What young Singaporeans need to know about UOB's new YOLO Credit Card
We here at MoneySmart aren't the sort to be swayed by marketing. That's why we're saying that in spite of the provocative branding of UOB's YOLO credit card, targeted at millennials, we still think it's a pretty solid card.
For one thing, you get a whopping 8 per cent rebate on weekend dining and entertainment, and 3 per cent rebate on weekday dining, entertainment and online fashion and travel buys, subject to spending at least $600 per month.
You and a +1 also get free entry to Kyo, 1-for-1 pure blonde beers and burgers at Overeasy on Fridays and Saturdays and buy-3-get-4 tickets at Golden Village cinemas.
That being said, given that Singaporeans aren't exactly known for their conservative spending habits, here is a shoutout to the young people who are seduced by the prospect of going on a plastic swiping spree (because YOLO) to sit back and let the following sink into their brains before taking this card to town.
You don't need to spend tons of money in order to "live"
Since you only live once, that means you should spend all your money in this life, or else you're not living, right?
While fans of the phrase YOLO might equate being careless with your money as a sign that you're really living it up without a care in the world, what this really reflects is the high level of materialism in Singapore and our sad mentality that you have to live the high life to be comfortable.
Seizing the day should mean making the effort to spend time with the people you love, engaging in activities and a career that reflect your interests and taking the time to appreciate the world around you.
It does not mean buying tons of catwalk-worthy clothes, toting around ridiculously expensive handbags, constantly pampering yourself with luxury or eating at all the hottest restaurants. If that's what you think living is about, that's pretty sad.
Thinking about today only, not tomorrow is a recipe for disaster
YOLO is an exhortation to live in the present, but we hope young people signing up for the YOLO card aren't going to take this as a sign they should spend with abandon and then worry about paying their bills later.
Credit cards like the YOLO card are great if you use them wildly. If you pay off your bills in full each month, you'll be able to benefit from the perks.
Conversely, if you overspend on your credit card and fail to pay your bills in full, you could find yourself in a downward spiral of debt. This is more common in Singapore than you might think-just ask these people.
Living in the present isn't about not bothering to be responsible. It's about enjoying to the fullest everything that's within your means to experience, instead of craving what you can't afford. So go ahead, use your YOLO card to enjoy that restaurant meal, but don't overdo it and think you can eat caviar on your coffee breaks..
Youth does not equal irresponsibility
It's pretty obvious the YOLO card wasn't targeted at senior citizens or middle-aged parents-YOLO is the battle cry of millennials, and if you were born before 1980, go clean your dentures grandpa.
The problem is that people tend to use YOLO as an excuse for doing spectacularly dumb things-whether it's dangling off the ledge of the 80th floor of a building so you can take a selfie, swallowing a coin because someone dared you to or merrily swiping your credit card even though you're already in debt.
We're not going to get all boring on you and warn you about the consequences of getting into debt you have no way of paying off, as we're sure you've heard enough already about being harassed by debt collectors and going bankrupt.
And we're surely not about to tell you you need to start living like a monk, shaving your head and refusing to spend a single cent so you can one day reach enlightenment.
But know this-splurging on your credit cards when you can't afford to is going to result in a lot of stress for yourself when the debt collectors come calling. That stress is going to ruin the quality of your life while you're still young.
Picture this: you're watching anime at home on your computer when a lawyer's letter threatening bankruptcy if you don't pay up arrives on your doorstep. You're having coffee with a friend when your phone rings, and it's debt collectors from the bank threatening to make you bankrupt.
These things aren't going to happen when you're old and decrepit-they could happen in a matter of months if you really let loose with your spending. Now, that doesn't sound like a great way to make the most of your youth, does it?
So sign up for the UOB YOLO card-it's a great card in the right hands. But make sure you use it smartly.
This article first appeared on MoneySmart
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