In this day and age of online spending, we're often spoiled for choices amidst thousands of e-commerce sites (most of them with free shipping too!) that it has become incredibly easy to overspend. This habit even bleeds offline into spending on things we don't even need in the first place.
Scrutinise the spending habits of any Singaporean and you're sure to roll your eyes at some people's expenses. But like how one man's trash is another's treasure, just as you're sniggering over somebody for spending $1,000+ a month on Gudetama merchandise, someone is judging you for spending $25 to Instagram Story an ice cream falling onto a molten lava cookie.
Here are 4 money wasters that Singaporeans seem to spend most on.
1. Hipster coffee
Any caffeine addict will tell you that life begins after their first cup of coffee. But life shouldn’t begin after their first cup of EXPENSIVE coffee. With so many (too many) hipster cafes and coffee joints crammed in our tiny island, it has become a daily norm to pay up to $6 for a cuppa joe.
Coffee is an expense that can swiftly and quietly escalate without noticing. That daily latte at Starbucks can balloon into an exorbitant amount. Worst if you do two coffee runs a day instead of one.
Scare yourself with this handy Starbucks calculator that will show you how much you spend on expensive coffee in a month, a year, and in 30 years. We guarantee your jaw will drop.
2. Taxi/Grab/Uber rides
While there will be moments when you're stranded in the rain or in some ulu neighbourhood and are in need of a safe ride home, such occasions are rare.
But most of the time, it's a matter of laziness, oversleeping, or worst, drunkenness, that see us hailing that cab. With all sorts of hidden charges like booking fees and peak period surcharge nowadays, there's no worse feeling that getting out of a cab and realising that you've just paid up to 8x more what you would have if you had just taken the train or bus.
3. Mobile phone games' in-app purchases
If you’ve ever been tempted by, or have succumbed and plonked down $19.99 USD, for more lives to continue in Candy Crush or more incubators in Pokemon Go, then this video is for you:
Free mobile games make money off in-app purchases. They usually do this by making gameplay as frustrating as possible so you will cave in and spend a few dollars for immediate gratification. It's basically manipulating you into forking out that cash to bring about short-term satisfaction.
If you don't mind spending money on mobile games, how about giving it to those developers that take a one-time purchase payment in exchange for a fully playable game that does not have in-app purchases.
4. Corporate clothes
So you've got your foot on the first rung of the corporate ladder and on day one, everyone in the office looks like they have just stepped out of a G2000 catalog. Many a rookie executive will be drawn into the "glamour" of working in the CBD area and can go a little crazy spending their first few years of salary on crafting an unnecessarily huge corporate wardrobe.
For men, it will be the pursuit of that first expensive watch or pair of Bally shoes. For the ladies, perhaps queuing for Reebonz private sale just to snag that Bao Bao for cheap. These purchases won't make our lives any better, or us any happier, but still we persist.