I started a sabbatical earlier this year to spend time with family, children, read books, pray, and explore online publishing (more details on sabbatical experience here).

Even prior to the sabbatical, we have cut out as much unnecessary expenses as possible and try to make it a lifestyle of consuming only what we need instead of buying-whatever-we-feel-like-buying.

(Side rant: I’ve met too many people who mortgage their financial future by buying stuff with FUTURE income eg using credit card to secure credit card debts, home loans, car loans, education loans, renovation loans, holiday loans, whatever loans – some basic loans can be required to progress in life and earn more such as education loan which I can understand…but getting loan for holiday? For shopping? No way amigo.)


1. Cutting down taxi rides, especially if it’s less than 2 persons traveling (ie if it’s me alone or at most with one per person, we can take the bus and train)

2. Eating out less or when necessary (again, especially if I’m alone. If have to eat out, the cheapest available or go home and eat).

3. Cutting down the intensity of air-conditioning at home to “dry” (rather than cool) and around 25 degrees to create a cooling environment rather than cold, and everyone share the AC (instead of AC in every room).

4. Eating lesser (at least for me) cos I started the 16:8 intermittent fasting, my window-period of eating is between 12 PM to 8 PM, this cuts out one additional meal for me (breakfast) and snacking after 8 PM, so this cuts some costs for me

(eg if I used to take eggs for breakfast, I may have lunch outside around SGD 5 per meal, but now I take eggs for lunch, so there’s that).

5. Doing free-ish activities egReading
Going parks/playgrounds/library
Creative play (artwork, writing)
Free-for-entry museums and events
Church (free entry)

The only things that cost money for #5 is transportation and food (with family; if it’s me alone, I’d travel and eat cheaper)

6. Cutting down costs of fruits: I found a great fruit shop in Hougang where the fruits are easily 50% cheaper than in NTUC.Examples are buying an entire small watermelon for SGD 1.50 (where I saw in NTUC in the same day going for SGD 4.95); honeydew for SGD 2, mangoes/dragon fruit for 50c to $1 one etc

7. Buying less junk food such as chips, ice cream (or when need to buy, buying the cheaper alternative but not overly-bad-cheap)

8. I recently bought 25 black round neck t-shirts at AUD 5 per shirt (great quality, cooling, sports); 3 nice burms at AUD 10 per piece and more KMart Australia, which I’ve been using every day

9. Using/re-using clothing, bags and shoes for as long as we can – I like to wear as long as I can, ideally until they wear out. As far as I know, my immediate family aren’t really impulsive fashion shoppers ie HAVE to buy clothing that looks nice on us…

And those are some of the stuff that we do that have become our lifestyle.


High on this list is we’re considering porting our lines from M1 to Circle.Life, and right now I am studying the available packages vs our actual utilization.

As I have 5 lines with M1 to enjoy a phased-out group discount of 35%, I originally didn’t want to get rid of any lines or port out to another provider…but Circle.Life may give Singapore Telcos a run for their money and offers.

Update you soonest.

Do you have any ideas for me as to how to cut down any costs further?

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