Ever wondered what your salary and shopping habits are like in comparison to your peers? Money Talks is a new column by CLEO that takes an honest look at how young Millennial and Gen Z women spend their money. If you would like to submit a money diary anonymously, click here.
In today’s column, we speak to a 28-year old corporate manager who shops whenever she gets stressed out at work.
Industry: Public Service
Education level: Degree
Salary: Around $4,500 per month, with an additional 13th-month bonus and annual performance bonus
Savings: $1,350 – $1,800
Phone Bill: $30
Allowance for Parents: $600
How much she thinks she spends: About $100 – $200
How much she actually spent: $100
On how she shops:
“I usually shop online as I can’t stand crowds. The brands that I usually shop at are Fashmob, Uniqlo and Fayth for clothes. I tend to spend around $15 – $50 for clothes and $5 – $200 for bags. When it comes to bags, I have gotten all sorts from backpacks, work bags to even ones on Taobao. But these usually tend to be a once-every-couple-of-years type of purchases.
As for makeup, I tend to go with drugstore brands, but honestly, I’m usually too tired to even wear makeup nowadays. For skincare, I would get them from Laneige and Origins.
While I’m constantly browsing for things (mostly online), I seldom end up buying! I usually only buy something if I really need it (like when the sole of my shoes came off and I needed to replace them) or when I’m really stressed and need pretty things to cheer me up.”
On her stress-shopping habit:
“I tend to stress shop quite a bit and this happens around every two to three months. I would try to make myself feel better by buying bubble tea, accessories (like earrings), books and stationery. Basically pretty things make me happy!
Sometimes when work gets too overwhelming, I make a trip to Kinokuniya and spend some time wandering around the shelves and admiring pretty book covers. This never fails to make me feel better and it doesn’t hurt that the store is usually quiet and peaceful too!”
On her relationship with money:
“I wouldn’t really say I’m super frugal or a spendthrift. I guess you could say I’m somewhere in between. I seldom splurge on big-ticket items. For items above $100, I always think twice and can leave them in my shopping cart for weeks before I make a decision. I go on a maximum of two to three overseas trips in a year.
In general, I think I’m really lucky to be earning a decent amount that allows me to live a comfortable life as well as still be able to indulge occasionally. In terms of my savings, I think it’s pretty healthy. I have at least six months of income saved up, and enough set aside for future expenses such as a home or wedding.
The best piece of financial advice I have received is the same advice they give for a healthy diet—everything in moderation!”