Saturday, September 24, 2016

Which Online Grocery In Singapore delivers The Biggest Savings?


(Singsaver.com.sg, Singapore's leading personal finance comparison platform, provides free and easily accessible resources such as its up-to-date credit card product page and the latest personal loan packages available in real-time.)
We compare baskets between RedMart, Honestbee, Kenny Grocery, FairPrice, Cold Storage, Sheng Siong, and Giant. Which online grocery is the cheapest? You might agree that grocery shopping is one of life’s necessary evils. Like scrubbing the bathtub, doing the laundry and having dinner with the in-laws, it’s essential but rarely fun. Thankfully, we live in an age when we can now eschew the chore of queuing endlessly at the supermarket once and for all. With just a few clicks and your trusty credit card by your side, you can have your day-to-day items sent to your door. And with the sudden proliferation of online grocers in Singapore, the stiffening competition in the sector means these vendors can offer free or even same-day delivery — making your life that much more convenient. So, armed with a short list of 10 daily essentials, we loaded up our virtual shopping carts with the same items at six of the most well-known online supermarkets to see what the differences would be — and came away quite surprised at the potential price gaps. Witness the savings free delivery can mean to a simple grocery order:
 
 
RedMart
Cold Storage
Fairprice
Kenny Grocery
All For You by Sheng Siong
Giant
Thai fragrant rice – 5kg
S$14.55
S$14.50
S$13.95
S$15.30
S$14.80
S$15.50
Eggs 10s (cheapest available)
S$1.85
S$2.30
S$1.60
S$2.90
S$1.55
S$1.80
White bread loaf – 400g
S$2.00
S$2.00
S$2.00
S$2.00
S$2.00
S$2.00
Vegetable oil – 2L
S$3.95
S$6.64
S$4.80
S$6.30
S$3.90
S$4.95
Kai lan – 300g
S$2.00
S$3.95
S$1.55
S$2.00
S$1.90
S$1.40
Kikkoman Premium soya sauce – 600ml
S$4.65
S$4.90
S$4.65
S$4.65
S$4.65
S$4.65
Coke Light, 4 cans
S$3.40
S$3.20
S$3.20
S$3.20
S$3.20
S$3.40
Dove Daily Shine shampoo
S$11.50
S$11.70
S$11.50
S$8.90
S$11.70
S$11.70
Kleenex 20s toilet roll
S$13
S$13.45
S$13.80
S$14.45
S$14.45
S$14.45
Dishwashing liquid refill (cheapest)
S$1.50
S$1.60
S$1.50
S$1.55
S$1.55
S$1.55
Subtotal
S$59.85
S$64.25
S$58.55
S$61.25
S$59.50
S$61.40
Delivery
S$0
S$7
S$10.70
S$0
S$7

Friday, September 23, 2016

Why Brand Loyalty Makes Singaporeans Spend More Money



Being brand loyal is rewarding – or so you think. Because of several cognitive biases, brand loyalty actually makes Singaporeans spend more. Knowing how to save money and spend wisely is well and good, but what really drives our money habits? Why do we Singaporeans spend as we do? In our new Money Mastery series, we take a look at the psychological workings behind the scenes that govern your relationship with money. Being brand loyal is rewarding. You get special invites, exclusive gifts, dibs on the latest announcements, motivation to scream at complete strangers over the Internet – all for the privilege to spend more money than anyone else. In today’s confusing world, it’s more taxing to choose between the brands and packages that come flying our way. Better to choose a particular brand, stick to it, and it’s apples all the way, right? After all, we’re rational creatures, and every choice we make is a carefully considered one, crafted with the cold steel of our clearly superior intellect. It follows, then, that there are good reasons for aligning ourselves with a particular brand, and everyone else is an idiot. Well, not quite. The truth is, we prefer the things we own not because of any demonstrable superiority over the other choices, but because we defend our past choices to protect our sense of self. Here’s how brand loyalty actually makes you spend more.
  
Brand Loyalty Hijacks Your Experience
In a fascinating experiment conducted by Baylor University, Texas, participants were divided according to their professed preference for either Pepsi or Coke. They were then given unmarked samples or either Coke or Pepsi to drink, while hooked up to an MRI machine. The participants showed a clear preference for Pepsi (blasphemy!), as evidenced by pleasure centre activity showing in their brain scans. But when Coke fanboys were given Pepsi again – and this time, knew they were drinking Pepsi – their brain scans actually showed reduced pleasure signals. And, in contrast with their brain scans the first time round, they reported that they enjoyed Coke more than Pepsi. What happened? Being brand loyal had altered their sensation of the product, turning an objective experience (sensation of taste) into a subjective assessment (preference for the inferior product). The next time you’re tempted to proclaim how the iPhone 7’s lack of headphone jack is the superior option – even though it will cost you more in terms of convenience and money – ask yourself if it’s not brand loyalty hijacking your experience.
 
