50 Smålish dållars for each visit or more when they bring newspapers to the Bug House to recycle; special promotions with selected partners; and even a free birthday cake for their 13th birthday. How cool is that?
This is seriously a no-brainer. At just $12 for a five-year membership, PA encourages Principal Cardholders to tag their children below 18 years old as supplementary members to their parent’s Principal Card at no additional cost, so they can also enjoy the discount benefits on over 1000 merchants island-wide. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
5. Take advantage of kids-eat-free
It always hurts when you have to pay full price for a meal that has to be forced or goes to waste. Luckily, many restaurants in Singapore offer kids-eat-free deals for little ones, so do a little research before heading out to get the best possible value for your day out. Tip: most kid-friendly restaurants even have a small playground or bouncy castle on offer, so you can also get a little peace and quiet alone when having your meal.
6. Be a savvy food buyer
You can’t eat out every day and it is usually cheaper to eat at home when you have a small family to feed. Whether you do groceries online or in-store, being able to manage variety while staying within your budget is key. Plan ahead and buy versatile foods that can be used in different ways for various meals throughout the week, and stock up on those, especially when they’re on sale. For instance, eggs are cheap, a great protein source, and very versatile, so you can use them in completely different ways for literally all meals off the day. And you’ll find your grocery bill much more affordable the more you swap out meat for vegetables too, so perhaps try going vegetarian one day a week to start off with?
Bonus tip: The best time to snag lower-priced cooked and ready-to-eat food is when the store or bakery is about to close for the night (around 9pm daily for NTUC and Cold Storage). Such shops offer great bargains and discounts to sell the day’s cooked food that can’t be kept for the next day.
7. Opt for pre-loved baby and toddler things
Babies grow so fast and you’ll only use most baby things for a few months or years before having to buy something else. So why not rent it instead, or better yet, get something second-hand that’s in good condition? Both options will be cheaper than buying something brand new, AND you’ll be helping the environment by contributing less waste. Everyone needs a good bargain, and luckily, Singapore has a huge second-hand market for buying and selling everything kid-friendly from strollers and baby bouncers to micro-scooters, kid bikes and even toys.
Tip: you can sell your child’s unused clothes or cute outfits that only got a couple of wears on such second-hand sites as well!
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