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Easy Ways to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Affordable in 2020

Starting off the New Year with a resolution for self-improvement? Here's how you can save as you pursue greater wellness & success in 2020.

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With 2020 around the corner, you may already be drafting up your New Year’s resolutions to take stock of this past year and set goals for the next one. However, in addition to being notoriously challenging to keep, many resolutions–such as learning a new skill or committing more time to self-care–can end up being quite costly over the long term. Thankfully, there are several strategies you can make use of to fulfil your New Year's Resolutions without dipping too far down into your wallet. Here's how you can save on a few of Singaporeans’ most popular resolutions.

Get to the Gym & Be More Physically Active

After all the feasting over the December festive period, it’s no wonder that getting to the gym and being more physically active are such popular New Year's resolutions. However, in an expensive city like Singapore, where the average cost of a monthly big-chain gym membership is S$132.67, the quest to get fit can be quite expensive. Thankfully, there are several ways to save money while becoming more physically active.

To begin with, you may simply want to consider Singapore's most budget-friendly fitness centers; while they may not offer all the amenities provided by more expensive options, they still have the basic equipment you need to get back into shape. Signing up with ActiveSG (S$30/month) instead of Fitness First (S$185/month) offers an impressive S$155 in monthly savings, adding up to S$1,860 savings within a single year.

The cost of a big-chain gym membership in Singapore varies widely, averaging to about S$133

If you prefer taking a wide variety of different types of classes–rather than just heading to the gym day after day–you may be able to save money with fitness subscriptions like ClassPass and KFIT. Such subscriptions offer a set number of credits that can be used towards classes of the subscriber's choice every month, allowing for a great deal of flexibility. Finally, for those really looking to minimise costs, it's worth checking out free community classes at local parks and malls, or even just trying home workouts found on YouTube.

Earn That Next Big Promotion

There's no better time to renew focus on your career than at the start of a new year. However, earning a promotion often requires upgrading your skills or even picking up completely new career-related knowledge. Classes can be quite expensive, however. In fact, the programme fee for a leadership course at Singapore’s Centre for Career Excellence is an intimidating S$6,494.40.

Fortunately, you can often advance your skills for a lesser cost. If you’re a Singaporean aged above 25, you can make use of your SkillsFuture Credit (starting balance of S$500, with periodic top-ups from the government) to offset course fees. If you’re unable or ineligible to claim the SkillsFuture credits, you can still take advantage of free instructional videos on YouTube or Khan Academy. Finally, if you truly feel a more expensive course is necessary to help with your advancement, consider discussing your goals with your boss. In some cases, companies will subsidise course fees, making top-tier programmes far more accessible.

Make More "Me Time" & Practise Self Care

In a fast-paced city like Singapore, we could all benefit from taking better care of our physical and mental health, explaining why practising self care is a common resolution. That said, what better way is there to practise self-care than to switch off for a few hours by getting pampered at the spa? Given that the average cost of going to the spa is approximately S$130 per hour, this can become a quite expensive habit to uphold over time.

Table of current spa promotions offered by select credit card issuers

Nonetheless, you can save money by opting for massage treatments–rather than facials or body scrubs–as they're typically one of the least expensive options. You can also search for discounts on Fave, a platform which can help you find special offers like up to 90% discounts at local spas. Finally, check to see if your credit card is offering any wellness promotions. Many provide deals on select treatments and at select centres, which may make your spa days even more affordable.

Conclusion

Ultimately, New Year's offers a great opportunity to start fresh and redefine your ambitions. While it's not always easy to remain committed to resolutions, finding ways to save along the way can make perseverance just a bit easier. No matter what resolutions you choose for 2020, it's a good idea to plan ahead and consider what truly accomplishing your goals might entail.

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