Angpow money is one of the "benefits" of Chinese New Year. Unfortunately, our angpow hauls shrink the older we become. RM100 just seems a lot less these days. But it doesn't matter how much you get, why not spend it in a way that helps you save more money in the long run? Now that sounds like a good deal to us.
1. Deposit the money into your savings or fixed deposit account
You're an adult now, start adulting! Gone were the days where your parents will collect all your angpows from you at the end of the day for safekeeping. So you’re stuck with the boring task of putting that money into your account and not touching it till a rainy day comes.
2. Start or expand your investment portfolio
Did you know that there are some fintech apps that allow you to start investing from just RM1? And good investment advice has always said to diversify your investment portfolios. So it is a good idea to check out apps for gold investment, P2P funding or even robo-advisors.
As with all things related to finance, remember to do your research first and don’t rush into it if you’re unsure.
Similar to re-gifting, save your Chinese New Year money for future red packets that you have to give out when wedding season rolls around. It’s a thing that most 20 or 30 somethings have to go through, and your bank account will normally cry because there’s this unspoken rule where you have to cover the cost of your seat at the wedding dinner.
4. Buy a multicooker
If you are constantly eating out or ordering from delivery apps, then you can save hundreds of ringgit a year just by cooking food yourself. Use your angpow money to buy a multicooker now. Multicookers can help with a whole range of culinary tasks, from simple steaming, to frying, grilling and even baking.
There's no excuse for those of you who don't know how to cook, or those that can never quite seem to get the timings or temperatures right and are constantly disappointed by overcooked or burnt dishes.
Many of the multicookers have automatic settings that will self-regulate the pressure and temperature so you can cook your meals to perfection every time. You can find multicookers on Lazada for as cheap as RM80 to the higher functionality ones that cost above RM200.
Of course, you won't be able to buy a property right away with a single angpow - unless your parents give you thousands of ringgit - which is unlikely to happen. But you can start saving up and have a long-term financial plan to purchase a house in the future. Although it's going to take some time, it's best to start early.
6. Invest in yourself
Investing in yourself can take on many forms, and by making small and positive changes, you will ultimately be creating a brighter future for yourself. Expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena and doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues. RM50 to RM500 is enough for a variety of online courses.
Those working in corporate offices or the private sector will do well to look at Business English and communication. Those in other lines of work should ask their supervisors or managers for a recommendation – pick something that will advance your career. Check out Udemy or Coursera, there are literally thousands of courses to choose from.
7. Get insured
Why not insure yourself for a multitude of things with your angpow money? Annual travel insurance can cost as little as RM180, that works out to just RM0.49 a day and you're covered for travel around the whole of Malaysia. If you don't need an annual travel insurance plan, then you surely need a medical card that could help you cover important health-related expenses. We've found that really decent medial cards between RM400-RM500.
8. Pay off debt
It’s always tempting to treat yourself when you come into some extra money. But the way to long-term financial stability comes with a bit of discipline. If you have outstanding debt, your first priority should be to pay it off. The compounding interest rate of even small debts can quickly snowball.
Let your angpow money be the first repayment, and remember not to spend more on credit cards until the debt is paid off.