One thing that a K-pop fan must learn is to manage their spending habits (especially when you’re a multi!). Every now and then, the groups have their comebacks and new merchandise which means spending for us fans. Let us not forget the growing photocard collections. It is truly hard to be a K-pop stan without savings. This 2021, encourage yourself to be wise in spending your hard earned money and be a responsible spender! Here are a few tips on how we can handle our money.

1. Know the difference between your needs and wants.

This is crucial and fundamental when you’re handling your own money. It is crucial since how you will view these expenses will depend on your situation. You may say that the photocard of your bias is a NEED but for others, it’s only a WANT. It is fundamental because this is where your smart spending starts. To help you classify the difference between the two, always ask yourself: Is this item useful for me in the long run? Make sure that these items are practical and that they do not just give you emotional satisfaction. Bear in mind that the items that you only want won’t give you the same satisfaction after a few months. But the items that you need will still be useful even after a long run.

2. Do the 50:40:10 rule

This is a personal rule that has been very effective for me. I recommend this to everyone most especially to the working class who have a monthly inflow of money. The proportions mean 50% for expenses, 40% investment/savings, and 10% luxury expenses. The half of your salary will be allocated for your monthly expenses (e.g. electricity, water, rent, food, etc.). Taking into consideration that you have already computed how much you usually spend on these commodities. Only 10% will be allotted for those items you don’t usually buy – your wants. Limiting and proportioning your income can be very helpful in saving money since you won’t be spending more than your allocated budget.

3. Learn to manage your cash.

Ms. Emelyn, a Certified Public Accountant for 10 years and owner of a K-pop shop called NUNUNANA, mentioned in an exclusive interview that you have to spend only the excess in your cash budget. “Spend only what you earn.” Avoid using credits or money that is not yet in your hands because it will lead to overspending. For example, you’re expecting you’ll be getting your salary in a few days, so you decided you can pre-order a merchandise and pay for it later.  Once you receive your salary, you might get short on cash because you have something you haven’t paid yet from last month. This is a bad sign of managing cash and will eventually lead to debts.

4. Know the value of your items

When it comes to investing, our accounting expert reminded us that, “By the end of the day, everything depreciates. So if you’re going to make an investment in your collection, you might want to re-sell it after 1-2 years but if you’re planning to keep it with you, then don’t buy too much.” Another great tip from an interview with Ms. Regine, a marketing graduate and the owner of NCT 296 PH K-pop shop, is that it would be best to look out for the price of the items most especially during discount season like year-end sales, “If they have enough budget for the year-end sale then go buy it (at that time) since stocks are not always available and ready and they might miss out on the chance to buy the merchandise they want.” So always be mindful of the prices of your items!

5. Create a list of your spendings.

Using an extra notebook or an excel file sheet, you should always track your spending. This is a great way to see how much you have left in your budget and if you have pending orders that you haven’t paid yet. You just need to be consistent and organized about it.

6. Have a separate saving space.

If you have trouble following your budget because you always overspend what’s on your hand, then this is the perfect tip for you. For cash on hand, you may have different envelopes designated for different portions of your budget. This will help control what you spend because you will only use the money you are seeing. This comes best when you have a separate bank account for your expenses and savings. When your expense account has reached a 0 balance, then it is a sign for you to stop spending and you can’t take the money that is left on your savings account.

7. Pause and Think method

Whenever there is a new photocard of our bias, we always feel that we need to get our hands on it as soon as we can. It’s normal to be excited but when you’re trying to develop good spending habits, you have to pause and think. Impulsive buying is one of the reasons why we spend more than what we can. A lot of times, a photocard’s market price decreases a few months after the release. Thus, it is important to give yourself time to think if you want to buy something you want. If more than 10 days have passed and your excitement over an item is gone, then it is a good reason not to buy that item anymore. Learn to wait.

8. Spending tips from the marketing point of view

According to the interview with Ms. Kristen, who currently works in advertising sales, “Marketers are still people and most of them will tell you to find what works best for you. If you think you need something, then get it. Obviously I’m going to want you to spend money but if you lose your livelihood from spending, then you’re no good to me and my company. If you can’t buy, then there’s no point in trying to market something towards you. Don’t go broke but also buy, buy, buy.” It’s always a give and take on both the seller and buyers and as the other marketing expert, Ms. Regine said “It is the marketing’s job to sell items, even if you don’t need it. We have to entice the customers.”

At the end of the day, you make your own choices and you control what you earn but developing good spending habits comes in handy as money is meant to be spent. As fans, there are still other ways to support our favorite artists aside from spending a lot of money for purchasing their albums and merchandise. After all, these collections are just luxuries that not everyone can afford because basic needs always come first. So don’t stress if you don’t have your bias’ photocard with you and if you are one of the collectors, just enjoy the process of collecting as nothing in this world can buy the memories that come with your collection.

Done deciding which NCT merchandise to buy? We featured some selling accounts managed by NCTzens in Advertising here.