Browsing: Smart Spending

How To Become A Smart Consumer?

In this GST era, it is important for all of us to learn to become a smart consumer to stretch our Ringgit further. Thus, I share below some of the steps we can learn to become a smart consumer:
1) Compare prices
I noticed that prices in some of the supermarket in Kuching are much more higher than the other supermarkets. Try to visit different supermarket when you do your next weekly grocery shopping, then you will see the differences.
2) Purchase based on ‘needs’ and not ‘wants’
Buy only what you need. Only if you have additional budget, occasionally go for what you want.
3) Know your right as a consumer
Ask for the official receipt. Look at small printings on products vouchers. Check the expiry date on items. Ask for details if you feel something is not right – be it the service, the price, the quality of the products.
4) Survey and gather information before making big purchases
Take time to survey whether online or walk in to stores to gather as much information as possible before making big purchases. It will be painful if later you realized that you had overpaid for what you bought or there’s a better package/deal somewhere else.
5) Support retails shop with good practices
This is super important. If all consumer practice this, we all will be surrounded by happy consumers. Try to avoid supporting those retails shops who are taking advantage over consumer by offering overpriced products or provide poor customer service.
6) Plan your purchases
There is no need to go grocery shopping 3 times a week. It is wasting our time, our money and our energy. Plan for a weekly grocery shopping instead.
7) Think for long term benefits
Always think for long term benefits especially for big purchase items.

8) Be careful of the word ‘SALE’I noticed that some departmental store in Kuching is always on ‘SALE’. From Jan through Dec, there is always sales – Clearance Sale, Mega Sale, Factory Sale, Crazy Sale. But, in actual only some items are with discounted price. And for some clothing, they increased the price prior to the sale period. For example, the actual price of a blouse is RM80, but during sale season, the price increased to RM100, with 20% discount. So, the price after discount is still RM80. In actual, there’s no discount at all.

As a consumer, we have our right to choose where and how to spend our money. We all  must learn to become smart consumers in other to create a place with better living quality. More smart consumer will also be  able to create better quality product with reasonable price and improved service quality.

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Forth Week After GST Implementation

Two weeks ago, I went to a bakery to look for sweet potatoes bread. Few months back, I remember the price was RM5.50/loaf. I was surprised to see the new price tag RM6.80/loaf (inclusive of GST). No wonder, there’s quite a lot of sweet potatoes bread left… I decided not to buy the sweet potatoes bread too. Not because I can’t afford it but I strongly disagree with the way some businessman running their business. 
Last weekend, hubby and me went to one of the local kopitiam for kolo mee and tea-c. The kolo mee still the same price, RM3.00/bowl. The kolo mee operator complained that she absorbed some of the additional cost such as soy sauce and raw kolo mee. I think if she increase the price by RM0.20, as a consumer, I still can accept it. For the tea-c, hubby and me were surprised that the price had gone up to RM1.50/small cup from the RM1.20/small cup. An increment of 25%!
Today’s lunch, I went to one of the local restaurant which I used to go at least once a month. From the menu, I saw that the food’s price all increased by RM0.50/plate. On top of that, this restaurant still charge 6% GST! No wonder I saw there’s so much less customers compare to before… I am planning to reduce my visit to this restaurant… Again, not because I can’t afford it, but because I believe, as a consumer we need to be smart. 
I have more to share but let’s save it for my next post…

Update on 23 May 2015:
Today I visited the same bakery again. I noticed the price tag is now RM5.80/loaf (inclusive of GST) for sweet potatoes bread. This new price is more reasonable. Hubby asked me if I saw the price wrongly last month. But, I am sure I saw the price correctly. Anyway, this is great to know.

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Pre GST Shopping Rush

I noticed people started talking about pre Goods and Services Tax (GST) shopping weeks before it’s implementation on 1st April 2015. Since last Friday, traffic started to get congested and I saw many people went shopping around Kuching town. Among the goods sought after were electrical items, furniture and daily necessities such as toothpaste, detergent, toilet papers, baby diapers, shampoo, coffee powder, chocolate drinks, milk powder and canned food. 
Over the weekend, local tv news reported many shoppers crowded the shopping malls with both hands and trolley full with items. Local newspapers also reported on mad shopping.
Yesterday, when I myself went for weekly grocery shopping at a nearby supermarket, I was surprised to see many shoppers and the car-park was full. As for me myself, I only bought those items I need. No stocking as hubby and me don’t usually consume a lot of daily necessities. For those with huge family size, I think it’s wise to make bulk purchase for daily necessities as 6% savings of items purchased before GST would mean quite a lot for them. Just make sure to plan and purchase items as needed and make sure to use the items before the expiry date.