 
How Brands Get You Hooked
You may think that it’s the brand that’s working hard to keep your loyalty. After all, we’re at liberty to take our business elsewhere, anytime we want, right? However, it is our own cognitive biases that keep us on the hook. Take the Endowment Effect for example, where we think the stuff we own has higher value simply because we own it. Researchers found that people who get free items – say, a bottle of water – tended to want more money in compensation for selling that item. In contrast, if given the choice to buy that exact same item, they wanted to pay less money. And then, there’s Choice Supportive Bias, a major confirmation bias that triggers every time we purchase something. Choice Supportive Bias works like this: to reduce the inherent anxiety that comes from making a choice (and the more expensive the choice, the higher the anxiety), we make justifications after the fact to explain why our chosen option is the best one. Taken together, it’s easy to see why being a fanboy (or girl) has become the cultural norm in our world of rich and diverse consumer goods. All a corporation has to do is to create an association with their products or services that we identify with. Once we’ve bought into it (i.e., become branded), our cognitive biases kick in and keep us engaged.
 
What is Your Brand Loyalty Costing You?
Brand loyalty is such an insidious force that we fail to notice the price we are really paying. Take for example, Apple, which has built up brand loyalty to such an impressive degree that it can get away with things other companies wouldn’t dare dream of. Remember the good old days when we could swap out depleted mobile phone batteries for fresh new ones? Apple came along with the iPhone and took that away, to nary a peep from the famously vocal tech industry. Now, Samsung has followed suit with its latest iteration – the Note 7’s battery is non-removable, arguably contributing to the PR and logistical nightmare of resolving its current “exploding phone” image. Take another recent craze – Taiwanese milk tea. The one which prompted that one Tampines guy to go on a hoarding spree, inspiring much virtual hate in the process. Fans of Cun Cui He milk tea thought nothing of getting up in the wee hours and paying $2.80 per bottle when it debuted at local 7-11 stores, never mind the fact that these sell for about $1.20 in Taiwan. Enterprising Singaporeans even started re-selling their haul, at the totally reasonable price of $4 per pop. Or maybe you prefer your cuppa freshly brewed. If you’re a Starbucks regular, you’d surely have noticed how the prices of your favourite drink have crept up over the years. But it doesn’t bother you as much as it rightly should. An expert at value-based pricing, Starbucks shrewdly hikes up prices in a way that ensure their core demographic – higher-income coffee drinkers who see the beverages as an affordable luxury – remain pliant and accepting of ever-increasing prices. There’s no doubt that being a fanboy is fun. You get to obsess over every little detail, trade gossip, gobble up every piece of news, defend every criticism, snigger at scathing memes and categorise your friends. Keep in mind that brand loyalty is a self-created, self-sustaining phenomena that have very little do with our chosen brands. In fact, corporations couldn’t care less the heights to which you take your brand loyalty – as long as you keep buying the shinier, more expensive offering at release, right on schedule. Next time you feel shivers creeping down your spine at the sound of the next keynote playing, it’s a good time to remember that brand loyalty costs you more than it gets you.
 
(Singsaver.com.sg, Singapore's leading personal finance comparison platform, provides free and easily accessible resources such as its up-to-date credit card product page and the latest personal loan packages available in real-time.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How Any Singaporean Can Afford To Travel Every Year


Here’s how your friends afford their annual vacations abroad, and how you can save enough money to travel every year. Listening to friends talk about how often they travel is terrible. Like sitting on thumbtacks, or using a sandpaper napkin. The humble bragging is just grating (“Oh, I so stupidly lost my passport in Venice. For the third time this year.”) Well if you can’t beat them, join them. Here’s how they afford all those annual trips abroad, and how any Singaporean can do it too.
 
1. Create Small, Realistic Side Income Goals
You could try to afford travel just be strict budgeting. And if your income is at least $4,000 a month, it could be manageable with just disciplined saving. But if you’re making less, the only way you can afford to travel often is by earning a side income. You will probably have to consider tutoring, freelancing for one-off projects, etc. But the good news is, you don’t need to make thousands in side-income. Don’t exaggerate the amount of effort involved. All you need is a way to raise your income by a small amount–about $200 a month–to be able to travel once a year. An extra $2,400 a year will cover airfare and Airbnb accommodations in most places. And an extra $200 is far from impossible; some of you may even be able to negotiate it as a raise. So focus your efforts on this small, realistic goal. Forget disempowering delusions, like believing you have to become a CEO, or found a million dollar startup, before you can travel regularly.
 
