Snakes, cash don't mix: site

Updated: 2013-02-19 11:51

By Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily)

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Are you currently at an age that is a multiple of the number 12? If so, congratulations - you might be a gifted risk-taker and you probably don't even know it.

As a fun way to celebrate the 2013 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake, a personal finance website examines the link between personal savings habits and the Chinese zodiac, known in Chinese as shengxiao.

The website collects interest rate information from more than 4,000 United States banks and credit unions, making it an online rates aggregator to local interest rate information.

People can find their characteristics associated with each animal in the 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar - Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar - all of which coincide with certain birth years. These traits are then analyzed in terms of how they might correspond to a person's money management approach.

"The snake is known for showcasing wisdom and continuously seeking purpose. Often the philosophers, theologians and deep thinkers of the world, snakes gravitate toward the inner depths of life," it says.

"On the financial side, the snake is considered a bit of a risk-taker, not afraid to jump head first into a financial deal - or even a shopping spree - without thinking about what's at stake."

If you find your personality is similar to that of your zodiac, it's good to know there are ways to ensure your ability to spend, save and grow money responsibly is always intact, it said.

The website says that a smart way to avoid overspending in the Year of the Snake is to place money into savings accounts with low liquidity such as high-interest savings accounts or certificates of deposit.

The Chinese New Year represents the first day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

"Billions of people celebrate Chinese New Year," said Casey Bond, managing editor of Go Banking Rates. "But even those who don't can stand to benefit from some insight into how the year they were born could impact the decisions they make with their money every day."

The Chinese zodiac is also used by other cultures. The US Postal Service issues postage stamps each year to honor the Chinese tradition.

"It is interesting to see the close connection between my money, luck and the zodiac signs. I prefer to believe the positive prediction for 2013," said Martha Aguiar, a San Francisco resident. "Whenever I see a picture of the snake decorated in Macy's this month, I always have a strong impulse to shop," she said.

In Las Vegas, most of the hotels along the strip have been adorned with likenesses of the snake to not only celebrate the Year of the Snake, but to inspire visitors to spend.

For families expecting babies this year, parents can find relief from their headaches after the boom in births in the Year of the Dragon last year.

"I don't need to compete for the gynecologists and my boy doesn't have too many competitors when he is at the age of school," she said. "It is the best investment to have my boy in the Year of Snake," said Summer Song, 32 and a mother of a newborn baby.

According to the zodiac, the dragon is fired up about life, carrying energy and a heroic heart. Filled with vitality and strength, dragons are able to accomplish great things in life.

But it is said there are people who save money and people who don't. Dragons fall into the latter category, never really caring about accumulating money. Instead, like tigers, they prefer to gamble and take chances.