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Surviving Singapore’s Inflation: 5 Tips You Need to Know

Singaporean households will receive CDC $300 vouchers in 2023. To make the most of them, it’s important to spend wisely and only on essential items. Additionally, DBS is offering subsidies for hawker meals, and it’s a good time to invest in high-yield accounts like T-bills and Singapore Saving Bonds. As inflation rises, being a smart shopper can also help you save money. By managing your finances effectively, you can achieve your financial goals and alleviate financial stress. Take a look at these five strategies for better managing your finances and surviving Singapore’s Inflation in 2023.

1) CDC Vouchers 2023

On 3 January 2023, every Singaporean household will receive $300 Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers. $150 vouchers can be used at supermarket such as HAO Mart, NTUC FairPrice, Prime Supermarket, Sheng Siong, Giant, Ang Mo Supermarket, and U Stars Supermarket. The reminding $150 vouchers can be spent at nearly 20,600 participating hawkers and heartland merchants. 

I have utilized these vouchers exclusively to purchase essential items like rice, oil, shampoo, toothpaste, and other personal care products from both supermarkets and local merchants in my community. This strategy ensures that I fully optimize the use of my vouchers for my most essential needs. Additionally, I wait for promotional offers before buying these items in larger quantities to further stretch the value of the vouchers. In instances where I want to purchase non-essential items such as snacks, I will use cash to pay for them.

The reason is simple,

  1. By paying with cash, I am dipping into my monthly budget and reckless spending could leave me with insufficient funds to cover all my expenses for the entire month.
  2. If I believe that these vouchers are entirely free, and therefore spend them frivolously, I am not making the most of the opportunity they provide.
  3. The reason I avoid spending at participating hawkers is similar to the above. Typically, I would opt for a three-dollar meal, but since I now have these complimentary vouchers, I might be tempted to spend more and potentially squander the full value of the vouchers.

CDC Vouchers 2023 need to use by 31 December 2023.

2) NS Vouchers 2023

In commemoration of 55 years of National Service (NS55), the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be giving out an NS55 Recognition Package (RP) to thank past and present national servicemen for their contributions to Singapore‚Äôs defence and security. Eligible national servicemen will receive $100 worth of credits to use at heartland shops, hawkers, and e-commerce merchants. 

Up till now, I have not utilized a single cent and most properly I will use it at Sheng Siong or FairPrice for essential items.

NS Vouchers 2023 need to use by July 2023.

3) DBS 5 Million Hawker Meals

Since 2021, DBS has been championing and celebrating the hawker trade with its ongoing Adopt-a-Hawker Centre programme. Through weekly group buys and better online discoverability of hawkers, they aim to bolster earnings and preserve the livelihoods of our hawkers, who are an integral part of our Singapore way of life. From 10 February 2023 to 19 January 2024, we can enjoy up to S$3 subsidy* on your hawker meal every Friday by being the first 100,000 users to scan to pay with DBS PayLah! at any of the SGQR-enabled hawker stalls islandwide.

I have already enrolled in this scheme and plan to continue participating, as it not only supports the local hawkers but also saves me $3 per meal per week. Over the course of a year, this adds up to a substantial savings of $156.

DBS 5 Million Hawker Meals runs until 19 January 2024

4) T-bill, High saving account, Fixed deposits, Singapore Saving Bonds

As high inflation is projected to persist in the near future, banks and governments are likely to maintain their efforts to combat it by gradually increasing interest rates throughout 2023. 

Consequently, I have been reallocating my funds to higher-yield accounts in recent months, such as short-term investment options like T-bills that have reached a maximum interest rate of 4.40% for 6 months. Additionally, I have been channeling most of my savings to UOB One Account to potentially earn up to 7.80% in their tiered saving system. Furthermore, I have been setting aside a small portion of my monthly savings to invest in Singapore Saving Bonds with an interest rate of 2.90% for a 10-year period. Although OCBC Bank is currently offering a 4.08% interest rate for an 8-month fixed deposit, I have yet to take advantage of this opportunity.

5) Be a smart shopper

Due to the high inflation rates, prices of various goods and services have increased, including essential items such as food and electricity. Additionally, Singapore has increased the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by 1% in 2023 and another 1% in 2024.

While certain factors such as inflation are beyond our control, we can still take action to manage our expenses. By adopting a smart shopping approach, such as buying what we need during promotions and comparing prices across different retailers, we can accumulate significant savings over time. It may require some effort and time, but every little bit of savings can make a difference in the long run. For instance, you may be able to find a product significantly cheaper at one supermarket compared to others, or at a value shop.

In the midst of high inflation and the impending GST hike, I have taken a small step to optimize my cash flow. I hope this article can inspire you to better manage your finances and move towards achieving your financial goals.

Money is a tool that enables us to obtain the things we desire. By effectively managing this resource, we can alleviate the fear of not having enough.