The default question for almost every fast food restaurant is: “Would you like to upsize that?”. Only very few places offer a downsizing option, and they’re mainly Japanese restaurants (CoCo Ichibanya and Ramen Santouka come to mind). It’s slightly cheaper if you downsize your portions.

So we at The Popping Post thought to ourselves – what if started downsizing other purchases? Everyday purchases or big ticket purchases, all these would add up. We did the maths for you and here’s what we found out!


1. Downsizing from gourmet coffee to coffeeshop kopi – save $1,387 per year 

What type of kopi do you take? Credit: Super Merlion

What type of kopi do you take? Credit: Super Merlion

We’re not going to name any atas coffee places here (don’t want to incur the wrath of hipsters), but it’s fair to say that a latte costs at least $5 at most cafes. More if you get a larger cup or you add flavoured syrups. If you drink a latte every day, that works out to be at least $1,825 (365 x $5) a year, not counting leap years.

Compare that to a kopi from the coffeeshop nearby. It ranges from $1 to $1.40, depending on location, so let’s just take it to be an average cost of $1.20. If you drink a kopi every day, you spend $438 (365 x $1.20) a year.

You save at least $1,387 a year ($1,825 – $438). Enough to buy an iPhone (although probably not the latest model), but we bet you didn’t think the savings would be that substantial.


2. Downsizing from a BMW 3 series to a Toyota Corolla Altis – save $9,580 per year

Everyone likes a BMW. They’re fast, sleek, and all around awesome. And despite their ubiquity, a well-maintained BMW is still enough to turn heads when it zooms past. A BMW 3 series will set you back $197,800 if you bought it last year. This includes COE (because, let’s face it, the COE makes up a huge proportion of a car’s price).

On the other hand, a modest and popular Toyota Corolla Altis went for S$101,998 last year.

If you take just the cost price of a car alone, the difference between the two is $95,802 ($197,800 – $101,998). Assuming you scrap the car after the COE expires in ten years, that means you can amortise this difference to $9,580.20 per year. That’s not counting the cheaper maintenance and other miscellaneous car costs that come with owning a less branded car.

You’ll save at least $9,580 by downsizing to an Altis! Also, you won’t be classified as an *sshole BMW driver anymore. BMW drivers have been statistically proven to be *ssholes, according to a UC Berkeley study, so you’re also improving your karma. Intangible benefits of a cheaper car!


3. Downsizing from an Executive Condominium to a HDB flat – save $21,300 per year

A 3-room HDB flat. Credit: Orb Interior Planners

A 3-room HDB flat. Credit: Orb Interior Planners

For simplification purposes, we’re just going to look at 3-room flats. Now, let’s assume you bought a 3-room executive condominium (EC). In 2016, that ranged from $776,000 to $960,000, but we’re going to be conservative and assume $776,000.

Now, compare that to a resale flat, which sold for between S$350,000 to S$380,000 in 2016. We’re not going to look at BTOs because it’s most probably not going to be your first flat if you’re downsizing, and we’re not counting all the other miscellaneous property buying costs like stamp duties. So let’s also be conservative and take the 3-room HDB resale flat’s price as $350,000.

The difference between the two is $426,000 ($776,000 – $350,000). If we assume that the flat will be paid for in 20 years, that means the savings per year is at least $21,300. And what do you forego? Sports amenities and function rooms, which will definitely not cost you $21,300 a year.

But what about security, you ask? Well, given that gated condominiums will slowly give way to open plan ones… let’s say that the security question will be moot.


4. Downsizing a Big Mac to a Double Cheeseburger – save $540.80 per year

Double Cheeseburger. Credit: McDonald's

Double Cheeseburger. Credit: McDonald’s

For McDonald’s fans, we’ve got an excellent option for you. You can actually get all the taste of a Big Mac for half the price, if you follow these steps (which won’t cost you anything, unlike at Burger King, where they nickel and dime you if you ask for more sauce for your burgers).

a. Order a Double Cheeseburger

b. Tell them no ketchup and pickles

c. Ask to add Big Mac sauce instead

It’ll taste exactly like Big Mac, without the weird veggies and an extra slice of bread. But honestly, are you really looking forward to that extra slice of bread in your Big Mac? Could you live without it? The answer is yes.

Now, you may be wondering if this is even worth considering. Here’s the maths, based on the McDelivery order page. A Big Mac costs $6. A Double Cheeseburger costs $4.70. Right off the bat, that’s $1.30 savings ($6.00 – $4.70).

Now, let’s say you eat McDonald’s twice a week, so you save $2.60 a week (we won’t advocate you eating fast food more than that, for health reasons). 52 weeks means you save $135.20 a year (365 x $2.60). But you’re not going to be eating McDonald’s alone, right? Chances are, you’ll be eating at McDonald’s with your family. So if four people order this Double Cheeseburger option, you save $540.80 a year. That’s half a thousand dollars for a simple life hack!



Total savings

$1,387 + $9,580 + $21,300 + $540.80 = $32,807.80

That’s how much you can save by downsizing on four simple items. Over $30,000. Put that in some blue chip stocks, and you’ll have a very comfortable nest egg when you retire (unless you have itchy fingers and decide to play the stock market).

Downsizing. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Downsizing. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

You can already save over $30,00 from downsizing four items in your life – how much would you save if you downsized your entire life? That’s what Downsizing explores. Paul (Matt Damon) undergoes a revolutionary procedure that shrinks him down to five inches, downsizing his entire life (don’t worry, he has other downsized friends in a downsized community). But there’s more to life than just size, and he discovers the merits of Downsizing.

Would you undergo the Downsizing procedure if you could?


Credits: McDonald’s, Orb Interior Planners, Super Merlion, Golden Village Cinemas