Savvy finances for a prosperous Chinese New Year

Standard Chartered Bank

Chinese New Year is a fun-filled joyous celebration which can be shared with all and the year of the Rat is just few days away. With businesses launching shopping and dining promotions themed around the festival you may have the temptation to spend hard-earned money without proper planning.

As the New Year ushers in change and a time of renewal, here are some ways that you can celebrate the Lunar New Year with family and friends without going overboard:

CHANGE THE POSITION OF YOUR FURNITURE (BUT NOT ON NEW YEAR’S DAY)

Changing the arrangement of your furniture can provide a new or different look to your house and adding or changing cushion covers can make more sense than buying a new sofa. Hanging up new pictures and updating your family photos can also help change the look of your seating area.

However, tradition states that sweeping and cleaning on New Year’s Day means that you’ll sweep away all of your good fortune. If there is housework to be done, do it early.

MAKE YOUR OWN DECORATIONS

Instead of buying decorations for the festive season, consider making your own. From red lanterns to paper water lilies, a little online research will show there are many ways to use inexpensive or readily available recyclable materials to decorate your house. This can be a great project for children in the weekend leading up to Chinese New Year.

REDESIGN YOUR CLOTHES

Alterations to an old cheongsam or new accessories can make an outfit look new or different. Perhaps your friends and family can arrange a clothes-swapping session. This way you get a new set of clothes without having to spend lots of money on tailoring.

BUDGET ON FOOD AND DRINKS

There is a whole array of food that you should eat on New Year’s Day and many of them can be prepared at home. Many people will regard steamed fish as the most important dish for the New Year celebration. It is crucial to eat the fish whole as it represents togetherness and abundance.

Consider making your own spring rolls and shrimp balls and plan a budget of how much you need to spend on food and drinks for your open house. You could gather a group of friends during the weekend to cook together and have fun swapping recipes while learning new baking tips from one another.

Should you opt for catering then shop around and compare prices. For a better and cheaper deal, buy or order in larger quantities by sharing with a group of friends or family.

PLAN YOUR SHOPPING SPREE

If you do plan on buying a new set of furniture or a new car, consider buying these large items closer to the festive season as some shops will tend to offer attractive discounts during this period of the year. Most importantly, when making your various purchases, do ask yourself if it truly is a “need” or a “want”.

PLAN YOUR OPEN HOUSE VISITS

With invitations from family members, friends and business contacts you could spend a lot of time driving around. Carpooling with friends and family who are on the same visit routes can save you money and is environmentally conscious. Most importantly, do stay safe on the roads by buckling up, driving within the speed limits and avoid using your mobile phone at any time when you’re in the driver’s seat.

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Firecrackers are lit on New Year’s Eve as a way of sending out the old year and welcoming the new.

Also, at the stroke of midnight, all doors and windows of the house should be opened as a way of allowing the old year and all its misfortune to leave.

We hope that some of these tips will help you with your savings for your upcoming celebrations. Standard Chartered would like to wish all our faithful readers a most joyous new year filled with great health, more wealth and good fortune to all.

This article is for general information purposes only and while the information in it is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by us. You are advised to exercise your own independent judgement with the contents in this article.