Don’t look now but we’re still dealing with inflation. If you’re keeping track, we’re at 2.9% year-on-year (March 2022) which is a 10-year high, and on average, 2.6% more than what the bank is giving as an interest to stash your cash in their vault.
While this might not be the best time to spend frivolously, you’re not gaining much by holding off on purchases you’ve saved up for. So if the figures add up right, these are savvy ways to live a max AF life but doing it in a financially smart way.
Did you know that you can fly direct from Singapore to Istanbul, Turkey for just 50,000 miles (Economy) and approximately $40 (return, economy) in taxes? It’s one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe, and because S$1 converts to $10.60 lira, our dollar goes a lot longer there.
The vibrant city of Istanbul is where the action is. It’s been quietly reinventing itself as a luxury tourist destination with a slew of luxury hotels (you want to stay at the Six Senses Kocataş Mansions sitting right on the Bosphorus River), trendy new restaurants (check out Galataport’s eateries), and attractions like Grand Camlica Mosque, Turkey’s largest mosque. There’s also loads of art action happening with the Istanbul Biennale and Renzo Piano-designed Istanbul Modern opening in 2022.
If you get bored with the city, hop over to Cappadocia to go hot air ballooning or escape to Palmarina in Yalikavak just outside Bodrum and rub shoulders with billionaires. Paris and Rome are also less than three hours away by flight.
Exchange-rate fluctuations and changes in production costs are some of the reasons designer bags have been creeping up in price. According to WWD: “Since November 2019, the price of Chanel’s Medium Flap Bag in the U.S. has increased by 60 per cent, according to data compiled by the Jefferies Group, an investment banking company. Its larger counterpart, the 2.55 bag, also increased, to US$9,500. In June 2021, the 2.55 was reportedly US$7,400.”
Aside from getting on a plane to secure your dream arm candy, a better option is to enlist the services of a professional like celeb personal shopper Gab Waller who has served the likes of Khloe Kardashian and Hailey Bieber. If she’s booked, many Instagram personal shoppers will do the hunting for a fee. They may not have the same access but this video has some tips on what you need to know regarding fees, shipping, and customs.
That Italian designer couch might cost five to 10 times more than what you can source from copycat brands but will it last? Do the math: if you’re spending $2,000 on a couch that shows wear and tear after five years, isn’t it better to buy the real deal for $5,000-$10,000 that’ll last a lifetime?
Not only does Italian furniture rarely go out of style, it’s also made from quality materials and has a high resale value. Keep an eye out for XZQT’s occasional warehouse, showroom, and festive sales – they’re the sole authorised dealer of Cattelan Italian furniture in Singapore – to score a luxury Italian piece for less. They’ve been in the business for 25 years, so you know they’re the real deal.
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There’s a new second-hand luxury name to take note of. Japanese brand LUX.R has joined the luxury consignment market alongside platforms such as Vestiaire Collective, The Fifth Collection, and HuntStreet. With a focus primarily on Hermès and Chanel items and competitive commission rates (five per cent for Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags, 10 per cent for other brands or models) their white-glove service with strict authenticity processes allow you to consign and shop for pre-loved designer goods. Not only will this save you some money but you’ll also feel good about adopting a more sustainable way of shopping.
(Here are “14 Designer Bags With The Best Resale Values“)
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You can get your dream skin for less – and it won’t involve being pressured to buy a package. Start by looking online for your favourite designer lipstick or night cream for less. The discounts offered at sites like Gilt more than justify the US$9.99 shipping fee and they’ve got everyone from Dr. Barbara Sturm to Olaplex and La Mer stocked.
Another beauty strategy is to invest in quality medi facials that deliver glowy, smooth skin for longer. Facial rejuvenation treatments such as The Artisan Clinic’s Cynosure 5D Elite IQ Laser treatment and Cambridge Medical Clinic’s Fotona 4D Laser Facelift that supercharge your collagen and hydration levels mean you won’t need as much maintenance, or for that matter, makeup.
The chip shortage is not going away anytime soon and while there’s nothing wrong with your current iPhone, it may be time to buy a backup device or upgrade your current model so it has a longer shelf life.
Adding to the chip woes, Apple has announced halted production at three key Chinese suppliers which may affect the ongoing assembly (and supply) of iPhones, iPads, and Macs and perhaps the launch of the iPhone 14. Plus, there’s the very real possibility of price hikes due to the increased cost of chip production.
Who knew such a small piece of hardware could cause such a mess?
Rule of thumb, if you’re a homeowner, you’ll want to pay attention to this name: Jerome Powell. The Fed chairman causes ripples across the global economy whenever he decides to raise or slash interest rates in the United States, and for 2022, he’s projecting six more hikes.
What this means for local homeowners is an increase in SORA – the main benchmark for floating loan rates – expected to follow the US rate hikes which means your monthly mortgage payments will rise if you don’t have a fixed loan rate or your lock-in period is coming to an end.
Look into refinancing or repricing to avoid missing out on savings or paying unnecessary excesses. If you can, get your bank to waive fees and legal costs to make the process more viable financially.
The surge in energy and gas prices has not gone unnoticed by car owners. With pump prices hitting record levels (thanks to the spike in global crude oil prices and the war in Ukraine) and no reduction in fuel duties or road tax rebates, it’s truly getting too expensive to own and operate a vehicle.
Fueling up across the causeway is not a sustainable solution long term but swopping your vehicle for a pre-owned option from a dealer like CarVault may save you a tidy sum every month. Check their ongoing supply of cost-efficient models like a Honda Shuttle Hybrid or Kia Stonic, which when you crunch the numbers, will likely be more affordable, ensuring you don’t have to sacrifice having a car to get about.
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