How Pinterest is Helping Singaporeans Save Money

The first time I heard about Pinterest I was like “What the hell? What is that even for?” It’s like someone digitized the illegally defaced wall of a bus stop. After spending weeks insisting Pinterest is just “Flickr for retards”, I’ll finally admit I was wrong. Pinterest is popular and desirable. Like I never was in school, damn it. I hate you all, and while I go cry, learn how Pinterest saves us money:


Cork board

I don't care what it is, being online makes it better.


What the Hell Is It?

Pinterest is a website. You can upload pictures, “re-pin” pictures you find interesting, or save them for later. Yes, I know you don’t see the point, but that’s what we used to say about Twitter too.

Anyway, think of it as a bulletin board in a dorm hall, except with fewer dirty pictures. It’s also a little more organized, so you can look up specific categories like “food”, “clothes”, or “MoneySmart editor’s prison mugshots”. That is, if you’re a member. Pinterest is invite only.

Hah, no, not really. Kim Kardashian couldn’t have an easier time getting into a STD clinic. Just type your e-mail address here and you’re in. Take a look, then come back if you can. Odds are, your frontal lobes will go into a coma, and all you can think of between now and next July will be “next picture”.

So how is this saving us money?


Two young girls using the computer

We don't want to buy dolls any more. This home made fuel-air explosive is way cooler.


1. The Crafts Prompt Frugality

I spend 10 minutes on Pinterest, and I end up trying to make ninja stars, exploding Mountain Dew rockets, and things typically reserved for people in reform prisons. But cool stuff aside, Pinterest has got a ton of functional DIY projects.

And just looking at the stuff prompts frugality. Instead of running out to buy things, some Singaporeans have started imitating them. I have friends who’ve become crafts-fair freaks:

Poly-student Suhaimi, who’s on Pinterest till two in the morning, says:

I was going to buy some floating shelves for a wall garden, which were like $45 each. Then I saw this, so I just copied the idea. I got some old bottles and used them as planters. Nothing’s grown yet, but it looks good so far. And it didn’t cost me anything.”

Another friend, who declined to be named for fear of being branded a sissy decorator-man forever, says:

“I had to replace the hanging lights for my dining table, and it was like $300 because I couldn’t buy one or two bulbs. I had to buy the whole set. Then I saw someone using bottles for a chandelier on Pinterest, so I just did that instead.”


Plants in a bottle

Not sure if creative, or just an alcoholic gardener.


2. It’s Teaching People How to Cook

In a previous article, I’ve already discussed how cooking saves and makes money. So have a million other Food Channel episodes. But compared to Pinterest, TV promotes cooking about as well as Hansel & Gretel.

Pinterest is…disarming. Still shots make the food look easy. Things like chocolate-coated bacon, peanut butter bars, and fancy food decorations look possible. It’s different from watching a cooking show, where the only thing your brain is saying is “HAHAHAHAHA! You can make that dish like S-League can sell out tickets.”

Since Pinterest users are happy to try, they’re saving on food costs. Packing lunches can save you $20 – $30 a week; not least because it kills the desire to splurge on cafes.


Chocolate coated bacon

Easy, you raise the pig on chocolate before cooking it. Duh.


3. It’s Lowering Gift Costs

Pinetrest is to special occasions what George Soros is to finance (minus the “smug fat ass who destabilizes economies” part).

The craft projects range from Christmas ornaments to freaking coffins. It’s easier than shopping. Do you know a single mall where you can view Birthday cards and caskets at the same time? If you do burn it down, because that’s sick. Anyway, Pinterest is like a shop with everything. As stay-at-home mum Donna Liew will tell you:

I actually find it easier to find a gift on Pinterest than in the shopping centre. In the shopping centre I can walk round and round for hours and I still can’t find the right present.

And because the Pinterest “gifts” are DIY, it’s usually cheaper than buying something from a store. Donna says the gift ideas:

Usually cost less than $10. Many don’t cost anything at all, because they use common household items. Last year at Christmas, and counting birthdays, Father’s day, etc.  I think I must have saved $300 – $ 400 overall.


Paper rose

You know that $35,000 first edition book you're so proud of? I turned it into something lovelier!


4. It Satisfies A Shopping Crave

You may have seen numerous articles about Pinterest and shopping. Because the site emulates a shopping experience, it delivers the satisfaction of shopping without the expense. This is proven by extensive research, where “extensive research” means “whatever pop psychology bloggers want to make up”.

Look, I dunno; maybe it is a psychological thing. It’s more probable that Pinterest is a just a huge distraction, like Reddit or a good video game. Either way, it combines three elements: It’s time consuming, it’s entertaining, and it’s a free service. That’s pretty much the ticket to frugality.

Going back to Suhaimi:

Ever since I became a Pinterest addict I go out less. I just come straight home from school and browse. Last month I had $200 extra left in my bank, usually I just have $20 left from my allowance.

So if you need an equally powerful distraction, go on and sign up. We’ll see you in a few years, or when the men in white drag your comatose body from your keyboard.



I'm not a loser like you mall zombies. I spend 6 hours staring at a screen instead.


Image Credits:
lovelihood, ssedro orphanjones, diohinchcliffe, cuttlefish, williamcho

Do you use Pinterest? Comment and tell us how it saves you money!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.

More From MoneySmart

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe, this is the best time for you to invest a brand new car. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term up […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options