Budget-friendly luxury experiences
Every now and then when we come across celebs documenting their extra lifestyles on the gram, we might feel a tinge of envy and think - weird flex but okay. But there really is no need to feel jealous because you can live the “high” life right here in Singapore without squandering all your savings.
From a luxe manicure to horse-back riding, here's where you can enjoy high-SES activities without worrying about the splurge.
1. For a horseback riding experience - rides from $10
Image adapted from: @syuhhlove
When we think of horseback riding, we are reminded of shows set in medieval times like Merlin or Game of Thrones. But it might surprise you to know that at Gallop Stable, you can become the modern-day equivalents of royals back in the days. You don’t even have to get a membership to go on a private horse riding lesson.
Lessons begin at just $10 for pony rides and $15 for horse rides, and you can also look forward to occasional promotions for an extra deal. Time to ditch the outdated Gangnam style moves for a real horse ride instead.
2. For a mani-pedi day - non-lupsup sessions from $10
Image adapted from: Shugar Spa
If you’re looking for a day of self-love and pampering with your girl squad, Shugar Spa can give you that luxe nail visit you're looking for.
Decked up with chandeliers and cream white interiors, this residential nail salon provides top class service to their customers despite express nail services at surprise - just $10. What’s more, you can also try their variety of other makeovers including facials, massages, waxing and threading - a one-stop venue for you to get glammed up like a real-life princess.
3. For a day of golfing - tee off for just $2.40
Image credit: Mandai Executive Golf Course
Golf is known to be a rich man's game, usually only accessible to members of country clubs. Despite this, there are actually places like Mandai Executive Golf Course that lets you experience a day of swinging your clubs and seeing how many holes you can score. The best part is, you don’t have to worry about the membership jargon and hefty sums of fees.
Mandai Executive Golf Course - a 9 hole, Par 29 course
Image credit: Mandai Executive Golf Course
They also have a driving range of 40 bays - great for beginners who are fresh to this sport. For a 9 hole course, prices start from $25, while prices begin at $2.40 for 40 balls in the driving range.
40-bay Driving Range
Image adapted from: @sggolfcoach
4. For “spa day” - soak at a traditional Japanese onsen for $38
Image credit: Yunomori Onsen
We all deserve to relax and get pampered once in a while just like tai tais, but sometimes we just can’t bear to treat ourselves to a full ‘spa’ day. Opt for a Japanese Onsen experience as an alternative at Yunomori Onsen & Spa Singapore, which provides everything from hot onsen to sauna facilities.
No need for exorbitant spa packages here - a day pass costs just $38 per adult. For those who want to liberate your tight muscles, try their Thai massage (from $88) and a head and shoulder massage ($38). And to complete your royalty session? Help yourself to a spread of soba, ramen and oden from their cafe.
Look out for their frequent 1-for-1 promos as well to bring a friend along with you, which will make your spa day even cheaper.
Address: #02-17/18, Kallang Wave Mall, 1 Stadium Place, Singapore 397628
Telephone: 6386 4126/ 6385 7985
Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-11PMZ
5. For fine dining - “Masterchef” dishes from $6
For a hearty meal, try their pan-fried fish on a bed of veggie and beans
Image credit: @kharlgar
The poshest of dining experiences has got to be fine dining - candlelit tables, a heck load of cutlery and top-notch food presentation. Yet such reservations come with many digits on the bill.
Thankfully, The Top Table, Temasek Polytechnic culinary school’s student-run restaurant, gives you a taste of this atas lifestyle, all at normal restaurant prices.
Risotto topped with roasted potatoes
Image credit: CIA Top Table Restaurant
The cuisines served are comparable to that of fine dining places - Italian, French and Western. At this culinary school, you can find steaks at $16 and gnocchi at $6, and feast on these delectable dishes in a luxurious atmosphere. Just knowing that you get to experience all this at such an affordable price, makes the dishes taste so much better.
If you need a break from your daily dose of cai fan or neighbourhood bak chor mee, give yourself a treat with a high-class dinner that won't make you instantly broke.
