Gong xi fa cai! With Chinese New Year approaching, many of us are eagerly anticipating joyful reunions, delicious food and the little red packets that come with it.
Amidst the festivities, managing your money can be particularly stressful – whether you’re buying new clothes, choosing auspicious home decorations, stocking up on festive snacks, or generously stuffing angpows with cash.
As we gear up to welcome the Year of the Dragon, here are some practical and money-saving tips to make your festivities more financially comfortable and prosperous.
Stay sustainable while you shop
Chinese New Year sales promise to be an exhilarating experience, filled with fantastic deals both online and in-store. Although it’s tempting to splurge, it’s important to take a step back and consider whether new dresses or sneakers will spark joy beyond the festive season.
Instead of shopping for brand-new clothes, think about getting out of your comfort zone with preloved and sustainable treasures. Hunt for vintage cheongsams at clothing swaps, thrift shops, markets, and online stores. For unique finds, you may even consider shopping at global thrift stores that offer international shipping. Plus, you don’t have to worry about international bank transfer fees or exchange rate markups if you shop online with a provider like Wise, where you don’t have to worry about high exchange rates and hidden fees, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending.
Save while you snag prosperous deals
There’s good news! With the savings from your preloved purchases, you’ll be able to splurge on delicious treats, decorations, or accessories.
If you’re an avid shopper on international websites, the 10% Low-Value Goods (LVG) tax and Taobao’s 3% hit on international cards may be a buzzkill. Consider giving the Wise card a go as it uses the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees. Unlike traditional bank cards that sneak in extra charges when you shop internationally, the Wise card is a savvy choice for getting the most out of your festive shopping spree.
Be smart with savvy Angpow Moves
If you’re receiving angpow, remember to make some smart money moves like settling debts or making monthly payments, before you treat yourself. Your future self will thank you for easing long-term financial commitments in the present. Take this opportunity to also wisely set aside a portion for a rainy day. You never know when the angpow fortune might end for you. Think of turning all that extra cash into long-term prosperity by saving it. Let those red packets be your financial umbrella!
Keeping the tradition alive no matter where you are
Whether it’s your first or tenth time giving angpows, queuing at the bank all day for physical cash may be daunting. Fortunately, many local banks offer digital angpow transfers — perfect for the last-minute planners out there or for the people who want a sustainable option for this Chinese New Year, since the angpow packets will likely end up unused or thrown away once received.
Additionally, having family members abroad may mean that you will end up clutching onto angpows that aren’t yours. If the waiting game isn’t for you, consider shooting them an instant dose of prosperity through Wise! A seamless option to help keep traditions alive, even across the globe. If you’re currently abroad and would like to surprise your family with some digital angpows, you can use it to deliver those red packets straight into their local bank account too. Don’t let borders limit yourself this festive season and let traditions thrive!
In the spirit of these festivities, take a moment to think about your money moves and how it can affect the rest of 2024. By spending sensibly in the present, you’ll set yourself up for success and prosperity in the future. May the Year of the Dragon bring you good fortune and abundance!