Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Be a Smart Spender

You’ve worked hard for your money. You deserve to spend it anyway you like.

We are with you all the way on that. (And you thought we were going to say “Don’t spend your money on this and that”, didn’t you?)

We strongly believe it is important that you spend your money on what you really need (not on what adverts or other people say that you should have). We also believe that you should get value for your money.
 
But that is easier said than done. There are so many money traps around that it is difficult not to fall into one.

Avoiding Money Traps

These traps are set up by those who want to make money from your money. Some traps may even be set up by yourself.

So as not to waste your hard-earned money, and to spend it only when you really want to, it’s important that you recognise some of the following money traps.
  •  Advertisements. You can save a lot of money by understanding the concepts behind advertising and how the ads are designed to persuade you to buy, buy, buy. They are hard to resist because they appeal to your hopes and play on your fears and your need to be accepted by others. Their trick is to lull or hypnotise you into thinking that if you do not use their products you are a failure or that you do not love your family. Another of the tricks used by the advertising industry is to associate the products with a creative, exotic or something-out-of-the-ordinary setting. Ads also play on everyone’s desire to be upwardly mobile. That explains why the person using the deodorant is a young executive, not a construction labourer.
  •  Well-intentioned suggestions. Colleagues, friends and family members will tell you how to spend your money. Their suggestions are free but you have had to work for your money. So whatever you are buying, make sure it is what you really want and not what you are told you should own.
  •  Poor management. It eats up money. Good management at home involves organising and planning. Good management means, for example, having fixed places for your things. That means you do not have to hunt high and low for an item when you need it and end up buying a new one. The same goes for food. Don’t buy large amounts of food and then push it into one corner of the fridge or cupboard and forget about it until it is no longer fit for consumption.
  •  Love of shopping. Don’t consider shopping as a hobby. The more you spend hanging around shops, supermarkets or pasar malam, the more likely you are to buy goods you do not need.
Learn more about how you spend wisely and maximise your ringgit in the CAP Guide to managing your money, THE MONEY BOOK.