Saturday, February 2, 2008

Save on Utility Bills

With the rising oil price, the electricity charge has been going up.

There are many suggested ways to cut costs by saving electricity and water to cut down on the household bills.

1) Kill Vampire Appliances

-Turn off all electrical appliances and power mains when not in use, if not, they become "electricity vampire".

-Cheapskate Ultimate: Charge your mobile, laptop, etc in the office or public library before going home!

2) Time your cooling

-Set the air-conditioner not lower than 25 degree to waste energy.
-Set the timer to switch off the air-conditioner a few hours later.
-Go to the public library to ensure free air-conditioning in the day!
- Cheapskate Ultimate: Invest in a mattress. Gather all family members into a bedroom , instead of running the air-conditioner in all room.

3) Watts savings

-Replace all incandescent light bulbs to energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to save at les 70% less energy.
-Use light reflectors to make the most of the light.
-For residential blocks, best if the lights in the common corridor can be reflected into the house for free.
- Cheapskate Ultimate: Lights? What lights?

4) Wash wisely

-Pre-soak heavy garments before washing in the washing machine.
-Use the washing machine when the load is full or adjust the level of water to match the washing load.
- Off the water when soaping
- Don't flush for "small business" or flush using the discharged water from the washing machine
- Cheapskate Ultimate: Shower at the gym, fitness club, etc before heading home!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tips to beat inflation from "My paper" 25 Jan 08 - Part 2/2

4) Recreation & Others
- Choose countries where rates are lower
- Choose free recreational spots such as East Coast Park
- Buy at discount shops or online forums for equipment

5) Housing
- Wait for property market cools
- Hold off major renovation works till demand drops

6) Clothing & footwear
- Go for second-hand items
- Stock up staples such as socks during sales

7) Education & Stationery
- Buy refills for pens
- Take a group tuition classes for cheaper rates
- Buy used textbooks from seniors

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tips to beat inflation from "My paper" 25 Jan 08 - Part 1/2

1) Food
- Brought own container when buyout takeout to save on the surcharges of 20 cents for plastic containers.
- Supermarket gives discount on home brands
- Eat out at fancy restaurant less often

2) Transport & communication
-Take trains and buses and avoide taxis
- Walk short distance instead of paying 65 cents for the feeder bus service
- Get a mobile plan that suits your needs

3) Health care
-Ask your doctor for generic drugs such as paracetamol instead of brand name ones like Panadol
- Use your company healthcare benefits
- Call up clinics to ask about consultation fees before seeing the doctor

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Traded Endowment Policies (TEP)

Recently, Singapore government has raised the concerns that many Singaporeans will not have enough money for retirement.

The Singapore government is proposing a Compulsory Annuity Scheme for all Singaporeans. What's the problem?

The only problem is that currently, Annuity plans offer very low returns of less than 3%. Thus, putting money into Annuity plan for retirement income might not be a good idea if inflation rate is above 2%.

If returns on Annuity is 3% and inflation is at 3%, it means ZERO returns for your money parked in Annuity.

The Good News is a person can easily structure an Attractive Annuity Plan with double the returns of a typical Annuity plan by "laddering TEPs". What do we mean? A person can invest in say 5 TEPs with varying maturity period of say, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years, 8 years and 9 years to maturity.

Upon maturity of the 5 year TEP, you can withdraw the "gains" (double that of Annuity) to fund your lifestyle and rollover (re-invest) the principal amount into another TEP with say another 5 years to maturity. At end of year 6, you have another TEP maturing and again you can withdraw the gains to fund your lifestyle and again roll over (re-invest) the principal amount into another TEP with another 5 years to maturity.

By repeating this process, you will actually create a non-stop income stream year after year after 5 years from now and achieve the same benefit of an Annuity plan (non-stop income stream).

However, by investing into TEPs, you have an added advantage over investing into Annuity as the returns of TEPS can be double that of Annuity plans currently.

From: TEP Pte Limited

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cheapskater's scan - Seng Kang

Cheapskater walked about at one of the new towns in Singapore - Seng Keng.

Let's see what's the catch here!

1) Land of free transport

There are a couple of free shuttle services here:
- Internal town ferry services from Fern link Point to various part of the town, Compass Point to Rivervale Point to Punggol Point
- Ferry service from Compass Point to Courts, Ikea and Giant at Tampines
- Ferry Services from Compass Point to Parkway Parade at Marina Parade

2) Free entertainment
- TCD, a video retailer, located just outside the MRT exit would be screening the latest TV serials on the left and transformer cartoons on the right.
Join in the crowed, just stand there and watch for free!

3) Land of discount at compass point
- Several tenants are always having sales at the forum of Compass Point. Just drop by to catch some good deals anytime
- The price of prawn crackers or keropok has increased to $2 island wide. Bee Cheng Hiang is still selling at $1.90- the cheapest in whole of Singapore with a difference of 5%.
-Value dollar on level 4 is a catch with regular promotion.
Hehehehe...tidbits at $0.50 instead of $1.05! Biscuits at $1.05 a packet instead of $2 else where!
- Breads are going at discounted rate after 9pm at the numerous bakeries in Compass Point. Grab your breakfast after 9pm!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cheapskater's scan - Raffles Place

Cheapskater took a walkabout in Raffles Place and discover a Cheapskater's gold mine.

1) Land of cheap food!

Where to get lunch for only $2 with 4 dishes or pay as you wish?
-The Golden shoe Hawker Centre where there are at least 2 stalls selling Chinese cooked rice for $2 with choices of any 4 dishes on display, a cup of soya bean (cup also bigger than Mr. Bean) going at only $0.50!!!
-At the food court at change alley, pay any amount you like for an Indian vegetarian dishes of your choice.

2) Land of free papers

Where to get "Today!" and "Wo Bao" easily?
Raffles Place MRT exit - Stacks of free paper waiting to be picked up.
Drop by Fullerton Hotel lobby and read all various newspaper on the cozy sofa.

3) Land of freebies

Where to get lotsa of freebies?
Raffles Place MRT green space is a favourite spot for product promotion and launching.
Every now and then, free bottle of coke, ice cream, instant noodles, etc to be given out

4) Land of convenience

Want to buy 4D ? Go to Level 2 of Change Alley where there is a track record of producing Group 1 winners

Need to do your banking? All the banks are located there

See a doctor? Various medical group clinics are spread all over the place.

Not happy with anyone? Just drop by to see the lawyer at Drew & Napier, Ocean Tower

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to save using the transport system?

For long distance travel , use MRT + Taxi.

MRT and taxi combination is a real saver. MRT travels as fast as a taxi on the road. Hence it would be wise to use this cheaper mode to travel long distance.

How much does Cheapskater incurred to travel from the Seng Keng to Jurong Island?
  • MRT to Lakeside ride only $1.90. (FOC if you know the cheapskater's method of free run)
  • Taxi from Lakeside to Jurong Island only $4.
  • Total time taken 1 hour. As compared to taking a taxi all the while, it would cost about $20 and take about 1 hr also

Heading to the uncharted West (Tuas, Jurong Islands) and had trouble calling for a taxi from the 'inefficiency and expensive" bigger taxi cartel?

Forget them, save your mobile fee charges.

Dial 6265-4553 for the private network of the "Western taxi". These friendly taxi drivers comb only the west and would never get lost in the uncharted west.