2. Keep Up-to-Date on Hotel Promotions
With few exceptions, accommodations will make up the bulk of the cost. You will note that many frequent travellers seem to make spontaneous plans. This is because they are responding to last minute deals from hotels, or have spotted Airbnb lodgings that are going for cheap. Sign up for the mailing lists of travel aggregators, and set up a separate email address so you don’t get bombarded. Check it periodically for deals; you can save as much as 30% to 50% on last minute offers. Stalk your credit card for promotions too, as they often partner with such websites. Currently, there are a number of Agoda credit card promotions being offered for destinations in Asia and Australia.
 
3. Have a Working Vacation
Ever wonder how some travellers seem to have unlimited leave to go on vacation, or can afford to skip work for prolonged periods? The answer, most of the time, is that they can’t. Most people don’t have enough leave, and can’t afford to take unpaid leave for a few weeks or a month. But many of them organise a temporary, flexible work schedule: they talk to their bosses about being able to work remotely, just for the duration of the trip. This means they still get paid, and don’t lose out on leave. And if you think it gets in the way of a vacation, you’ll be surprised how little it interferes–how about doing some work during the night, when you’ve already retired to your hotel room? Three or four hours of skipped television isn’t a big sacrifice, surely. Most employers can be flexible, just for a few days or weeks. Just ask.
 
4. Get an Air Miles Credit Card
With the right air miles credit card, you can rack up points (or miles) for anything you spend in Singapore or abroad. You can then use these for free seat upgrades or free tickets. You can compare air miles cards at SingSaver.com.sg. In addition to earning miles, these credit cards even offer access to airport lounges and discounts when you book accommodations on Airbnb, Agoda, or Expedia. This can shave hundreds of dollars off your airfare and make traveling a lot less stressful. Another trick to maximising your air miles card is to repay the card in full every month. Not only will the interest rate overpower any savings if you fail to do so, but you can’t use your accumulated miles while you have outstanding debt.
 
5. Synchronise Your Trips with Your Paycheques
This is not an endorsement for you to live paycheque to paycheque. Always save at least 20% of your monthly income for emergencies. That said… Try to time your trip so that your bank account isn’t dry when you return. For example, say you always get paid between the 27th and 31st of the month. You could time your return from your trip on the first week of the next month, so that when you come back your pay is already in. Some people overspend while on holiday and come back to find they have two weeks to their next paycheque. They then tap into their savings or buy on credit–neither are advisable options.
 
6. Use Public Transport When Visiting Developed Countries
It doesn’t matter if you get lost a few times–discovery is part of the fun. Plus the next time you visit, you will know your way around better. In most countries, locals will be happy to help you with directions. The cost of cabs or private cars can be steep, especially if you are visiting capital cities like London, New York,Tokyo, etc. Think how quickly you would deplete your pay by cabbing everywhere in Singapore – the same will be true in other major cities.
 
7. Try to Get Free or Discounted Travel Insurance From Your Agent
Ask your family’s trusted insurance agent for special deals on travel insurance. Some agents may flat out buy your travel insurance for you, because you’re a valued client. Otherwise, they can probably a get you a better deal. (That doesn’t just mean cheaper–it could mean better coverage.) Some air miles credit cards also automatically give you a complimentary travel insurance coverage when you charge your trip on them. Check to see if your air miles credit card offers this.
 
8. Avoid “Group” Areas When Traveling Alone
Some places are “group” areas. In other words, they are much more expensive if you go alone. The best example of this Bali–many activities are run for groups of three to four people. If you have no one else to go with, you will have to pay the cost for the entire group on your own (or find some friends, quickly). The easiest way to do this is to check on TripAdvisor. But you can also email the tourism commissions of the countries to ask how a given activity is priced.
 
9. Hold Off Converting Currency When You Return
Whenever you convert your currency, there is a chance you will lose money. So if there is potential for a return visit, simply don’t convert the currency back. Leave it in your drawer for the next time you visit. Over three or four trips, you will be surprised at how quickly these incidental “sock drawer savings” can pile up. These can partially fund your future trips.
 
 
(Singsaver.com.sg, Singapore's leading personal finance comparison platform, provides free and easily accessible resources such as its up-to-date credit card product page and the latest personal loan packages available in real-time.)

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