Saving money is one of the benefits of moving to Asia. In some countries, “the Big 3”, (housing, transportation, and food costs) are almost always cheaper than in America. This alone makes Asia a perfect place to increase your net worth, but I’m starting to realize that there maybe other reasons why I find it easy to save.
The biggest reason is that I don’t feel the constant urge to buy shit here. I can go days without buying anything.
In Atlanta ,my hometown, this was not the case. From the time I woke up, I was blasted with advertisements attempting to get me to part with hard earned cash.
This article is going to explore 4 reasons why I think its easier to ignore the noise of advertisements, and peer pressure, and save money in Asia.
1. I’m NOT The Target
At home I’m targeted by the largest companies with the largest marketing budgets in the world. These companies spend millions, sometimes billions, of dollars to digitally, physically, and psychologically learn as much as they can about me.
Yay! They Love me!
Unfortunately, their goal is to persuade me to spend money with a click, a swipe, or with my time and attention. Let’s just say… they all do a damn good job at it.
In Asia, my experience has been completely different. I get no love! People are being targeted here. Its just not me. The largest companies in Asia have so much more opportunity with other demographics that they completely ignore me. I only feel targeted by a handful of companies
2. I Don’t Speak the Language
The largest things on any East Asian advertisement are of course the characters of their language. So far in my adventures in Asia there was only one country that had a large amount of adds in English (the Philippines).
I rarely see ads, that I can understand. As a result, I rarely feel pressure to buy anything.
For example, not sure if this is an ad for a bad hair day, or a really cool jacket…
…or is this an ad for a watch or a for a …. wait is that a Tesla?…
So basically being illiterate makes me immune to the schemes of the “evil marketers”. When I do see something that visually perks my interest I don’t know the first step to make the purchase.
I guess what they say is true “ignorance is bliss”.
3. I’m Not in the Culture
Even if I did know the language, I still couldn’t understand most of the references and logic behind many of the products. East Asia is home to some of the oldest traditions and civilizations in the world. As a foreigner, the learning curve is crazy.
Some products exist that are purely based on culture. If you don’t know the culture then you don’t know the product.
For example, there is an obsession with Jade in Asia that does not exist back home. There is even a large market for skin bleaching lotions.
The fact that these products exist and I have no interest in buying them…helps me save money.
4. I’m Not Around my Peers
Peer pressure was a huge reason why I spent money at home. I would always feel unhappy about what I had, because of something that someone else had. Even if I didn’t verbally say it. When I saw someone got the newest iPhone, I would always be inclined to yearn for the newest iPhone. If someone got a new gym membership I would find myself picturing going to that gym as well. Although I still have access to my peers through social media, thousands of miles of separation helps to decrease that influence.
Now… do I think you should move to Asia just to escape the “power” of advertisements….uh no. You would have traveled around the world then swiped through Instagram and been very disappointed. I do think it is a nice little perk to living here .