WTFinance?! How to Splurge Like an Adult(ish)

Are you caught up in sneaky debt? Find it hard to save money?

If you’re always thinking about how to get money working for you but don’t know what to do (WTFinance?!), this series is for you. 

Last time, we talked about sneaky debt, how to spot it and some of the ways you can get ahead like paying credit card bills on time and getting rid of those sneaky subscriptions.

We also asked you about your biggest splurges. You’ve made some crazy and fabulous purchases! Check out our favourites:

💍  Cartier Ring
👜  Hermès Bag
✈  Tickets to London

⌚  Branded Watch
🚘  Tesla
🖥  Desktops

Splurging like an adult(ish)

TL; DR

Smart splurging helps to remove the guilt around impulse buys. If you love to splurge, it helps to be prepared by opening up a splurge fund. Instead of paying cash, redeem credit card rewards for restaurant meals and discounts on high ticket items. Be smart and take advantage of Double Day, Black Friday or Boxing Day sales for the best deals.

You’ve come home with a bright, shiny new purchase that costs half your monthly budget. That glam Michael Kors handbag looked so enticing in store at 30% off (the shop assistant convinced you it was a great deal!) but now you’re looking at your credit card bill, the pleasure of owning it is quickly wearing off. 

What if you could splurge without guilt and still manage to pay your bills? (Yes, it’s possible!).

This week, we are talking about smart splurging (without the guilt, depriving yourself or emptying out your bank account). To help us out, we had a chat with digital creator Cavell Lim (@wafflecreamies) about his fabulous splurges and money management strategies.

Cavell Lim (@wafflecreamies) is all about smart splurging.

I spend a lot on health, beauty, food and enrichment courses. I love food so crave experiences like dining in; it helps me relax.

The biggest expenditure I had recently was a mirrorless camera I bought for $4,000. I splurged only because I wanted to create better social media content and hone my photography skills.

Cavell Lim (@wafflecreamies)

Build a splurge fund

Ever get an urge to splurge? You’re not alone!

If you love treating yourself, then good news: There’s a way to do it without the guilt.

Open up an account dedicated to splurging and set aside money from your salary into it for impulse purchases or experiences (hello last-minute weekends away!). Remember to put money into savings first, and then whatever’s left after monthly expenses can go into this account. 

Enjoy every moment of your splurges without worrying about how you’ll pay for bus fares or your mobile bill this month. 

Friends planning a dinner at the new, celebrity restaurant everyone’s been raving about? Pay for your share from your splurge account. Loved those pretty earrings at Swarovski? Pay for them with splurge funds. 

I created two bank accounts. One is a savings account and the other one has money for me to spend. I cannot touch the savings account. Every month I put a sum of money in there and I say, ‘I cannot touch this,’ the rest I can spend as I want. I treat the savings account as out of sight, out of mind.

Cavell Lim (@wafflecreamies)
 

TIP: Start off with a small amount, and keep adding to it. Open an account that rewards you with bonus interest for deposits and watch your splurge balance grow! 

Alternatively, try a micro-investment solution like AutoInvest and set aside some cash every time you make a purchase. You can start with as little as $1 with AutoInvest and build it up as you get good at gaming your buying. 

There are heaps of options out there that let you set rules then forget about it as they invest or save for you automatically. Find the best one for you and you can build up a nice stash of cash for future use, or for savings, without a second thought.

Spend smart

Some cards and digital wallets reward you for spending your money with cashbacks or reward points. Reward points can grow over time and you can use them to buy experiences like spa weekends, towards flights, hotels or tech gadgets, and even use them to pay off any card annual fees. 

When you link your debit or credit card to GrabPay, you earn GrabRewards points for every GrabPay payment, GrabFood order and Grab ride. Use your points to shop from Grab’s amazing catalogue and redeem them for splurge-worthy items like AirPods Pro. Plus, you never know what awesome deal you’ll get next time through GrabPay at your favourite stores.

Collect GrabRewards points? Use them towards a purchase from a GrabPay merchant.

That’s smarter spending.

TIP: Along with rewards, your digital wallet or card may offer exclusive discounts from their partners when you shop through their online store. And don’t forget – you can redeem your GrabRewards for vouchers too. 

Download the deals

Love trying out new restaurants? Download apps that offer special deals like free delivery or bonus meals like GrabFood

Another handy app is Shopback Go. It offers cashbacks at over 600 outlets when you dine in, on top of any credit card cashback or discounts (cha-ching!). You can also use it to earn cashback on online shopping and hotel bookings. 

If you love coupons or special deals on food, indulge in beauty or other lifestyle cravings, Fave is the app to download. 

And did you know that you can buy discounted vouchers from Grab to save money on the services you use and want? You buy a package or sign up for a subscription – it’s an affordable way to save those dollars.

Shop the sales

Want to buy the latest tech gear or that amazing home theatre system? Keep an eye out for Double Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday or end of year (or season!) sales. 

Use comparison sites like Techradar.com to find out which retailers are offering the best deals, and ask for further discounts in-store. If you’re happy with a small dent or scratch, ask if you can buy display models – sometimes you can nab them for up to 70 percent off! 

And when you buy something at a discount, put the difference back into your splurge fund for next time.

Delay the buy

While smart splurging is a great strategy, it’s also a good idea to always ask yourself – do you really need it? Perhaps you can delay upgrading to the iPhone 13 and treat yourself with an iPhone 14 next year instead. It’ll give you more time to save so you can buy outright and skip on the sneaky debt we talked about last time.

Whenever you feel the urge to splurge, just hold it a few days. Often delaying a purchase will reduce your impulse to buy and you might discover you didn’t really want it after all. 

When you’re choosing your next card or digital wallet, look for one that gives you a wide range of benefits (like reward points, cashback or offsetting payments) or one that doubles-down on the benefit that’s most important to you. Your payment methods should align with your spending style (and your lifestyle!).

So what’s up next?

Next time, we’ll be sharing simple tips on how to turn your hobby into a side hustle. Tap into your passions and learn how to teach others to do the same or sell your services or wares in your downtime. Turn mo’ hobbies into mo’money! And we could all use more, right? 

We want to know what your hobbies are! Have you ever thought about turning them into a business?

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Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.