Lifehacksg#25 - $1 fitness classes

[savings type - $$; >$200 over 8 weeks ]

New year, new resolutions! Our first lifehack of the year focuses on one of the most popular new year resolutions - staying healthy! We hope that this is on your list, because today's lifehack is going to blow your mind about how you can attempt to lose weight for $1 per fitness class, and potentially get a positive financial return at the end of the program.

Did we say they will pay you to lose weight? Yes!


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Fit to Win is Singapore's first social weight loss challenge where participants are incentivized to lose weight via a financial reward system. Here's how it works:

1. Players begin by placing a bet of $20 into a general money pot. 

2. Everyone who loses 5% or more of their starting weight over the course of eight weeks gets to split the pot equally. 
3. The top three players who loses the highest percentage of their starting weight will be further rewarded with prizes worth up to $3000.

In case you're wondering where the $1 fitness class is sitting in all this, read on. 

Besides creating an innovative concept of providing a platform for like-minded Singaporeans to lose weight together, the challenge also provides an 8-week fitness program for every participant who signs up. What this means is that upon registration, you will gain free access to a list of fitness classes including Zumba, Kickboxing, Pilates, Capoeira etc. conducted by the associated fitness partners. Well, how do the numbers look?

$20 bet + $5 registration fee = $25

3 free fitness class credits per week x 8 weeks = 24 credits

Effective cost = ~$1/fitness class

Assuming an average fitness class out there sets you back ~$10/session, you're looking at more than $200 of savings over an 8 week period.

Now we know that the program is enticing because you have the potential to win some money from the pot; but think about it, even if you miss the 5% mark, you're effectively signing up for a 2 month fitness program at a dollar per class. 

Lifehacked.

So, happy 2014 to you all from Lifehacksg! Stay fit, healthy and win some money!


p.s. share some winnings with us will you?





Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Posted by Terence Yeo

Lifehacksg#24 - Singapore Really Really Free Market

[savings type; whatever you find!]

The Really Really Free Market (RRFM) movement first began in 2003 in North America and has since spread across the world. As a movement that aims to counteract Consumerism, the RRFM forms temporary markets based on the gift economy. This means at the market, everything is free. The idea revolves around less of the sale of something, but rather sharing items among the community.



The Singapore version of the RRFM is supported by the Post-Museum, an independent community of very pleasant people, and takes place about once every other month. These temporary markets in Singapore "pop-up" at various different places and updates are available via their Facebook page. The next session will take place on 15th December at Hong Lim Park and more details can be found here. Do register for a booth if you're interested to contribute and share!

So, what will one expect at an RRFM session in Singapore?

Well, lifehacksg popped over a couple of times over the course of 2013 and generally we have very positive comments about the concept. Juxtaposed in the setting of Singapore which most argue as a city which symbolizes consumerism, the Singapore RRFM is boldy refreshing! People come from all walks of life to share both skills (teaching Japanese, free back massages, guitar lessons, Yoga sessions, meditation...) and items (books, clothes, food, art pieces ...). At a recent session, we walked away with a self-portrait, poetry and a postcard and some great books!

We don't suggest that you go with a mindset of wanting to get free stuff; but rather treat it as a day out to explore yet another unique underground social community in Singapore with the chance of some hidden finds! Remember, bring what you can and take what you need! 

Happy lifehacking!


Thursday, December 5, 2013
Posted by Terence Yeo

Lifehacksg#23 - CarouSELL

[savings type - liquidating used stuff for cash!]

Today's lifehack presents a very interesting service available to you and I provided by the awesome folks from CarousellThe simple idea of a traditional buy-and-sell marketplace has been revolutionized to be accessible to the average man on the street, and did we mention - on the go. 



To explain Carousell... in a nutshell try to think eBay or Craigslist, except much simpler and much quicker. According to their tagline "Snap, list, sell. Create free listings to sell items you once loved in 30 seconds". When they say 30 seconds, they actually mean it. It is that simple.

Sure, there are many such platforms dedicated to accessible online shopping and selling. But we chose to mention Carousell in today's lifehack primarily to encourage our readers out there to embrace a "sell, sell, sell" mindset, which presents itself as the antithesis of a "buy, buy, buy" mentality. 

When keywords like "de-clutter", "simplicity", "less is more" have become guiding principles of a modern 21st century lifestyle, don’t you start to hate yourself a little when your already-tiny Singaporean apartment is made even smaller by an ever-growing pile of ‘things I don’t know where to put’? Yup, that’s the time, not to relocate, but to rethink your goods. Start tagging excess, unnecessary items for sale and you will soon realize how much you actually do not need. experience liberation from a society driven by consumerismCarousell is one app that will help you de-clutter your life, and allow you to get some cash back at the same time.

Today, the start-up announced a fresh injection of $800K funding which will help them expand their services to countries in the region. An interesting statistic to note is that on average Carousell users open the app 10 times and spend (cumulatively) 25 minutes on it daily, compared to 14 times and 30 minutes respectively for Facebook! Very impressive indeed.

