It isn't easy to save money, but it's quite easy to waste money. Since we live in the most expensive city in the world, there are plenty of ways for us to spend a lot of money.
Young people tend to spend money more recklessly, because we have this false sense of security. We like to believe that since we are young, there is still plenty of time for us to pull ourselves together financially.
But it's also because we often let our pride get in the way of common sense (which is easy to do, by the way). We waste money without even realising it. Our attitudes in our daily life affect the way we spend money.
To help you GET more for your money, we at GET.com have come up with the 3 money-wasting attitudes Singaporeans need to lose:
1. Being Haolian
Haolian is a local term which means arrogant, cocky or smug. It's used to describe people who like to show off.
Some people have a tendency to buy overpriced stuff, which does exactly the same job that something half as expensive can do (high-end gadgets, brand watches, luxury bags, just to name a few).
Those expensive things are not necessities, but they serve a "larger" role in people's lives: Elevating their status in a miraculous way. If I'm not wrong, that's why those things are always featured prominently on Facebook posts and Instagram photos.
It's easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy competitions: You want the things that your friends are so proud of. But trying to keep up with a whole circle of friends is one of the surest ways to waste a lot of money.
People who are haolian might want to feel like they are better than others, or they are just desperately trying to prove they are more successful. But other than making people feel uncomfortable or even offended, I don't see the benefit of being haolian.
People may admire Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook), Jack Ma (founder of Alibaba) and other super-rich because they are rich, famous and successful, but they are also admired (or at least, not viewed negatively) because they don't come across as haolian. Zuckerberg wears the same type of grey T-shirt to work everyday, although I'm sure he has dozens of those in his wardrobe.
2. Thinking Too Much About Your Face
I have friends who "generously" use vouchers when they hang out with buddies, but almost always keep vouchers in their pockets when they take girls out. You can guess the reason: Guys worry more about losing face than they do about losing money.
There's no shame in being money-savvy. Guys, if you bring your girlfriend out for a date, don't be afraid of losing face because you didn't mindlessly pay the bill without using available discounts.
If you have vouchers to pay for things at a discounted price, use the vouchers. If you have a cashback credit card that give you discounts upfront, use that.
Your girlfriend will appreciate that you are being practical, and might see that as the quality of a family-man.
For example, Citi Rewards Card gives you Citi Rebate at over 300 locations.
The card also lets you earn 10 rewards points for every $1 spent on shopping and all your online purchases (except travel-related purchases). You can then redeem these points for things you like in Citibank's online rewards catalogue.
3. Losing Track Of Expenses
When one of my friends complained to me, "I don't even know how I spent my money so fast!" I wasn't surprised after I found out he was clueless about where and when he spent his money.
Not all of us are so organised that we keep a list of what we do every day, because it's troublesome and it takes too much time to do 'trivial' things like this.
But keeping track of your expenses can help you get a better sense of your spending pattern. There are even apps to help you do that. And if you make it a habit, it doesn't take too much of your time.
If you use a credit card or debit card, your monthly statements can serve as your financial reports, because they give you a clear picture of when and where you spent your money.
By reviewing your statements, you will immediately know what activities you have spent too much money on. That can also help you plan your budget for the next month.
If you have done too much shopping, or have been to way too many pubs in the past month, you should consider cutting your spending in these categories.