More Money Saving Avenues! (Part 1)

More Money Saving Avenues! (Part 1)

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These are really some of the facets of maximizing our money that I truly love. Avenues that allow you to save money off the amount that you would have spent anyway, simply by doing the spend a slightly different way. I’m making this a multi-part series because I am thorough that way!

Knowledge and timing is everything, as it is in every situation. One of my recurring regrets if you would call it that, is that I discovered a fabulous cashback channel after my family’s Europe trip. We could have gotten SGD80 in cashbacks (6% of total accommodation spend) simply by making our bookings for the accommodation using an additional website as a layer. What we lost here, I’ve somewhat made up with yesterday’s fiasco – read below under Supercharge your Cashback! (a thrilling mini-series to this multi-series!)

Imagine this – because your spend has been deemed necessary and you have already scouted around for the best prices, you are committed to spending the hypothetical $100. That’s money that you are prepared to part with. Best price in the market. 1 additional step and I could have saved say 6% off that $100. Sure, that’s only $6 if you do the math. Look at my family’s Europe trip example. In a larger quantum, this adds up. When you continuously keep using the cashback method for necessary spend, you keep adding on to the savings. In Malay, there’s a saying that goes – sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit. Literally translated – bit by bit, you’ll soon have a hill.

So what other avenue is there to save money? Am glad you asked and here’s my favourite ones. I have included the links to sign up for these services as well using my referral link, this adds no cost to you. In most cases it gives you some free credits to start off with, and I get a humble sum as well.

  • Shopback (this link will give you a $5 welcome credit and an additional $5 once you make a purchase, I get $5)

This has been, by far, my go to cash back site. Primarily because this is where Booking.com is, where I do most of my travel spend.

Shopback has a collection of vendors over different services such as Travel, Dining, Electronics, Groceries and on and on! Each vendor has an agreed cashback amount to provide to us, the buyers, if the purchase is made via the Shopback platform.

Essentially, instead of going to your favourite online portal directly, you simply go to Shopback first then click on the logo that has your online portal. This is almost the store-front, if you would like. From there you would be directed to your chosen online portal and you can proceed to do your purchases as you would have. Simply by adding this 1 step to your purchase, you are funneling savings away.

Show & Tell Time: I joined Shopback in September 2016, coming up to just 1 year now.

That’s my Shopback screenshot as of today. When you earn cashback, it is not immediately redeemable. Think of it as the ‘credit period’ suppliers / buyers have when they engage with companies – some have a 14 day payment period, some have 30 days, some 60, some 90 and some 120 even. Pending Cashback also parks the bookings / purchases you have made that is still within the cancellable period. For example, if you made a hotel booking on Booking.com and that reservation has a free cancellation policy, you will earn the cashback only upon completing your stay. Yes, they are smart. Shopback is not going to let you game the system!

On my spend, just to illustrate how this adds up:

Primarily our spend is on travel accommodation. This would have been a bigger slice of the pie if I discovered Shopback before our Europe trip! Sense that distaste? I do not like leaving money on the table!

I do a fair bit of groceries online however Shopback does not partner with my favourite online grocery choice – Redmart. I have done groceries 2 – 3 times on Shopback and gathered a princely $2.62 in cashback however it simply isn’t worth the trouble I have with this vendor. It’s not all about dollars and cents!

Interestingly the other slightly large slice of the pie is our 1 time purchase from Courts for a Queen size mattress. We got a decent mattress, not all too expensive by the way mattresses do and can go, but expensive enough to give us $29 in cashback.

Requesting cashback – all you need is a minimum of $10 to request a payout. Why have I not done it? I like seeing it build it! Haha! Do bear in mind that the cashback, once redeemable, is only valid for 1 year so make sure you do request a payout! There’s no service fee to request a payout, which can be direct to your bank or to a PayPal account.

I’m going to be requesting this to my PayPal account as I want to access my PayPal funds. PayPal has a charge fee if your balance is below $200 to access the funds, so if your PayPal is relatively idle then you money can be stuck there for a bit. Of course you can use your PayPal balance for all sorts of online purchases but why would you want to miss out on building up your credit card points using your PayPal balance? Think, McFly…think! No, no, I was not being harsh. I was channeling my Back to the Future fangirl voice. I’m kind and fun, mostly. I’ll do an update on the payout when it comes through. Update → Payout received within 5 days of requesting the cashout!

Supercharge your cashback! This is a true story. On the afternoon of 28th August, I read a push notification I received on my mobile phone that there’s a Pre-Sale period on Shopback leading up to Rewards Day 9.9 which saw Shopback partners giving an increased amount of cashback. What is Rewards Day 9.9 you ask? I didn’t read much into it, it’s almost like a Black Friday Sale concept if you ask me. What caught my eye, and if I paid attention to these notifications with a keener eye I would have noticed this earlier, is that instead of 6% cashback on Booking.com there was not a 9% cashback on Booking.com. I do have an upcoming trip to Tasmania next year for my bestie’s wedding that I’ve not made any purchases as I wanted Baby #2 to be out first. 9% cashback though. Ending at midnight though. Booking.com does have free cancellation reservations. What is my downside here? Only a late night of frantically planning what a half decent itinerary would looks like so we know where to book accommodation. So, as of midnight, we had put down SGD1,926 in accommodation spend that is fully refundable at no charge. Money we have agreed to part with.

Normal cashback = $115.56 (6%).

Supercharged cashback = $173.34 (9%).

Added money taken off the top just by sheer timing = $57.78.

The thrill of rushing against time to make all the bookings by midnight = priceless. Hah!

Look out for the next post containing more of our favs!

Author: Ms.K

Ms.K is everything that Mr.C is, without the natural interest in investing and company financials! The activity planner for the family, the driver of random ideas and soon to be ‘retiring’ in to full time motherhood – Ms.K has no idea what she’s in for but remains super excited!

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