Smart Investor Malaysia


During the pandemic, two words that we always heard or read are “lives and livelihoods”. These two words were often mentioned in press conferences by the government and how they are trying hard to balance between the two.

How does this relate to us an individual, lifestyle vs living your life?

Based on the Oxwhite Shopper Survey 2021 published on TheEdge on 28 June 21, about 58% of the participants shop for only things they need when they need them, 24% usually keep a wish list. While the remaining 12.5% buy on impulse and 5.5% always on the lookout for the latest product.

Let’s explore few ideas before you decide to place your next order.

Luxury VS Necessities

When we talk about luxury product, there are generally perception associated with a certain product. Be it a luxury watch or car, it is either a symbol of success, quality or excellent.

Does that mean you have to avoid buying luxury product altogether? No.

The more important question to ask yourself are as follows:

  • What is your current financial situation?
  • Have your cover your necessities?
  • Have you been putting aside your monthly savings for protection or medium to long term financial needs?

For instance, if you spend more than 1/3 of your expenditure to pay for your luxury items, then you may need to reconsider whether buying that item is necessary now or should you defer or consider another product.

Only when your financial situation allows, then you can re-evaluate whether to buy it in the future.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) VS Pay In Full

Another new payment method that offers interest free payment is “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL). It is actually be good for consumers who are prudence in managing their spending, as they do not have to come up with a large sum of money at one go to purchase something and is also not subjected to any interest payment. But if you do not not pay the amount every month as per the due date, you tend to build up more debts and end up spending over your means.

It is the same with anything, for example a knife. If you use it appropriately in the kitchen, it is a great cooking tool. However, if it falls to the wrong hands with bad intentions, it can take away someone’s life.

Current VS Future

By having ads being shown to us many times when we are searching for something online, it builds our liking towards that product unknowingly. Not many of us are able to refrain from the temptation of getting the latest gadget and or any new product that is being launched in the market.

Some products are marketed via influencers or artists as their ambassadors, therefore this encourages their fans to buy the product because of their idols are associated with that particular product or brand. Our brain tends to focus more on the present rather than the delayed gratification that enable us to build more sustainable savings at a later age.

Choose The Lifestyle That You Can Afford

There is always a choice in how we live our life. Do we really buy certain items because we can afford it and want to give the best to our loved ones? Or do we only need certain product to perform certain task?

There is no right or wrong on how one lives their life. Therefore, we cannot have one rule for all circumstances. These are just some of the factors for you to consider before making your next purchase.

A great habit to inculcate is to manage your money and spend it prudently. It is about finding the right balance between lifestyle and living your life.

“Lifestyle is not an amount, it’s a practice.”

– Jim Rohn

About the Author

Goh Chee Yong is a Licensed Financial Planner under Capital Markets Services Representative License (CMSRL) and Bank Negara approved Financial Advisor Representative (FAR). Prior to becoming a financial advisor, he spent eight years working in Big 4 audit firms and multinational corporations. He can be contacted at

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