4. Healthcare: My personal experience with healthcare in the two countries is somewhat limited, but I have researched various healthcare issues from different angles in my ongoing attempt to live frugally. As an adult, I have never been warded in either country. But I have had plenty of outpatient and pharmacy visits. Healthcare is a very broad topic, so I will divide it into four separate categories – outpatient & urgent care, inpatient care, medications, and healthcare insurance.
After being a massage virgin until the ripe age of 32, I never thought I would be someone who would need regular visits to a massage therapist. But once I experienced how good it made me feel and how truly therapeutic it was, I decided to make it part of my monthly wellness budget. Many of my friends told me that in order to get a good quality massage, you would have to buy a spa package, which could cost over $1000. They told me that I could go for a one-time promotional trial, typically priced at $30 to $50, but most places that offer these trials will not let you leave until they use hard selling tactics to get you to buy their expensive packages. Personally, I’ve visited a few of these places to try their services and successfully avoided their hard sells (please refer to my previous post entitled “How to Get Out of a Hard Sell“). But instead of constantly having to go from one promo to the next, fortunately, I found a place that not only refrains from any hard selling, but also offers quality massages at an extremely affordable price. (more…)
I was so naive and unprepared when I went for my first beauty/wellness service at a Singapore spa. In the US, I had only been to one other spa prior to moving here. My spa experiences between the two countries were like night and day, mainly because in the US, hard selling is not common. To be honest, I had never encountered a hard sell before in my life… that is, until I bought two vouchers from Groupon.sg, one for a massage and another for a slimming session. The steeply discounted offers enticed me to try out their services. However, I soon realized that such promotional offers were a company’s bait, and that I naively took the bait and was about to get lured in. The slimming centre salesperson employed tactics like guilt, shame, pressure, and even ridicule. The massage centre salesperson was slightly nicer, but still tried her best to wear me out and waste my time. But I stayed strong and left both places with my dignity and wallet intact. Others weren’t so lucky. Since that first eye-opening experience, I’ve visited and tried out a handful of other spas. Each time, I would bravely walk into the lion’s den with my voucher in hand, and then leave the centre unscathed. I have heard a variety of pitches, been yelled at a few times, and endured different hard selling techniques, all while testing out my own techniques of countering, deflecting, and avoiding the hard sell. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
I’m in my mid-30s and my vision has recently been changing, in fact, it’s been improving. Because the power of my lenses are often now too strong, I find myself needing to update my prescription every 6 months to 1 year. This can be very costly, as I would need to buy new glasses each time. Fortunately, I found a site where I can get great looking, affordable prescription glasses for about S$10! I’ve been ordering from this site for almost 6 years, and can attest to the company’s reliability, and the accuracy and quality of their products. At first I was skeptical, but each time I received my order, I would have the optometrist verify it. Out of curiosity, I sometimes would ask the optometrist how much a similar pair would cost me, and he would usually show me a pair that was over S$200. (more…)
When I ask people why they don’t cook their own meals, the first reason they usually give is not having enough time to cook. However, I would argue that dining out can take just as much time, if not more when you factor in travel time. But I have do use some methods and techniques that greatly increase efficiency and productivity in my kitchen. And with this one kitchen appliance, I can whip up a quick, delicious, and healthy meal and not be reaching for junk food when I’m hungry. Without any pre-preparation, I can also cook an entire multi-course meal for 20 guests in less than two hours time. How is this possible? (more…)
In our “food paradise” nation, there is no shortage of choice and variety when it comes to food. Wherever you are, you’re only a few step away from a food court or restaurant. Despite the abundance of good-tasting food, I do more home cooking here than I ever have done in all my years living in the States. There are two main reasons for this. (more…)
Gym memberships in Singapore usually cost over $150 a month. People will tell me that they feel it’s not a high price to pay for health, but that assumes you can’t achieve good health in a less expensive way. Here’s how I do it without an expensive gym membership: (more…)