Accolades aside, the Carousell app is great because it embraces simplicity and allows you to put out pre-loved items into a thriving marketplace within 30 seconds. At lifehacksg, we have been using the app for 2 months now, and have successfully gotten rid of more than $1000 worth of pre-loved items ranging from clothes to electronics.

Start selling and de-cluttering!




Thursday, November 14, 2013
Posted by Terence Yeo

Lifehacksg#22 - $100 roundtrip ticket on Tigerair

[savings type - $$; one-off at >$200] 

At Lifehacksg, we’re big fans of Standard Chartered Bank (No unfortunately this is not a sponsored advertisement, guys). When we first heard of this new deal, we couldn't hide our excitement. They have reached a new height of dominating the credit card market share with this clever maneuver, dangling the most sought-after carrot to an island of consumers who take their globetrotting rights very seriously.


Jumping on the bandwagon of attractive packages by low-cost carriers, Standard Chartered is one of the first banks to launch a co-branded card with a budget airline. The Tigerair Platinum Credit Card basically rewards you with flights upon usage. In the Upfront Rewards plan, you will be awarded a one-way ticket upfront upon card approval, and you have the next 12 months to accumulate $5000 spend on the card to fulfill the expenditure requirement. If you fail to fulfill the spend requirement or terminate the plan before fulfilling the spend requirement, Standard Chartered will charge you a $100 penalty. 



As part of the introductory offer, you get an additional one-way ticket if you sign up for the card before 31 January 2014. This means that with the Upfront Rewards plan, you will receive two e-vouchers to redeem one return flight. Here's the lifehack - sign up for the card, redeem your return flight, and immediately terminate the plan. You will have to pay the $100 penalty, but that basically covers the cost of your return ticket. 

Each e-voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and can be used to make any flight reservation for a one-way Tigerair journey, inclusive of taxes and charges, departing from Singapore to any one of the following 11 destinations – Bangkok, Hat Yai, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Pekanbaru, Penang, Phuket and Surabaya.

While a location like Kuala Lumpur may not seem worth the $100, think about Bangkok, where it may cost you north of $300 for a return ticket during non-sale periods. Save that $200 and take it on a 5000 Thai Baht shopping spree in Chatuchak weekend market. We think it's worth it. What about you?





Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Posted by Terence Yeo

Lifehacksg#21 - Save on Suits?

Edit - $90 suit deal is no longer available but do check out the store for cheap tailored clothes nonetheless!

[savings type - good deal!]


Suits have become a symbol of success in the urban jungle that we live in and are a must-have in every man's wardrobe. It is a need that you will find yourself obsessing about at some point in time, just because it is versatile and such a thrill to don (especially if you have a worthy one). From working professionals who understand the importance of looking poised and polished for good first impressions, to an average Joe who wants to look like a million bucks on an evening out, the suit is a transforming garment tailored to compliment your body. Today, Lifehacksg ventures into the field of tailors and textiles, going back to the age-old classic of the iron-pressed James Bond look to give you a makeover.

Seah Im Food Centre located opposite Harbourfront is a pretty terrible food centre - our friends over atIeatIshootIpost agrees, as this may be the one food centre where you walk in and realize that none of the stalls are actually worth your calories at all. However, food aside, in the corner of the food centre lies a small cluster of stalls comprising of sundries and tailor shops. In particular, Lifehacksg#21 recommends Singai Garments and Tailoring (#01-11) for their affordable tailored dress-pants and full suits.


At this local, unassuming "mama shop", made-to-measure pants only cost you $40 apiece, or just $100 for a set of three. For full professional suits, we were offered a quote of just $90 for an entire suit set (top + bottom). Can you imagine how many outfits you can tailor with such a deal? Friends will be after your secret for a seemingly endless variety of expensive-looking items!

After taking your measurements, the tailor will provide you with catalogs of various types of fabrics available for choosing. Lifehacksg made a purchase for three tailored dress-pants and were very impressed with the precision of the fit as well as the quality of the fabric. Now, we're not expecting Harvey Spector's standard of quality but the impeccable fitting might just pull off as an A grade knock-off for a millionth the price. Another plus point – the pants were ready for collection within just a few working days!  

In quick summary, to get perfectly-fitted tailored pants and suits at a very affordable price, head over to Seah Im Food Centre to visit Singai Garments and Tailoring! While you're at it, we would highly recommend getting a bowl of our favorite Tian Ji Niang Tou Foo stall (you won't miss it, there's a perennial line)!

Happy lifehacking!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Posted by Terence Yeo

Lifehacksg#20 - Krisflyer... or not?

[Savings type - $$; >$500 when redeeming miles]

Most people are buzzing about cheap airfares and promotions provided by low-cost carriers these days. If you have not already jumped on that bandwagon, you should definitely check out Jetstar's unique booking features we covered in Lifehacksg#7.

