Live & Learn
How NOT to spend your Ang Bao money
Rejoice as Chinese New Year is just around the corner! After the long-standing hiatus with the pandemic, we can finally catch up with our loved ones and spend some quality time together with them. Of course, not forgetting the fluttery feeling we always get when we receive that special red packet (ang bao).

That said, we should also not take our "ang bao" money for granted and always be mindful on what we use it for.

Here is a list of how NOT to spend your ang bao money during this Chinese New Year.

Source: Canva

1.    Gambling

We know it is hard to resist an invite especially when this has always been an annual tradition of the family to play gambling games, such as Black Jack, Mahjong or Poker - surely a few games will not hurt the pocket right? You can come to an agreement with the other players to only bet at a moderate amount. Do not be afraid to express your discomfort or turn down an invite if you feel that the bet amount is way out of your comfort zone. Set aside an amount of money that you are playing for the game and learn to stop if you know that you have already exceeded the cap. Alternatively, you can also suggest playing fun and interactive card games and substitute money with small forfeits instead. At the end of the day, the goal is to bond with your relatives and create happy memories together.

2.    Dress for the occasion

As the old Chinese saying goes, “new clothes symbolizes a fresh start into the New Year.” Wearing branded goods might make you look good and accomplished. However, always remember to spend within your own means. It is definitely not wise falling into debt over the next few months just to pay off the goods you bought for those mere few days of Chinese New Year! The way you portray yourself and dressing sensibly can make you stand out more compared to indulging in branded fashion. Alternatively, you can pay via instalment payment plans if you feel that you do not have the means to make the full payments.

3.    Set a Budget

Setting a budget for your angbao money may seem like a drastic action for such a celebratory festival, but rest assured it will do you good. Ang bao money differs year on year and perhaps it may be even lower this year due to the pandemic. Hence stating an exact amount to set aside as savings may be tough. What we suggest is to set a percentage of your ang bao money dedicated to be saved, let’s say 50% of your total angbao money. With this measure, you will not only have tighter control over your money, but you will also feel less guilty when spending your ang bao money.

4.    Invest

Investing smartly is another way to not ‘spend’ your ang bao money. Even though the act of investing refers to money going out from your account, there is potential for that sum of money invested to multiply. Even with a couple hundred dollars, you can invest in yourself by buying a hospital plan or a savings plan. All these may sound like boring ways to use your ang bao money, but in the future, you would be glad that you made the move to invest wisely.   It is important to note that investing and gambling are total opposites…unless you are investing blindly.

Make a habit to check your Credit Score

Take time out to check your Credit Score too. If you have recently applied for a new credit facility with any of CBS members, you can download a free CBS credit report within 30 calendar days from your approval or rejection letter here.

Other tips

Lastly, follow Credit Bureau Singapore’s (CBS) Facebook for more of such updates and even tips on how to stay credit active.