Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Inside-Out a Penny Pinchers' head

Posted by Carrie Ang
Are you a frugal shopper or just merely a stingy stank?

Seriously given said that, I would preferred being called a Penny-Pincher than to be called "Miss Stingy" at any time of the day. Peeps close to me would find this amusingly true, as I would constantly on a hunt for ways to save. With the economics nowadays, you couldn't help it but to constantly think of ways to Save Save Save!!! Especially when you're not raise under some silver-spoon-golden-platter kinda background, you're more likely to be exposed to the importance of $$. Obviously I would consider myself a wise spender but still on occasionally would also splurge on a few "essential" items - 2PM albums, Korean cosmetics & cute affordable accessories! Well girls do what girls do best. keke...

Well, jokes aside; still I would consider myself a money-minded freak. Until last week when I watched one of my fav Korean variety show - Happy Together episode on Penny Pinchers featuring MBLAQ's Lee Joon, Hyun Bin, etc...

Never did I ever imagine that Lee Joon would act this way. Well then again, I was ever that impress when I found out that he bought his parents a house with his own hard earn dough. LMAO when I heard that he was classified as the Penny-Pincher within the Idols.

Happy Together (해피투게더) - Penny Pinchers Special
Not until then I realise that my stinginess wasn't that critical yet. A few examples that I heard from Lee Joon that only recently his family has finally bought and own their first air-conditioner and yet it's left unused & treated as part of the family's living room accessories just coz his mum does not want to waste electricity despite the whole family is sweating uncontrollably due to the humid summer. (wow...talk about saluting her..haha..at least I'll turn my room's air-cond once or twice a month to keep the motor in it in good shape..haha!!)

As for me, I've graduated 2.5 years ago & have been offered work immediately after my finals. So, I would say I wasted no time in trying to build up my wealth from scratch. And yes, as of last week I've finally paid off my entire car loan!! **Yea! Throwing confetti while doing the butt dance..lol** Even though I dare not say I'm well off yet, still I've achieve something within 2+years in the society and am continuing to succeed more in the near future *I Hope!*.

Anyway, if you are not the saving type, it's never ever too late to start. Here's some tips to get you started on the right path to success.

1. Consider and differentiate between the "Must" and "Want"

  • It's not always a good practice to keep whereby you have to have what others owned just for the sake of (As the Chinese says) -Face! Just be happy & contended with what you have & can afford. Not that I'm being stereotyping against the Malaysian & Singaporeans Chinese - but they (till today) tend to have the "kia-su" "kia-si" character. Literally translated as "afraid of losing" & "afraid of dying" haha...
  • So next time you wanna get a newly launch brand new mobile, try asking yourself do you really need it or you wanna owned it just to brag about it? fyi..I still use an ancient candy-type Nokia mobile after my SE crashes a year ago. Yea true, at first you'll feel left out, with all the constant updates from Twitter, LINE, FB, blogs, etc..; but still I managed to survive the whole year without a smartphone. ^^

2. Brand over Value

  • Not necessarily all expensive items are the best. Understand this, eventually you're paying more for their brand name instead. 
  • And if couponing is an option in where you're living, then give it a try; you'll get hook on it. In Malaysia, this phenomena is yet to be implemented by most retailers, but if there is any chances of huge discount for groceries items, better grab hold of this opportunity. *Couponing makes me think of migrating of to the US, at least I may save upto 100% on groceries if my planning is done right..haha..all these thoughts pop out after I've watched this program "Extreme Couponing" which I'm hooked on the program right now.. LOL

3. Cut down on unnecessary spending

  • Do you drink, smoke & constant partying without any worries ahead? If you still do, my advice is to cut down on these. Unless your parents are made out of diamonds & gold or money do grows on trees for you. Otherwise, making ends meet with just your fresh-grad salary could barely cover your basic necessities such as food, transportation, rent & bills.
  • Set aside at least 15% from your pay-cheque every month to your saving (if situation allows). You'll be amazed how much you could been saving up at the end of the year with just merely setting a few hundreds aside. (I couldn't save much as I'm paying for my car loan, parents house loan, study loan, petrol, food, touch&go, etc...I've barely had enough every month with my measly low fresh-grad salary.)
  • Girls out there. Stop shopping endlessly like nobody's biz. Unless you have a extremely well-off BF/ husband, then forget that I've ever mention it. I don't spend on cloths much (maybe 1-2 piece in 2years?) Most of my outfits are handed down to me either by my family members or people I know. I'm still consider myself lucky as till today I could sometime wear mini dresses from Paris for absolutely Free! haha.. The perks of knowing people who constantly spends too much & on the constant chase for up-to-trend taste. ^^ There nothing to feel bad about wearing or owning a second hand goods. As long as you're contended with it. Me?- I just don't care what others think. Be yourself & you'll be happy. 

4. Weight between paying off debt and saving

  • Do pay off your debt if there is any excess huge amount lying. As weird it may sound, it's always better to clear off your loan/ credit card of 6% interest (taking a rough estimation) then to leave it and keep saving your extras in your saving account or even FDs (which you could only earn interest at most 4%). Well, this only works if you're not considering investment with a higher return rate in the picture -Like me! As I'm a dumb-ass in this area. hehe... So anyone mind guiding me or be my financial adviser for free? keke..

5. Reward yourself - you deserved it!

  • Come-on, you're only human anyway. No one could be good in anything and continuing their winning streaks forever just like an exponential-function graph. Trust me, just a little compliment or so; or even rewarding yourself with a small "carrot" could motivate you to work harder; like rewarding yourself with a soothing bubble bath or your fav Starbucks Cappuccino. Well, this time I'll go BIG with rewarding myself since I've made my early car loan settlement. hehe... Korea here I come AGAIN! Yea~~~

So guys, what are you still waiting for? You're not getting any younger. Start saving now~ ^^
There's still much in my bucket list I've yet to achieve and own (properties for eg. *And it's sky-rocketing factor in Msia is the main reason that I still can't afford a place of my own*)
Not an easy task, but I will try my best! Fighting!!

Side note: I still keep every single pennies from the all my previous trips. Who knows when am I able to be there again right? keke...


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