How much do you spend during your poly & Uni years? - Seedly
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Alcander Seow

Asked 2w ago

How much do you spend during your poly & Uni years?

Currently 19 Y/O, in Poly, soon to graduate. Noted that my expense is hovering around $400 ~ $750/mth. Is this normal? How can I reduce it? What are some of your spending habits? Personally, what are some common things that you would invest more on / buy more affordable?

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Hey! I just graduated from Uni and your expenses seem normal so don't have to be too stressed about it! Everybody's situation is different after all so no point comparing.

I too spent about $600 in Uni and like 50% is dating related (happily getting married now) so no regrets that.

I like your frugal attitude and I made a video on why it's SO Important! https://youtu.be/kKDcGpAzwr8

I'm planning to start a playlist on how to keep expenses low so do subscribe and check it out! (Gonna be covering mindset, tips and techniques, tracking expenses & budgeting plans

How to reduce it

Lemme try and remember my numbers hahaha

Food - Breakfast homemade overnight oatmeal + milk. $1. My method is price shopping and loyalty I ALWAYS eat the same cai fan store, 2 veg1 meat $4+ (4 years in SMU i've never tried the mala), smile and build good rapport and you'll get lots of benefits, especially during the late night study sess, aka free food, extra big portions etc. dinner at home free, or nearby caifan, $2.70

Transportation - during sch term, monthly plan, cheapest. $110

House - parents (Free) Plan, househack flat when i buy it to rent out unused room to reduce rent.

Phone plan - $20ish

Dining out with friends/partner, $100+ (I'm quite cheap and my friends really understand sometimes when I hangout and don't eat and just drink my own bottled water cause I broke. :D

Gifts for frens, fam and partner(SO EXPENSIVE) $200+/month but I love them, and it makes them and me happy so it makes sense for me.

Unexpected expenses $100+$200/mth laptop spoilt, phone screen spoil, yearly trip etc etc and it really adds up...

Total, about $600.

But I also worked every weekend as a badminton coach though! I would advise learning how to invest passively like through index investing, and learn how to invest better. And hustle hard to earn more money!

If you found this helpful, please show some love cause my livelihood depends on it ;) JK! have fun and stay safe Alcander. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRJTXOvcpLIo4rh7jBrlOMA?sub_confirmation=1​​​

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

Hi Gerald, thx for sharing your lifestyle & expenses & Congrat on your marriage. Wish you 2 all the best, & best wishes. here is my 6 month worth of expense log, from the start of the year till June. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OncFxU2-liByuxx0u9gkbOBAoTSn0BX5zZnK-XwxD78/edit?usp=sharing After viewing, maybe you can advice me or ask me why I spent of the items & how I can reduce my expenses
Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

From March till June, I was attending internship. For the June log, reason for taking private hired was due to COVID-19, parents said to take.
JC
JC
Level 5. Genius
Updated 2w ago

Hi Alcander, i think that everyone's financial situation is different and it's hard to determine whether your expenditure is considered "normal" or not.

Personally, i always track my spending (i use the seedly app but feel free to use any which you think suits your needs) so that I know where my money is going to. I don't like the idea of seeing the money in my account depleting without knowing what/where I spent it on. It also helps me to see which category i'm overspending on. I try to save money in some areas where i have control over. For example, i always bring a bottle of water out with me whenever I have my meals so that I won't be tempted to get my usual teh bing. This helps me to cut down on my expenses in the short term and also in the long term, it's better for my health :)

As for my spending habits, I tend to buy some of my clothes from Carousell or some Selling groupchats on telegram because you'll usually find clothes that are still BNWT at half the retail price! When it comes to online shopping, I try to make use of vouchers. Using Shopee as an example, sometimes they'll give you a voucher once you hit a min spending and on top of that, you could utilise certain bank promo codes on a certain day (e.g. $5 off promo code when you use DBS/POSB card) as well as your Shopee coins. So what i'll do is that i'll add things that I need to buy (e.g. my skincare items, supplements, etc.) into my cart and wait till it hits the min spending amount and cart out everything at one go.

