Isn’t this always a dilemma we deal with every time we experience a sudden windfall of cash? On one hand, our rational penny-wise side tells us to spend it wisely; on the other hand, the more indulgent side within each of us eggs us on to splurge and belanja je!
To those who tend to favour their indulgent side because you don’t think you can do the whole wise spending thing, my motivational message to you is: you can duit! (Get it?) We know it isn’t easy to resist temptation, so we've put some better ways to spend for your duit raya here to help. Here’s what you can do:
1. Spend it on Investments
In Malay culture, you continue to receive duit raya as long as you are not working. It is unlike the Chinese culture, which allows you to continue to receive the prosperous red packets as long as you aren’t married (but could be working).
That means that many of us stop receiving duit raya pretty early in life. Our point: There’s a pretty short timeframe to collect duit raya, so use it wisely to get ahead of your financial goals.
The advantage of duit raya? You probably won’t have any credit card debt or loans to repay when getting it. What does this mean? All the money you do collect can go towards your short-term to long-term goals because it’s yours to keep! You should put that money (or get a guardian to do it for you) where it can do the work for you: put it into your ASB account, or a fixed deposit account and allow your money to grow year-on-year.
“Sikit-sikit lama lama jadi bukit” - Old Malay proverb.
To understand how a savings account and its interest works, read this article here.
2. Spend on Rewarding Yourself
While we are all about saving money and letting it grow for ourselves, it can be boring - admittedly. All work and play make for a very boring life. At some point, we all deserve a little treat. With your duit raya, buy yourself a new pair of shoes, treat yourself to a spa day, or even try out that new restaurant you’ve been thinking about.
However, always remember to practice wise spending habits such as staying within your budget and, if possible, spend on experiences that are worthwhile to you, or towards an item that will make you happier. Avoid, especially, wasting it away on sinful acts such as gambling or illegal activities like money scams or "skim-cepat-kaya".
3. Spend it on Charity
Continue living the spirit of Ramadan and donate to charity or towards a cause that’s close to your heart. A selfless act is always good for the soul and you don’t have to donate everything. You could also help the homeless by treating them to a meal or buying them new clothes.
We are often so caught up with ourselves that we forego those around us and the environment. For a change, let's all think about the greater good. Doing a little random act of kindness here and there wouldn't set you back in life either.
4. Spend on Upgrading Yourself
Now, this is different from spending on yourself. Instead of one-off purchases to pamper yourself or indulge in your wants, this is about self-growth. Warren Buffett always reminds us that we are our own biggest assets and that we should invest in ourselves as much as we can.
Investing in yourself will never go out of style and it truly is one of the best ways to live your life by having different experiences. Get yourself in a class learning something new or put it towards upskilling yourself by taking a course. The value or return of investment that you will reap is priceless! And if you do this once a year, every year, you’ll be making great strides in self-development.
5. Spend on Family
What if you wanted to do something nice for your parents and loved ones, but because you don’t have a job yet, you can’t actually treat them? That's where your duit raya comes in handy. Spending on the family can help to strengthen the bonds and to spend time with one another doesn't have to cost a lot; it's more of the time spent together that matters the most.
Take your parents out or treat your whole family to a meal. Heck, even just buying little items that can make lives better around the house. Remember, it's not so much about how much you can spend on them, but the effort to show your appreciation.
6. Spend on Repairs & Maintenance
Raya is a good time to take stock of what needs fixing or what needs to be thrown out. It’s a good time to declutter and start anew. Why not spend your duit raya money towards fixing broken items and on the maintenance of your car or home. We usually put these repairs and maintenance off, and it's not a good idea to do so.
It’s additional windfall that goes towards repairing what was once broken, and that in the long run, will only serve you well.
Regardless of how you choose to spend your duit raya, CompareHero.my would like to wish all Muslims a blessed Ramadan and may your Raya celebrations with family and loved ones be joyful!