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Spending less this Chinese New Year?

A good friend forwarded this article to me yesterday. “Folks to tighten their belts for CNY celebration.” May I ask readers, Are you also tightening your belt for this coming CNY celebration? Did not buy new clothes, did not buy any dried meat for friends and families, did not buy any Mandarin oranges, did not intend to go out for family reunion dinner, if cook at home will also cook smaller prawns, cheaper fish and lower priced vegetables? Really?

For the year of Rat, I bought 6 new shirts / T-shirts. None are normal priced items, all are discounted ones. All are NOT for one time wearing during CNY but I will continue to wear them for work, for casual days and even when I am going to the gym. Actual spending wise, the amount was similar to many years ago when I bought fewer new shirt / T-shirts for CNY but the number has increased. Look at the world of brands today (skip the luxury ones) and one will realise that a good quality jeans are now cheaper than many years ago. RM199 for one jeans? Please drop by AEON for many discounts for many brands or drop by my favourite new branded stores like MAX or LC Waikiki. Both are available in 1 Utama.

Okay, I admit that I did buy 4 new Skechers within 2019 but all 4 had 40-50% discount and this is actually just 2 new Skechers if I had paid for them based on standard price. Right? I have started wearing 2 of them and one has accompanied me for 2 half-marathons and at least 200km of brisk walking in the gym. I think I can say it’s already value for money, right.

So, two important points for our personal finance for year of 2020 if we intend to still wear new clothes and replace old shoes. First one is to start exploring good quality but less famous new brands which has opened their stores here in Malaysia. These provide quality with affordability. If you must wear the usual brands and they do not offer much discounts, then I could not help you.

Secondly, for shoes, there are now many discounts available. For sports shoes, look for comfort instead of just the design or brand. With a good one, we could walk longer without feeling tired. In fact many of these brands such as Skechers are offering more discounts than many years ago. Maybe it realised that selling more shoes at lower margins will still be way better than selling fewer shoes with higher margins? I have no idea, just speculating. My favourite sports brand is still Puma and my favourite leather shoe brands are still Obermain and Camel but I now have more Skechers than Puma… and I have started to be open to Larrie, Hush Puppies etc if their leather shoes are priced competitively.

Conclusion is, I am spending almost the same for this year versus the last and the last and the last years… If we count in the inflation, then hey, I am actually spending lesser! Perhaps this is also one part of tightening one’s belt. My advice? CNY is a time of celebration for family and loved ones. There is no need to overspend but do not be stingy to be grateful okay. Belt-tightening can happen ANYTIME throughout the year and does not need to be during CNY. Happy New Year and soon will write an article on CNY too.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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