Singapore's biggest spenders charitable, spend modestly: Study

Singapore's biggest spenders charitable, spend modestly: Study

SINGAPORE – Singapore's biggest spenders are not only family-centred, they are also charitable, according to the Visa Affluent Study 2013.

The study, conducted across Asia Pacific and the Middle East, looked at affluent consumers’ spending habits, priorities, optimism about the future and indexed their propensity to spend on discretionary items in the future. 

What Singapore's affluent spend on

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    Most affluent Singaporeans spend on evenings out, family holidays and fine dining.

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    Spending on personal designer items is a relatively low priority.

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    We asked what affluence means to well-off Singaporeans. Social obligations ranked highest. Being able to obtain personalised products or services was least important, but not by a great margin.

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    Life Perceptions Perceptions of life: what really matters It is a question we all ask ourselves – what is life about? For affluent Singaporeans, it is about learning new things and enjoying great experiences. Having power and influence is of least interest.

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    The well off in Singapore are keen savers, putting away on average SGD470 from every SGD1,000 earned.

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    Four out of five affluent Singaporeans define luxury in terms of having more free time available, while almost three out of four also rated enjoying unique experiences highly. In line with their views of affluence, they rated acquiring material goods as relatively unimportant.

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    Affluent Singaporeans have a high level of educational attainment.

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    Well-off Singaporeans are more optimistic about their own financial position than about the outlook for their country’s or world economy. The great majority also believe that inflation will increase.

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    Travel is the top interest by a large margin. Less than a third of affluent Singaporeans pursue any of the other interests surveyed. Here are the top 10.

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    With a score of 113, affluent Singaporeans are cautiously optimistic. They are upbeat about the outlook for their own finances but less positive about that of Singapore and world economies.

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China, followed by India and Indonesia, are the countries with the most positive outlook on the economy which in turn led to them stating that they were planning to spend more on discretionary items over the coming year; while Japan, where they are more pessimistic about economic growth, ranked the lowest in terms of future discretionary spending.

However, in markets such as Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, the affluent plan to spend modestly despite their lack of confidence in the economy.

In Singapore, it was found that big spenders spent the most money on having a night out, family holidays and fine dining.

On the other hand, Singapore's affluent seemed to place less significance on buying personal designer items. Nearly 72 per cent of the affluent also make charity donations an average of five times a year.

According to Visa, 73 per cent defined 'affluence' as having the opportunity to help others. As many as 81 per cent also defined 'luxury' as having more free time available

“In Singapore, the affluent are driven by more meaningful experiences such as spending more time with the family during a holiday or over a good meal," a Visa spokesperson said.

"Things like material goods, power and influence were found to be of lesser importance. Another unique observation is the increasing sense of social obligation. Charity was seen to be highly important to well-off Singaporeans, with 72% making an average donation of $500, five times a year.”

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