Best Ways to Maximise Your Chinese New Year Ang Bao Money

Whether it’s the elaborate red decorations that litter the heartlands or the flashing sale signs put up all over town, it’s hard to forget that Chinese New Year is fast approaching. 

While you may expect Cai Shen Ye and your relatives to bless your pockets this season, it’s time to start spending these riches wisely to meet your long-term financial goals sooner. We’ve compiled the six best ways to supersize your newfound CNY wealth.

1. Reduce impulse spending, especially on luxurious items

While splurging on that new Chanel bag or the latest Apple Airpod Pros might be tempting in the moment, there are less frivolous, more meaningful pursuits in which you can invest your bai nian funds.

By kicking the habit of spending on a whim, you minimize hoarding and overspending tendencies while learning to appreciate the art of simple living. Cultivating this mindset can keep you on track in your journey towards a more prudent, money-minded lifestyle. 

2. Obtain or replenish necessities

There is a saying that you can only truly afford something if you have the means to buy it twice, comfortably. Taking a leaf from this wisdom and spending only on what you can afford this CNY, you most likely will want to fork out solely on daily essentials like groceries, toiletries and certain clothing.

You can only truly afford something if you have the means to buy it twice, comfortably.

With that being said, hunting for rare, penny-pinching deals during festive periods like CNY is hardly taxing. In fact, tons of e-commerce platforms like Shopee and Lazada have already begun advertising their generous price slashes and cashback rewards in preparation for the holidays. Even physical stores and supermarkets are known to hold big sales. So, if you’re thinking of stocking up on necessities, hit up such platforms for a greater bang for your buck! 

3. Invest in stocks

Embarking on your investment journey or beefing up your current investment portfolio is another worthwhile means of spending your extra CNY money. 

By proactively investing instead of leaving your cash to sit in a savings account, you’re protecting your money from the inevitable forces of inflation. Essentially, investing early helps you save up for a brighter, worry-free future, one step at a time. 

While selecting an investment product is highly dependent on your personality and financial goals, there is a plethora of investment products you can choose from where you can contribute small, monthly investments.

Fully digital assistants like Roboadvisors (Autowealth, Syfe, Stashaway, Endowus, to name some) are also a viable option for the hustlers who want a more hands-free approach to investing.

Read more: Best Robo Advisors

New to investing? Check out our articles on investing, passive versus active investing, and dollar-cost averaging basics to get a quick head start. We promise you’ll love them! 

4. Invest in yourself

Aside from making money through the stock market, many tend to forget that the greatest investment one can ever make is in themselves. So, this CNY, why not pamper yourself with some well-deserved self-care and skills upgrading?

Read more: 7 Best Budget-Friendly Ways To Treat Yourself

The online sphere boasts a myriad of courses offered by the finest global universities to satisfy your academic hunger. From personal finance lessons to niche subjects like fashion and coding, online courses serve as a convenient method to spruce up your CVs. You can even pick up another language if you’re up for it!

While you can choose to attend them for free, many digital academies will grant you a recognized certificate of completion and relevant licenses costing around a few hundred dollars per module. 

Here’s a short summary of some of the most popular online courses other lifelong learners are taking: 

WebsiteExamples of popular courses offeredCosts
CourseraProgramming for Everybody (Getting started on Python) taught by University of Michigan

Machine Learning taught by Stanford University

Financial Markets taught by Yale University


US$39-89/month for Specializations

US$399/year for CourseraPlus (unlimited annual access to 90% of courses offered)

EdxThe Science of Happiness taught by UC Berkeley

Introduction to Computer Science taught by Harvard University

Various digital marketing courses

For unverified track, Free

For verified track, US$50-300

UdemyVarious Photoshop (design) courses

Various Public Speaking courses

Various Stock Trading courses

Varies depending on course
MySkillsFutureDigital Business Essentials

Microsoft MS Office basics

Varies depending on course (Free to SGD$5,000)
Google Digital GarageGoogle Analytics

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing


Source: Respective course websites

If you’re not in the mood to hit the books, fret not because another aspect of caring for the soul is by relaxing and prioritizing your mental wellbeing. And what better way to do so than by exploring more interests? 

There are dozens of online and offline workshops that cater to various hobbies and entertainment. Klook At Home offers a range of home-friendly classes ranging from sewing to calligraphy and even art jamming. Similarly, DateIdeas often promotes special activity packages you can do with your loved ones in Singapore. 

Bringing your friends or significant other along on adventures once in a while will surely create lasting memories, making your spending much more worth it! 

5. Save for a rainy day 

Perhaps one of the most practical responses is channeling your accumulated CNY cash into your emergency funds. After all, you never know when you or your family might be in need of financial relief and it is always recommended to be sufficiently prepared. 

Even if you don’t save your entire takings, tucking away a portion of it is still better than nothing. You can do this, albeit a little regretfully, by resisting the temptation to gamble with your relatives or to spend on short-term desires—trust me, it’s possible and you’ll thank us later. 

6. Clear outstanding loans

Being constantly in debt is stressful and you can easily get overwhelmed if your repayment deadlines are looming on the horizon. Hence, another clever way of directing your CNY money could be to clear any outstanding loans you may have. 

Even if the deadlines aren’t drawing near, reserving some cash for future reimbursements will significantly lighten your load in the future.

If you’re unsure about how much to set aside, coming up with a spreadsheet detailing your different loans, repayment dates and amounts can aid in your upcoming payment processes. Remember, being clear with your debt repayment will put you firmly in control and cut out stress. 

Read more: Curious about the various study loans in Singapore or wondering about the golden do’s and don’ts when taking up a loan? This article is a handy guide.

The Chinese New Year season is finally upon us, but in between socially distanced gatherings and munching on pineapple tarts, do remember to pace yourself and control your finances because ultimately, responsible spending starts with you and that requires consistency!

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