KUWAIT: Owning a luxurious watch, sporting the most recent footwear, or owning the latest in smartphone accessory might send a message of how well off an individual is; however, when debt comes in the picture, a very rudimentary question comes to mind “is it all worth it?”
Recently, Kuwaitis, and especially youth, have been driven to buy the most luxurious goods to impress their peers and social surrounding but this recent ‘craze’ in consumer culture had its social and economic impact on society. With the increase in consumer loans by 20.4 percent last July according to statistics by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) instructions to banks to keep such loans at a maximum of KD 15,000, it seems that the forcible and over purchase of luxurious goods had a negative influence on the social and economic norms in Kuwait.
In interviews with KUNA, a number of citizens touched on the subject expressing various views on the necessity of buying luxurious items. Health Ministry employee Saad Ismail stressed that buying the most expensive items will guarantee him that the goods will last longer. Much cheaper goods and ‘knock-offs’ wear off quickly, said Ismail who added that he spends his money on highly priced goods for their durability.
Echoing a somewhat similar view, Kuwait University (KU) student Sarah Mohammad said that she was quite comfortable buying the latest signature goods, affirming that this reflected her personality and social status amongst her friends and family members.
Government employee Budour Mohammad said that she does spend a lot on buying pricy items and affirmed that she would never take a loan to cover her expenses. Budour Mohammad said that she refused to follow “what is hip” at the current moment, affirming that she only buys goods when she needs them.
Similarly, private sector Mohammad Shaker said that buying expensive goods was not on the top of his priorities, adding he would never get a loan from a bank to buy any product. With the debate the controversial matter forever continuing; common sense would dedicate that buying an overpriced car through loans just impress people around will mostly and surely will end up with borrowers ‘swamped in debt.’ – KUNA