Lifestyle The Frugal Handbook

The Frugal Handbook #1: Grab Or Cab?

Welcome to the first post of The Frugal Handbook! 

This is a series where I aim to post as often as possible about all things personal finance.

This may range from money-saving life hacks to PSAs about ongoing deals/promotions to general thoughts about saving, investing, or anything else related to personal finance.

These posts will usually be short, bite-sized stories or thoughts and will not aim to convey a deeper understanding of personal finance concepts as my regular posts do.

Without any further ado, this is Entry #1 of the series.

#1: Grab Or Cab?

Over the weekend, I was at the mall with my family and we were heading back home in the evening at about 6pm.

We bought dinner and groceries and had a lot of things to carry.

So, it was decided that we would Grab back home instead of lugging everything onto the bus.

Since it’s a short journey, an average Grab ride would cost ~$8, which isn’t that much more expensive than 4 adult fare bus rides. 

I opened my Grab app and saw the price – $8.30. Perfect.

I tried booking a ride but was unsuccessful in getting one.

After my app refreshed, the price changed to $14.30 – it was now at surge pricing. So we decided to wait for a while, also trying to book a ride on Gojek and TADA.

10 minutes had gone by and we were still unable to get a ride. I opened my Grab app again and saw horror.

The price had surged to a ridiculous $21.30 – all for a short ride home (<10 min drive away). 

Frustrated, we decided to head to the taxi stand to get a regular cab. 

After another 10 minutes of waiting, we finally managed to get on a cab and headed home.

Upon reaching home, we saw that the final fare of the cab ride was only $8 – even cheaper than the lowest Grab fare we saw of $8.30.

What a relief it was that we didn’t get a Grab ride sooner.

As Grab continues to expand its services and grows bigger, they will have more control over pricing – they can and will charge higher prices for their services over time, as they did with the implementation of the 30c platform fee.

While Grab may be more convenient, let’s not forget that we still have other options which may just end up being cheaper, allowing us to save money and support other businesses at the same time.

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