Will the temptation be too great to blow your effortlessly acquired GST Offset Credits away on things you will regret later on?
The last time I checked, the bank account has gained a little weight. In addition to the regular income, an extra couple hundred made its way in.
Like any Singaporean who is caught up in the festive SG50 atmosphere, wading through the flood of freebies and promotions by merchants, my eyes lit up for a moment when I spotted an incoming deposit for an eligible recipient holding on to a pink IC.
The money is here!
All the promo emails did little to excite the consumer in me. Until I started thinking, what can this additional bundle of cash do for me?
There’s an airfare promotion to a nearby destination, a new cafe serving up some wicked good eggs benedict, free delivery for buying another memory card (because you know you can never have too much memory cards).
The scenario can happen to anyone, especially when there’s a sudden windfall from the fortune god.Without conscious tracking, that hundred odd dollars might not make any impact in your personal finance at all. In fact, without realizing it, you might have already thought of how to spend it even before receiving it!
Here are 3 ways you can avoid squandering your GST offset package:
1) Avoid Using It To Buy Something That You Don’t Need
Just like our neighbours in Hong Kong, whose sentiment upon receiving a one-time payout of HKD $6000 in 2011 was to splurge on a holiday, gadgets, presents… We might be prone to recklessly spending on something we did not budget for.
Especially when promos are going out by the bucket-loads, fuelled in part by the celebratory mood for our nation’s golden jubilee. We all know what happens when we’re in a good mood – it just feels right to spend some money on ourselves.
But what happens when the lights and the sounds of the fireworks fade off, and you decide to take a closer look at the increased cost of living?
2) Avoid Topping Up “Just A Little Bit More”
Ever find yourself holding out a five dollar note to pay for your fast food meal at the counter, mentally calculating the change that’s due… When you get a question, “Would you like to try our new dessert? It’s going for only a couple dollars more. Exclusively for our purchase-with-purchase customers.”
Maybe you deserve that dessert top up. Even when you were perfectly fine with the main course.
You find yourself now mentally figuring out how much you are short of…
Imagine when you’re making heftier purchases, like notebook computers… Are you going for the basic tier specs, or the upsized version with higher processing power and double the hard disk space?
Additional happiness lasts a moment – does twice the storage capacity for your notebook computer double the amount of happiness you get?
3) Avoid Impressing People You Don’t Particularly Like Just Because You Can
According to your monthly budgeting, you still have 2 more months to go before your savings can get you the new smartphone you’ve been eyeing. But at the recent social gathering, you witness a
friend acquaintance take the spotlight simply by taking out the smartphone, thereby securing the coveted role of official wefie taker.
Upon seeing you tap on your older model, he/she asks you out of thinly-veiled ridicule, “Eh… Your this one can load Minecraft one not?”.
With the increase in funding, you may just feel the irrational need to get the one-up on this person.
Buying items that save face hardly gains any permanent sense of well-being. In fact, it may be an invitation to an arms race where you will leap frog each other in your parade of lifestyle gadgets.
Who will emerge the winner?
The shops selling you the stuff, that’s who.
We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.
― Dave Ramsey
The problem with receiving payouts is how to best spend it. As long as you have overcome the impulsive urge to spend it on something, you are safe. Further discussion with someone that you consider financially literate relative to yourself will be helpful, but just processing the thought in mind should help you better utilize your GST offset credits.
What would you consider a guilt-free way to spend your GST offset payout? Share it with us below!