Address: 21 Tampines Avenue 1, Temasek Polytechnic, Block 31, Singapore 529757
Telephone: 6780 4250
Opening hours: (Mid-August to Mid-November only): Mon- Fri: 11.30AM-1PM (Closed on weekends and public holidays)
6. For expensive-looking home decor - get second-hand pieces
Upcycled bed frame made into a rattan bench sofa.
Image credit: Hock Siong & Co
We’ve all probably heard of or watched MTV Cribs before, which featured wealthy celebs giving us tours into their lavishly decorated houses. But honestly, sometimes all you need is an eye for design and some timeless accent pieces, like dark wood furniture and statement couches.
At Hock Siong & Co, you can find furniture from 5-star hotels, some of which are even upcycled to give them a new look. There’s really no need for the uncountable amount of zeros on a cheque for that dining table you plan on getting, all while impressing your visiting relatives with your “expensive” taste.
Australia-made Dressing Table and stool.
Image credit: @hocksiong
Another alternative is buying the display pieces at furniture stores like Courts or IKEA - they are usually retailed for a much cheaper price while still being as good as new!
Address: #01-03, Junjie Industrial Building, 153 Kampong Ampat, Singapore 368326
Telephone: 6281 8338
Opening hours: Daily, 9.30AM-5.50PM
7. For designer clothes - subscribe to new clothes monthly from $69
Image credit: @styletheorysg
It’s not really retail “therapy” when spending more than a $100 at one go just sends you into a frenzy of stress after the temporary high. If only we could spruce up our wardrobe every now and then without such a worry.
That’s where clothes subscriptions brands like Style Theory come into the picture, letting you don fresh new looks every month without the commitment and $$.
Change up your wardrobe every month with Style Theory’s frequent new arrivals
Image credit: @styletheorysg
At just $69, you can rent 3 pieces of clothing of your choice for a month. You’ll get to try brands like The Fifth Label and Free People which feature dresses and tops that usually retail at more than $100 each. So you don’t have to wear those same few blouses to work every week while still keeping within your monthly budget.
Madthread also offers similar services - a box of 3 pieces of clothing costs $79. This deal is a real steal considering they hold pieces from brands like Kate Spade, Alexander Mcqueen and DKNY that can amount up to more than $1000 per piece. They also have Madswaps where you can substitute your pieces for new ones when you’re feeling a different look.
8. For yoga sessions - rejuvenate with FREE classes
Image credit: Singapore Sports Hub
Instagram might be plastered with yoga enthusiasts flexing poses in expensive-looking studios, but these sessions can actually be done without a membership or costly fee.
Take your pick on your preferred type of yoga style like hot yoga and even sun salutations.
Image credit: Fit Eleven
HPB’s Sunrise in the City holds free yoga sessions with classes held in yoga studios or outdoors, most of which are in the central CBD area. Some locations include Fit Eleven and Fitness First studios. This is your chance at having a sweat-it-out session in a quality yoga studio, without paying a cent.
Classes are available to sign up for all Singaporeans and PRs, as long as you are a SingPass holder.
Achieving a high-SES lifestyle for less
The atas life might sometimes seem out of reach because of the crazy amount of money you have to spend. But that’s where secret hacks come in handy to help you score similar luxury experiences for much less. At the end of the day, we all want to live our best life without forking out our savings.
Win a Porsche when you pay your bills with AXS
718 Boxster - one of Porsche’s convertible sports cars
Image credit: Porsche
Here’s even better news for those looking to upgrade their lifestyle: AXS’s Drive The Dream II is back with even grander prizes to be won. We’re talking cars like the Porsche Macan, Porsche 718 Boxster and the Porsche 718 Cayman. Just settling your bills at an AXS machine or on the mobile app will qualify your shot at winning a sweet new ride.
Alternatively, you could pay with the AXS m-station mobile app and get 2 times the chance at vroom-ing away with a new car. Clearing your bills and getting rewarded for it just seems like a win-win situation that you shouldn't miss out on. Hey, maybe this is your chance to flex on the gram too!
Read more about how you can win a Porsche car here.
This post was brought to you by AXS.