Hope my tips help and happy graduation! :)​​​

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JC
JC

2w ago

I like how you categorised bubble tea as self-indulgence 😄 Maybe you could try and reduce your expenses on lunch? I noticed that your lunch expenses seem to be quite high. For my lunch, i usually try to keep it below $5 when i'm eating on my own. If it's a meal out with friends, i would usually just let it slide (i.e. give it a higher budget).
Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

For lunch, as I'm interning in the CBD area, the average is around $3.5 ~ $7, depending on the location
Noelle Sim
Noelle Sim
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered 2w ago

Back in Poly, I had an allowance of $40 per week and I usually spend within my allowance. An effective way to reduce expenses is to keep track of it. There's a lot of expenses tracking apps, but personally I used the Seedly app to keep track of my card expenses and Monefy to keep track of my cash expenses. Keeping track of your spending helps you to see where the bulk of your money goes, allowing you to better plan your budget.

A bulk of my expenses goes to food & transport. I use public transport and rarely took private transport. Buying hybrid concession pass helped greatly in cutting down on transportation cost while allowing me to travel around easily. I mostly have my meals in school and if not, my friends and I would take advantage of student meal promos or deals out there. I take advantage of huge sales such as 11.11 to do most of my shopping hahaha but if that's not feasible for you, one tip that helped me is to wait a week or two before buying an item.

As a student, the things I tend to invest a bit more are electronics and clothing items that could last me longer (such as bags, jackets, shoes, and even formal wear). Hope my tips may benefit you :)

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

Hi Noelle, thx for the reply. My allowance before my internship was $70/week. I usually save $25/week as far as possible, eat nearly the same meal in school every day. I usually top $10/week for transport. Here is my 6-month expense log. Based on your experience, maybe you could advise on where I can reduce my expenses? https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OncFxU2-liByuxx0u9gkbOBAoTSn0BX5zZnK-XwxD78/edit?usp=sharing thx once again 😄😄😄
Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

From March till June, I was attending internship. For the June log, reason for taking private hired was due to COVID-19, parents said to take.
Tan Wei Ming
Tan Wei Ming
Level 6. Master
Answered 2w ago

I was given $200 every month for allowance in Poly. I saved 50% of it every month during that three years in poly. I just eat cheap lunch in canteen. Probably you should share with us how you spend so much and we try to suggest how to cut it?

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

From March till June, I was attending internship. For the June log, reason for taking private hired was due to COVID-19, parents said to take.
Tan Wei Ming
Tan Wei Ming

2w ago

Hi, understand that there are some expenses that are necessary but I will just want to point out on the food expenses. I think it is a bit on the high side especially if you are conscious about your budget and expenditure. It's fine to treat yourself good food once in a while but I guess eating cheap food on most of the days will do the job in cutting your expenses by a bit.
Goh Jing Wei
Goh Jing Wei
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated 2w ago

Hi, I’m currently a poly student. I spend around $250-$340/month (prior to Covid 19). Most of my dinner will be at home. For me I don’t buy shoes and clothing regularly, this allow me to save a lot.

I avoid buying branded goods too, it’s not because I couldn’t afford but I would rather save and invest that money for the future.

I use my phone to keep track of my expenses. This allow me to avoid impulsive spending. Although we do not have a full time income, I still recommend keeping track of

expenses.

2 comments

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

Here is my 6-month expense log. Based on your experience, maybe you could advise on where I can reduce my expenses? https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OncFxU2-liByuxx0u9gkbOBAoTSn0BX5zZnK-XwxD78/edit?usp=sharing From March till June, I was attending an internship. For the June log, the reason for taking private hired was due to COVID-19, parents said to take. thx once again 😄😄😄
Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

2w ago

I too don't buy shoes on a regular basis, only when I need it cos I have wide feet so difficult to find wide feet shoes from under $100. Clothing I buy only what I need. E.g. Uniqlo, Giordano,

I keep a strict budget during my university days. In most cases, I withdraw $350 cash every month and swipe less than $200 in card spending.

How I do My Budget:

How to create a Monthly Budget

Given a choice, I will tighten my budget further and accumulate more money for future needs.

I share quality content on estate planning and financial planning here.​​​

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