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Coupon, Discount and Voucher Codes in Malaysia

Many years back, when I read financial blogs from the western world (US, UK, Europe), they always mentioned about coupons or discounts where they can enjoy more savings when they shop online. Since 2011, when I slide through those beautiful fashion bloggers on my Instagram, these beautiful fashion bloggers always has a special ‘check-out code’ so that her followers will enjoy certain discount when they purchase these clothes. Unfortunately during that time, these coupons or discounts were not available locally.

And recently I came across iPrice Coupons, just like what I’ve read from the western financial blogs and what I’ve saw from my Instagram, we now can shop online and enjoy better savings locally in Malaysia! It is ‘mouth-watering’ to see online stores such as Zalora and Lazada with huge discounts and so many special deals. With this, we can have a smarter online shopping experience.

Something which I like about iPrice Coupons, they only post free coupons and free vouchers. No membership required. Meaning, you can just click on the ‘Get The Code’ to get the special code and use it while you check-out your online store.

If you are a frequent online shoppers, you should check out the coupons, discounts and voucher on iPrice Coupon.

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc

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6 Factors To Consider Before Purchase Your First Car

For those who just graduated and are planning to enter the workforce, a car is an important element. For example in Kuching, most of us drive to work. We cannot rely on the public transport. The local public transport is limited, inconvenient and not punctual.
There are several important factors to consider before you purchase your first car. I listed the factors as below:
1) Ability to pay the monthly repayment (car loan)
I listed this as the most important factor. One must know their budget well before they sign on the hire purchase agreement. Most bank will require a monthly income of at least three times from the monthly hire purchase instalment. To be on the safe side, I think it is a good idea if the monthly installment is 25% of our monthly salary. This will leave more space for our
money to grow.
2) Fuel consumption of the car
Unless someone else pay for your car fuel, you should really consider whether the type of the car that you are going to buy is high fuel consuming or not. I heard a lot of cases where one had to spend the same amount of car monthly installment for their car fuel. Bear in mind, the fuel price is increasing from time to time. It is wise to choose a car which requite less fuel for you to move around. It is environmental friendly too.
3) Yearly insurance of the car
Do check how much you have to pay for the car insurance. And do bear in mind that every year this should be in your budget. As no car is allowed to be on the road without an insurance.
4) Yearly road tax of the car
Imported cars and bigger car will require a higher road tax compare to locally made cars. The road tax also should be in your yearly budget.
5) Functionality of the car
Do you need a sedan car for your family? Or most of the time you travel alone? For family car, you will need a bigger car. And you will only require a small car if you are driving alone most
of the time.
6) Availability of spare parts
This is another factor which is always not in the considerations list of a new car buyers. It is normal for us to expect a brand new car to be able to serve us at least until we finish pay the car loan. But, unfortunately, even for brand new imported cars, someday, some parts will need to be changed and replaced. May be due to accidents or other matter. Try to get information on the car spare parts. You will not wish to know that, later, you will have to wait for months for the spare parts to be send from the original country. Or worse, the spare part is not more in production.
I do hope the above will provide first time car buyers with some information.
Anymore factors which I missed out? Do add in and share with me.

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Hair Saloon – The Place Where I Spent My Money

I am not a shopaholic. I dont buy a lot of expensive and branded shoes, bags and other stuff. But, I notice that I hardly control my spending when I went to hair saloon. There is always a way for the hair salloon staff to persuade me to spend my $$$ away. If they failed to persuade me for an expensive hair treatment, they will share with me the benefits of their products. For the past few years, I had bought several expensive hair treatment cream, hair loss tonic, scalp care cream and some styling products. But, to be honest, I hardly use them. So, for my recent trip to hair saloon, I purchased hair shampoo at bargain (buy 2, get 1 free) at RM80. At least, I can use the shampoo everyday. Afterall, I still need to buy shampoo over the counter.
I decided to be more countious on spending for unneccessaries products and items. I decided to only buy the products when I need them. Not because the promoter advise me to buy from them. Wish me luck!

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