But for today's lifehack, we will put you ahead of the crowd in being airfare-savvy. We decided to delve even deeper into what these airline 'promotions' and frequent flyer programs entail. Specifically, we will scrutinize the frequent flyer program which most people based in Singapore are part of – Singapore Airlines Krisflyer.



For most of us who grew up in this country, Singapore airlines has been known to be the flagship carrier of this entire nation. Famous for its excellent service and extremely posh premium-services, we can comfortably assume that it is one national icon we are all pretty proud of. This sense of power and pride manifests itself in a little card which sits in all our wallets – the Krisflyer frequent flier card. We hate to admit that we have fallen prey to this card for years, but a recent epiphany made us realize that it has been a very big mistake.

This post is derived from well-grounded research by expert analysis from the wonderful world wide web, based on a comparison between Krisflyer (Singapore Airlines) and Mileage Plus (United Airlines). We figured that since these folks have already done so much of the work, we will not reinvent the wheel and will instead report the facts as they are.

According to a very comprehensive analysis here, one of the biggest pain points of redeeming miles via Krisflyer is the amount of taxes/fees involved, and the table below can speak for itself. While these numbers may be from 2012, sources tell us that as recent as September 2013, a roundtrip San Francisco-Singapore flight on United miles merely costs an additional USD61.90 in taxes/fees. The same route on Krisflyer miles today will set you back 10x the cost due to an exorbitant USD630.59 in taxes/fees.

Roundtrip
Program
Miles
Fees (USD)
Singapore – New York
Krisflyer
63,750
688.35

Mileage Plus
65,000
42.10
Auckland – Colombo
Krisflyer
59,500
546.94

Mileage Plus
60,000
65.50
New York – Dubai
Krisflyer
75,000
740.47

Mileage Plus
80,000
74.40

There are plenty of other benefits to compare, including free upgrades, bonus mileage, award booking discount etc., but for the purposes of this Lifehacksg post, we simply want to focus on the exorbitant Krisflyer taxes/fees compared to United, which really make the Krisflyer program look a lot less attractive. The >$500 you will save can definitely go into additional shopping/food budget on your travels.

Here's the scoop to have your cake and eat it too: If you want to redeem miles with low taxes and fly in the comfort of Singapore Airlines, the Mileage Plus program will still work for you. Not only can you accrue Mileage Plus miles while flying Singapore Airlines as both are members of the Star Alliance, you will also be able to redeem your Mileage Plus miles on SQ flights (under "Partner Flights") if they are available.

P.S. This is a comparison only between KRISFLYER and MILEAGE PLUS.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Posted by Terence Yeo

Lifehacksg#19 - Park & Ride

[savings type - $$; Annual - $2000]

The excruciating pain of travelling to work every morning is something we can all identify with. Today’s Lifehack discusses one of the main woes in Singapore - Transportation. Specifically, this targets readers who own a car/drive to work. Yes, driving to work can be a pain. We know this because Singapore has one of the highest ratios of vehicles per kilometer of road at 281, significantly higher than the UK (77), Japan (63), and the US (38). We actually think it is hilarious that radio stations report on traffic conditions every morning because well, all they do is take the expressway abbreviations in Singapore and add “congested” after it. If you drive to work, you will know what we mean.

Unknown to many people, the Singapore LTA has a Park and Ride Scheme which was created with the intention to reduce traffic flow in and out of the city area during rush hours. In fact, the scheme was first introduced more than 20 years ago back in 1990! Under the scheme, motorists are allowed to park their vehicles at designated car parks on route to work, and make the rest of the journey into the city on a public bus or train. Now before you start doubting the availability of designated car parks, there are actually more than 40 islandwide.



There are two options for the scheme - a monthly fee or ad-hoc parking. The former is represented by a $70 Park and Ride set which consists of a $30 season parking ticket and a $40 Park and Ride EZ link card, while the latter is a flat $3/day (7am-9pm) parking fee. The math works in your favor with the season pass option.

Now, let’s take a look at potential savings through Lifehacksg’s lenses.

Intangibles:
-          Avoiding the frustration from the remaining distance between the designated car park and your office
-          Saving on time stuck in congestion for the remaining distance between the designated car park and your office

Tangibles:
Assuming that parking in the city costs you $250/month (this may be conservative for some of you), the net savings to you from adopting the Park and Ride scheme works out to be more than $2000 per year! Yes, there is additional effort required to turn into a designated parking lot, park your car, walk back out towards the closest train station and additional time involved, but if you successfully do this together with Lifehacksg#4 , we are looking at sizable annual savings.


To put things in perspective, for your additional efforts required to adopt the Park and Ride scheme, you will be compensated with a reward equivalent to a round-trip ticket to the US. Talk about a free holiday. 

Think about it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Posted by Terence Yeo

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