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3 Things Singaporeans Should Do Before the Singapore Dollar Slides

Joanne Poh
Singapore Currency (file photo)

If you’re old enough to remember what the Euro/USD/yen/AUD to Singapore dollar exchange rates were like ten years ago, you’ll have realised that, as holidaying Singaporeans, we have it pretty good right now.

The SGD has gotten so strong over the years that we can afford to travel just about anywhere. After all, a decent hotel stay almost anywhere in the world still costs less than your typical Singapore staycation.

But it looks like we’ll have to tearfully bid those days goodbye.

While the Singapore dollar recently enjoyed a year-long high against the US dollar, analysts say that the strength of the Singapore dollar isn’t likely to last. And for most Singaporeans, this is bad news, given that we’re some of the world’s most frequent travellers and many of us shop on overseas websites because we can get the same products at a lower price than local retailers can offer.

Here are three ways we should cut our losses before the SGD goes down.

 

Do your online shopping now, and buy in bulk

Many Singaporeans buy essentials from online sites cos they’re cheaper.

For instance, vitamin supplements are for some mysterious reason very expensive in Singapore, so lots of Singaporeans get theirs on iHerb instead. Skincare products, depending on the brand, are often cheaper on Strawberrynet, Amazon’s US site or other overseas retailers.

If you’re after a specific brand, you should always check if it’s cheaper online—for instance, here are 6 types of things that cost less when you buy them on Target’s websites.

Now that you know all these things could soon get more expensive, it’s a good idea to do as much of your online shopping now rather than later, and if you can, buy in bulk so it’ll last longer.

 

Consider local retailers when comparing prices

You might already have your go-to overseas sites when you shop online. But now that the Singapore dollar is set to weaken, don’t forget to compare prices once again. What was previously the cheapest deal in town may no longer be so attractive a year from now.

There are now more local retailers than ever, many operating online and therefore able to offer better prices since they don’t have rent to contend with, especially since local shipping is usually free or at least very attractive.

For instance, Sunnanz is a local site that carries US, Japanese and Korean skincare brands like Dermalogica and SKII at a good price. Shipping by regular mail is only $1.95 and you get free delivery on orders over $200.While the Amazon US site carries some of the same brands at low prices, when you factor in the cost of using a shipping service your cost savings get eroded somewhat.

Singsale is another local website where you can buy designer, high-street and sports apparel, often at a deep discount. For instance, right now they’re selling handbags from Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade at about half price.

 

Plan your big holidays conservatively

If you’re the kind of person who likes to plan for your overseas trips months in advance, note that that trip to Paris or London could very well cost more than you’ve anticipated.

So when budgeting for big holidays, err on the side of caution and avoid committing to trips that you can barely afford.

Let’s say you’d like to go on 3 week trip to Paris for your honeymoon next year. If that’s something you’re going to have to cough up your life savings for, consider going to Japan instead.

Thinking of going to a luxurious, $1,000 a night Maldivian resort? Then you might want to consider shacking up at a nice villa in Phuket instead.

How will a weakening Singapore dollar affect you? Tell us in the comments!

The post 3 Things Singaporeans Should Do Before the Singapore Dollar Slides appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.

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