With Chinese New Year just around the corner, everybody is eagerly anticipating the get-togethers, good food and of course, the ‘ang pows’ (red packets)!
Before you get ahead of yourself, why not consider cutting costs this Chinese New Year (CNY) and taking charge of your finances? Here are 6 ways you can save money during CNY!
1. Reduce, reuse and recycle decorations
CNY is nothing without the festive lanterns and lights, but it is important to remember to not go overboard with buying lots of new decorations! Try reusing some old decorations from previous years instead of buying new ones every year.
With the help of Youtube tutorials, you can even try creating your own CNY decorations using recycled materials, like old ang pows!
2. Organise a steamboat reunion dinner at home
Why spend unnecessary amounts of money for a 5-course meal at a restaurant when you can do it yourself at home? With restaurants hiking up prices during the festive season, it will be wiser to cook a simple steamboat dinner at home. Little preparation is needed and you will get to control the amount of salt, oil and sugar that goes into the food!
3. Re-wear your old CNY clothes
Buying new clothes for CNY can be wasteful when you do not need new clothes or when there are still relatively new clothes sitting in your wardrobe! Pull out some clothes you haven't worn in a while and try styling them in different ways to create fresh new outfits this year. Who says you can’t be fashionable and frugal?
4. Manage your ang pows
It can be tempting to spend all your ang pow money at once, but remember the importance of saving and compounding. Money that you save and put into the bank or use to invest will compound and accumulate to a larger sum of money.
An easy budgeting method to follow is the 50-30-20 rule. On top of that, you can also use a budget app to help you keep track of your ang pow earnings and plan how you intend to use it. This way you are less likely to spend your hard-earned money carelessly!
If you’re married and need to give red packets to your friends and family, remember that you have to give within your means and stick to your budget! Before you start setting aside money for red packets, pay off your financial commitments and put away your monthly savings first.
5. Start preparing early
If you know that you will want to get goodies, a haircut or new clothes before CNY, start getting them early before the prices start rising. Avoid the high prices during the peak season by stocking up at the wholesale markets or booking a haircut appointment before the festivities begin. It’s always better to be early than late!