More Money Saving Avenues (Part 2)

More Money Saving Avenues (Part 2)

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I started with my fav in the earlier post – Shopback. It’s my fav because I have accumulated a sweet amount in terms of actual cash that I get my hands on again. What else do we routinely do that saves us a few bucks here and there? Does it result in us being super rich? No, not really. Does it result in us reaching FIRE faster? Well, by a negligible amount. Why do we do it then? It doesn’t always have to be something big and magical that instantly changes our lives. FIRE is a journey in any case. A carefully planned journey sprinkled with high doses of patience every few steps! Along the way, we find activities that make us happy. Saving money, quite effortlessly, definitely makes us happy!

Some of these savings have actually gone a longer way in enhancing our quality of life. Earning miles for example – allows us to travel a full service airline vs. a budget airline. Oh the taxi promotions these past few months, we’ve been milking it and enjoying more car rides than ever before vs. taking the bus / train / paying full taxi fares. Quite simplistically, if there’s an avenue for savings available then we use it. It does take doing some research to be aware of the avenue and also ensuring we are actually saving vs. just the illusion of saving.

Here are our few others:

  1. Refer previous post!
  2. Ebates – use this link and get a USD10 sign up bonus after your first purchase.

The American version of Shopback, used for the American brands. I use it primarily for Amazon shopping. I rarely buy clothes online, else I would for Old Navy. There’s a sweet $10 sign up bonus, which is in USD mind you. I wish I discovered Ebates soon, I’ve spent so much on Amazon!

3. Taxi Promotions

Grab is our best friend. I do think that Uber has similar and as frequent promotions as well however we have gravitated towards Grab. Perhaps Uber’s company practices doesn’t sit right with us, perhaps Grab is a Malaysian brainchild therefore we are more inclined to support a homegrown brand. Maybe it’s both! From speaking to the nice men and women who ferry us around when we do use Grab, they seem to have a preference for Grab vs. Uber as well. Something about Grab having a more humane approach to working with them. I like that.

I must say though that Grab doesn’t do a fab job in showing you how much you have saved, which they really should. It builds for loyalty! So instead of actuals, I’ll do an approximation. We take, at least, 5 taxi rides per week on average between the 2 of us. This is to the library, or just anywhere really because there’s promotional discounts. There was a week I took a Grab to work every morning! Grab has been offering between $4-$5 off for all your taxi rides, week by week, if you do a upfront top-up of GrabCredits. So essentially you top-up $20 or $30 every week and then you are entitled to $4-$5 discounts for each ride that you take for that week. There’s no downside!

Math time: 5 rides a week x $4 each ride = $20 a week in savings. This has been going on for 4 months now! We have saved $20 / week * 4 weeks x 4 months = $320. At least! These are savings + increased quality of life. Some of our rides have cost us absolutely nothing even because we are travelling a relatively short distance and the discount covers the entire cost.

What’s nice is that Grab has a points system too with an expanding Rewards catalogue. So I get discounts off my normal rides AND build up points to redeem for a variety of rewards? SOLD! As of today, I have 9,687 points which, looking at what appeals to me, can get me:

  • 2,300 points for $7 off a $35 KFC meal. Something about Fried Chicken….
  • 2,700 points for 2 free scoops of Haagen Daz ice cream. Something about ice cream….
  • Points for varying amounts of $ off Grab rides. All about the same redemption value which is between $0.0025 – $0.0028 per point.

Yes, low redemption value across the board but again, it’s something in addition to a spend that I would have made anyway! It’s like I got on a Grab car ride and was offered a free scoop of ice-cream – of course I’d take it!

4. Hotels.com(this link will give you a $50 off your first booking when you stay and I’ll get $50 too, thank you!)

This is Mr.C’s forte. I have never done any bookings via Hotels.com. Conceptually I understand that this arrangement allows you to book 10 nights of stays across a host of hotels / properties and the average value of the 10 nights gives you the value of your 1 free night.

What’s great about Hotels.com is that it is stack-able with the Shopback cashback. So we can book via Shopback and earn our cashback on the dollar value of the hotels book and still earn a free average value night. So what you need to do to maximize this lil’ arrangement is:

  • Create a Shopback account – use our link for a free $10 cashback
  • Create a Hotels.com account – use our link for $50 off your first booking
  • Close all tabs
  • Log in to Shopback using your newly created account, and select Hotels.com
  • Log in to Hotels.com if required, then proceed to make your booking
  • Remember, each booking requires you to do Step d and e again. This ensures you qualify for the cash back on each booking.

5. Capitalizing on Referral Schemes

This isn’t specific to one particular site and actually most of the referral schemes we capitalised on have since stopped their referral programs, presumably as they have reach sufficient mass to operate without providing a referral reward.

What we used to do, and will continue to do as the opportunity arises, is to have 1 of us sign up for the service. Then refer the other. We then let our colleagues / friends know as referral schemes reward both parties – the person who refers and the person who uses the referral code.

Some of our shenanigans:

    • Grab – There used to be a referral program here. Refer a friend and get $8 off your next ride or something to that effect.
    • Uber – Same deal.
    • Redmart – Similar deal, the value of the referral was $10 I think.
    • AirBnB – You can gain $25 off your first booking of $100 or more from using our referral code – Free $25, as do we. This is amazing – I was referred by Brother B and received a $25 credit then I referred Brother A to receive an additional $25. I referred Mr.C and he’s yet to make a booking, once he does so I’ll receive an additional $25. That’s $75 just on my account. Mr.C has referred his sister so hello another $25 soon. Between us, we have 2 sets of parents to refer and gain $50 on each side. Within our immediate family itself, we have $200 from cross referrals.
    • Shopback – this link will give you a $5 welcome credit and an additional $5 once you make a purchase, I get $5)
    • Hotels.com(this link will give you a $50 off your first booking when you stay and I’ll get $50 too, thank you!)
    • Ebates – use this link and get a USD10 sign up bonus after your first purchase.
    • Honestbee – While this isn’t my favourite online grocer primarily due to their stock availability, I do have a keen eye for discounts. I referred Mr.C and my brother and received $10 off their minimum purchase of $20. I use HonestBee for the non-perishable items as that tends to be in stock more often compared to the fresh items – so it’s useful to purchase toilet paper, facial tissue, detergents.
    • One of my fav credit cards : AMEX – You can get 1,500 Krisflyer miles simply by spending $50 within your first 3 months of membership using this link – Free 1,500 points. I earn 2,000 miles for the referral, for which I thank you in advance! Refer to my post about all the perks I’ve gotten from credit cards and zoom into the AMEX card perks. Def my top 2 fav cards!

There’s a host of other referral programs out there, but we don’t specifically go out on a hunt for those. We use the ones that is most practical to us and weave into our normal lives.

What’s your favourite?

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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