Lim Kopi Fridays Videos

Ep. 2 - Managing Stress and Financial Concerns During Lunar New Year.


00:00 :

Hello everybody. My name is Adrian and welcome to another episode of Lim Kopi Fridays With Adrian. In this episode, we are going to talk about some of the common stress and financial stress that people will face during this period of time leading to Chinese New Year, which is coming up very soon. Let’s dive right in.

00:24 :

Lunar new year is a time of celebration when many Chinese in Singapore and in many other countries will visit their parents, their relatives, their friends and it is more like exchanging of festive greetings during this period of time and it’s also a time for people to bond and gel together. However, it is also during this period of time where people start to be more stressful about their life. So I can break down this stress into three main categories. And number one is shopping. What do I mean by shopping is the fact that we have to buy new clothes, so there’s one of the customs, buying new clothes.

01:04 :

And also to if you are hosting people in your home, you’ll probably be buying new decorations. You’ll also be buying groceries, food to prepare to host your guests and to prepare for the New Year ahead. And the second thing is services, because we usually do what we call a spring cleaning, whereby, we will like clean the whole house. And this is where the services for home cleaning service is very much in demand and there’s usually the time where they charge a higher price as well. Services even hair cut as well and services such as home renovation or replacing your staff at home, replacing the lights.

01:47 :

So these are some of the additional things that people will do when it when we are coming to Lunar New Year, because we want to have a fresh start, we want to change up everything. And last but not the least, during Chinese New Year we will give Ang Baos or Red Packets, whereby you know, people who are gifting will give their blessings and give their good wishes to the people who are receiving it, usually the younger generation or for those who have not married.

02:16 :

Yes, and it is supposed to be a happy thing. So if you are happily doing everything and you are not feeling any stress or even any financial stress, I think that’s OK. You can continue to do it. But I think for most people there will be some sort of stress that will build up leading to this. If you are currently facing this kind of stress in your preparation towards Lunar New Year, I would like you to take a step back and really look at things from a different perspective now.

02:47 :

A lot of things that you want to do, first of all, you must have the time and you must have the resources and you must have the support as well. So if you are someone that is doing this all on your own you might want to get some help from people around you and you want to share with them the stress and the things that you’re feeling at this point of time and to ask for help now.

03:09 :

The second thing that you have to take note of would be your current finances. Everyone of us go through different phases in our life and we experience different things in our life as well. Part of it is also part of our life transformation during the time where we are transiting from a different job to a new job or we are were retrenched in the past.

03:32 :

So you need to take stock of your current finances to see whether or not it is something that you might want to do this year or you might want to reduce a little bit as compared to what you used to do in the past. And it doesn’t really matter if you are doing less this year as compared to previous years because situations change. What is more important is whether or not you are accepting this situation and you are making plans accordingly.

04:01 :

So what do I mean by this now? Some of the things that you can probably change a little bit here and there would be things like buying new clothes for the new year. Now I used to do that every year in the past because there was something that was being told to me since I was younger that new clothes when you are reaching the Chinese New Year, so you have a fresh start. And over time I realized that I don’t really wear them throughout the whole year.

04:30 :

I usually wear them once during Chinese New Year and then after that I will the second time that I wear it will be the next year, Chinese New Year. So I don’t normally get new clothes sometimes and after that the next time I see it will be at a spring cleaning of the second year where I start to give my clothes away. And I find this repeater patterns overtime. And I realized that I don’t really need to, I don’t really need to get new clothes all the time.

04:59 :

So what I did was I started to get new clothes during the year and start to really based on my needs when I need to get new clothes, rather than buying for a special occasion. And that’s how I handle the new clothes. So not these days, I don’t normally get new clothes at the start of the year for Chinese New Year. Sometimes I’ll get something new, or maybe after a few years I would get a new pair of shoes. But those are based on necessity. And the next thing that we can all be mindful of about the stress for Lunar New Year would be putting the money into the Red Packets, or Ang Baos.

05:40 :

Before Lunar New Year, people are usually stressful about where to get the money, whether they can get the new notes from these ATM or their banks. That’s the first part. Now the second part would be how much to put inside. This can be a constant worry for certain people because they want to reciprocate to others for what they have given to their children. So some people they would receive already and then after they will try to consolidate and then they try to give the equivalent amount back to their children so as not to feel paiseh, or not to feel embarrassed. But I think it really depends on your financial situation because every year may be different and if this year is not as good as in the past, then you might want to make some adjustments in terms of how you approach this.

06:32 :

My take it will probably be that you might want to give an amount that you are comfortable with and doesn’t eat too much into your finances, that you may have to go into debt or you may have to advance your salary or you will just eat into additional like 50 % of your emergency fund. So these are the things that you might want to watch out for if you are in this particular situation. And once again, Lunar New Year is a time of fun is a time of bonding with your friends, your family, your relatives, people whom you have not really met for a long time.

07:12 :

So don’t let this get in the way of you having fun. And with that, I would like to wish you an early Happy Lunar New Year and have an enjoyable time during this festive season. See you soon.