5 ways students can cut costs

Who doesn’t like saving money, or cashing in on a good deal?

We do and believe you do too, which is why we’ve put together this really quick guide to share with you—or remind you—about some of the really easy and convenient ways out there to reduce your expenditure. Read on and see how many you’re making good use of right now!

1) YouTrip card

If you enjoy shopping online from international stores, this is one card you cannot miss.

YouTrip is a multi-currency travel wallet and money changer that lets you pay in over 150 currencies without paying any additional fees. For the uninitiated, cross-border purchases typically require you to pay foreign transaction fees of up to 3.25% (on average; this does not include a currency conversion fee of 1%. While you might not feel the pinch when paying for an item that’s only a few dollars on Taobao or Etsy, it all stacks up over time. Just think: how many milk teas or meals could you have purchased with a year’s worth of these fees?

The YouTrip card also doubles up as a spare EZ-Link card, and it can be locked when not in use. As the YouTrip-issued card is a prepaid Mastercard, it’s a great alternative to a traditional credit card if you can’t apply for one just yet!

2) PAssion card

While many of us have a PAssion card, not all of us know just how many perks it has to offer. You can use it to collect rebates at Guardian, Giant and Cold Storage, along with discounts at food and beverage stores. There’s a lot more that you shouldn’t overlook, however—there’s an entire list of deals that you can peruse on the PAssion card website.

Here’s a hint: if you find it tough to keep track, you can join the PAssion card telegram group (@SG Passion Deals) for handy updates delivered straight to you.

That’s not all, however. Do take advantage of your PAssion membership to enjoy discounted prices* on PA organised community centre and online courses. Interesting ones include a latte art course and a dressmaking course.

*dependent on the course

3) Your university student card

This is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Flashing your student card at eateries and entertainment venues will get you great student prices. You’ll definitely miss all these student privileges after you graduate (unless stores mistakenly offer you student prices).

4) ShopBack

We trust that you know of the cashback app/platform ShopBack! If you use the app and have linked your debit/credit card(s), but have yet to install the web browser extension, it’s high time you do so. When installed, you’ll be prompted when a store you’re shopping at has cashback. You’ll also be alerted of available discount codes. The best code will automatically be applied on your behalf to help you further maximise your savings. Isn’t that great?

5) Food deal apps

If you eat out a fair bit, memberships such as Burpple Beyond (lite at 49 SGD/year) may be worth the investment. Otherwise, you’ll find that ShopBack, Chope and Fave offer good deals from time to time.

Eatigo also offers great discounts during off-peak hours. Don’t forget to look through Foodpanda and GrabFood when out at the malls. Your favourite store could have an item on discount if you are willing to wait for pick-up!

You can also head to Shopee, as some F&B outlets have set up shop on the platform. You can find discounts on your favourite milk teas, or promotional prices due to sales events if you’re lucky!

Other ways to cut down on expenses

  • Use a SIM-Only Plan (you’ll save SGD20 to SGD30 per month on average and help to reduce electronic waste!)
  • Buy used textbooks or materials from your seniors or Carousell. Some courses may have dedicated FB groups (or groups on other platforms) just to sell their old course materials. Ask your seniors and make sure you’re in the loop.
  • Buy pre-loved/secondhand clothes from stores such as REFASH or T.hreadlightly
  • Try out the 30-day rule, where you wait for 30 days to see if an item you’re eying is something you truly want or need. Most of our purchases are actually impulse buys (made under the thrill of having ‘discounts’).
  • Evaluate your memberships and subscriptions monthly, and pause the underutilised ones
  • Use a budget app to keep track of your day-to-day spending

We hope this short guide has been of some use! If you’ve any suggestions we’ve yet to cover, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


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