5 Things to Avoid Spending Your Ang Pow Money On

Looking forward to your ang pow yields again this year? We understand that you may feel elated thinking about all the things you can buy and do with them - but before that, make sure to avoid these 5 things as your expenses.

Updated 31 Jan 2019

5 Things To Avoid Spending Your Ang Pow Money On - Feature-Image
CAUTION: The following article may contain some nagging opinions and questions. Please be advised to proceed with a bottle of medicated oil to prevent post-article headaches. *wink

It's that time of the year again! With Chinese New Year just around the corner, many young ones (us included!) are looking forward to welcome their yearly bountiful harvest of ang pow.

With such a substantial income (particularly for a student) in such a short period, you may feel elated thinking about all the things you can buy and do. And before you know it, you may fast realise that you've used it all up.

So what do you think could have possibly drained away all your ang pow money so easily? Could these five points be the culprit? If so, don’t allow any of these to be the culprit again this year!


Valentine’s Day is coming right after Chinese New Year.

Understandably, most couples (and would-be couples) will be busy making plans and hunting for the best gifts for their special ones. But, with grand romantic plans, come grand costs.

Should you scale down a little? Perhaps (maybe a lot, in fact).

Get a Valentine gift that's practical instead of highly-priced, branded jewellery. Or why not DIY (do-it-yourself)? Pinterest is filled with lots of creative and easy DIY ideas — some of which are simple enough that even those of you with two left thumbs can manage! Your efforts and time spent on the gift will give it a personal touch (and gain bonus points, for sure!).

You can also find activities that the both of you can do together — ones that do not demand excessive withdrawals from your red envelopes. Simple things such as cycling around a park, watching a movie, putting together a puzzle or simply cooking a meal together can help make your bond stronger.

So, what will you be doing this coming Valentine’s?


Shopping (buying things) is not exactly a bad thing per se.

What we would like to preach is the difference between buying stuff that you need vs. buying those that you want. Also, it's about getting the best value for your money!

Yes, that pair of sneakers is looking amazing, and you're absolutely dying to own it. Best thing is, you can even afford it now! But, do you really need another pair of sneakers?

Splurging all your ang pow money on things that aren't a necessity isn't so wise. It's always best to save some of your CNY bounty for a rainy day. Of course, feel free to use your hongbao on things that you actually need, guilt-free. Remember to look for attractive deals by shopping online and spending an extra minute or two to hunt for discount vouchers!

Bottom line — always ask yourself the all-important question.

Do you really need to make that purchase?

Apply for university with EduAdvisor

Secure scholarships and more when you apply to any of our 100+ partner universities.

Start now


Strong, the seductive forces of electronic gadgets and devices are.

And rightly so! With so many technologically-advanced, sophisticated and beautifully-designed gadgets and devices exposed to us through a variety of means (think YouTube, Facebook, and even Hollywood blockbusters), it can be so tempting to get our hands on every piece of new technology that reaches our shores.

You can be the first among your peers to own it. You can impress them and leave them in awe with your new gizmo. But then, time passes and you get used to it. The next thing you know, you find yourself waiting for the next big thing (again!).

This way of impressing your friends does not come cheap. More so, our present weak currency has caused prices to soar. Eventually it leads us back to the SAME question again.

Do you REALLY NEED to get a new one now?


Ever wondered why tobacco companies can publicly declare that their products are harmful (they even have disgusting pictures displayed on their products to act as reminders) and yet, people still buy them?

Even more so these days after the government has effectively raised duties, causing tobacco companies to increase the prices of tobacco products. Now, a box of cigarettes can easily cost you a set meal from McDonald’s, coupled with a cup of decadent chocolate sundae. Or a Stephen King’s book from BookXcess.

Still, people buy them. It could be an addiction. Or, a habit.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that there’s probably no other FASTER way to deplete your (ang pow) money than having to satisfy your addiction.

To curb addiction, try replacing your cigarette smoking routine with something else instead. Vape perhaps. Or colouring. As illustrated in Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, if you want to change a habit, you must find an alternative routine.

So what’s your choice?

Alcohol / Drugs

This could easily be the worst thing on the list — spending the money that has been blessed to you by your loving parents, relatives, friends, friends' parents, etc. on alcohol and drugs. Needless to say, the negative effects that these products bring far outweigh the benefits — if they have any benefits at all.

Like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol don’t come cheap. Worst of all, they may potentially cost you MORE than your money and you can easily become addicted to them too.

You may have friends that drink. Some of them may do drugs. And you may think that it's cool and sociable. They may even persuade you to join them as well.

But you know the consequences, don’t you?

Just like driving, we hope that you spend responsibly as well.

With that said, all the red packets you receive are rightfully yours, and you have every right to use them in any way you deem fit. We trust you know best. In the end, it is just a matter of choice

We hope you have a prosperous harvest this year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Short on cash but didn’t receive as much ang pow money as you anticipated? Here are 5 ways you can earn money without having an actual job.

Speak to an advisor

We offer free advice, course recommendation and application service.

Name *
Mobile *
Email *
Nationality *
Field of Study

    Already have an account? Login

    Chia Wei Choong

    Chia Wei Choong

    Retiring night owl. Occasionally addicted to caffeine and absolutely addicted to fried chicken.