Spend wisely and be happy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 August, 2006, 12:00am

Many teenagers run up huge debts by using their credit cards to buy the latest gadgets and fashion accessories.

EPS Company, which launched a cashless retail payment system in Hong Kong in 1985, hopes to promote proper spending habits among young people this summer.

On Tuesday, the firm kicked off its EPS Worry-free Spending Creative Design Competition, with Canto-pop singers Eugene Yip Yue-Ching and Wilfred Lau Ho-lung and figurine designer Richard Wong Shu-hon as guests-of-honour.

The singers said they had their own way of controlling their spending.

'As an artist, I have to go shopping all the time. To make sure I don't go overboard, I set a limit each month, and I won't spend more than that amount,' Lau said.

'The safest way is to spend what is in your account [like under the EPS system]. If you don't have enough money in your account, you should not spend on things you don't need.

'If you use credit cards, you could incur high interest rates by paying only the minimum amount. By using EPS, people can learn to be careful with their money.'

Lau said he is strongly against teenagers owning credit cards.

Yip encouraged young people to set a limit before making purchases.

'Think whether you really need [the item] first. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it's useful,' he said.

The competition is open to those aged 14 to 25. The champion will receive an Xbox360 game console, the first runner-up will get a Nintendo DS Lite game console and the second runner-up will be awarded an MP3 player. Seven outstanding award-winners will each receive a one-gigabyte SD memory card.

All entries must be based on the 'worry-free spending' concept. Two-dimensional submissions must be printed on A4 paper, but there are no size limitations on 3D models. Along with their designs, participants may also submit an essay of no more than 300 words, providing the reasons behind their creation. Each participant can submit up to three entries.

They can be e-mailed to eps.competition@octagon.com or sent to Suite 1302-04, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay. The deadline is September 11. All submissions must include the entrant's name, age, occupation or school, contact number and e-mail and postal addresses.

For more information, call 2534 5058