INTRODUCTION Shopping plays an important role in every Bruneian’s life.

Although Brunei is a small country, it imports a wide range of consumer goods as well as manufactures its own products to cater for the needs and wants of the people in the country. Apparently, most of the time we go shopping to satisfy our needs. There are times when we shop just to make us feel more contented. Too much shopping could be a problem and in fact it is already a problem in Brunei that has been going on for several years now. A lot of the people here do not realize that by spending too much on luxury items, they could be jeopardizing their future as well as the next generation. The money that they spent could be put to better use, like by saving it or investing it so that in the future, money matters wouldn’t be such a huge problem. And by overspending, they are slowly accumulating items which are not in use anymore in their storeroom instead of doing something useful, like donating or recycling them. This is mainly because a lot of people in Brunei do not know of the existence of recycling companies as well as charity organizations. OBJECTIVES In this project, we want to investigate the spending and disposal habits of the people here in Brunei. We want to know what the common luxury items that they have purchased are and also to find out what they do with the things that they have accumulated through their spending. EXISTING WORLDWIDE PROBLEMS BASED ON OVERSPENDING AND DISPOSAL The problems of overspending and ignorance to the many disposal methods are actually a worldwide issue. Some of the evidences are:From a research paper done by Fadeeva Z., it was stated that nine to fourteen billion people will be consuming already significantly depleted resources of the planet.

According to the article, in the developing countries, although the middle class is growing there is still a huge growing gap between the rich and the poor. The rich tend to spend more to keep pace with the current life style of the wealthier part of the earth. This imposes a serious threat on the carrying capacity of the planet and the well-being of poorer nations. According to magazines (Economist, 2003; Renner, 2003, sited in Tojo, 2004), the world annual expenditure on makeup is 18 billion dollars and at the same time, it is believed that 19 billion dollars would solve the problem of hunger and malnutrition of the world. From the internet, we found an article reviewing the problems of debt in America which states that, “Today, millions of Americans are having difficulty paying their debts. Most of those in financial distress are middle income families with jobs who want to pay off what they owe.” From the article, Americans are in debt because they have adapted to a “buy now-pay later” lifestyle which will lead them to much bigger problems in the future –even bigger debts, the loss of assets such as their house, and a bad credit record – if they do not act now to amend the situation.

There was a research done in New Zealand about the ownership of electrical and electronic equipment, ways of disposal and the barriers of recycling. From the article, based on the calculated household averages, there are 3.4 million televisions held in New Zealand households, 3.3 million mobile phones, 1.9 million computer monitors, 1.9 million computers (excluding monitors), and 0.6 million laptop computers. According to their survey, their main problems to recycling of electronic items were the absence of collection schemes where respondents lived (39 percent) and that respondents were unaware how to recycle these items (33 percent). At much lower levels, 9 percent stated they could not be bothered to recycle and 5 percent that it was too expensive. PROBLEMS RELATED TO BRUNEI We used two methods to carry out our project:- survey forms (Appendix 1) and interviews.

Our initial step was to prepare a survey form and to get approval from our lecturer (See Appendix 1). We managed to give out 117 survey forms. After collecting all the survey forms, we gathered the information and analyzed it in graph forms. As a result of this, it enabled us to obtain useful information that could assist us in identifying our problems. Interviews were carried out while distributing the survey forms in order to give more information on their spending and disposal habits. Through our findings, we found out that the percentage of the respondents that spends about $2500 annually on luxury items are:  95% of the respondents spend on apparels and accessories  90% spends on automotive accessories and customizations  96% spends on sports goods  91% spends on computers  96% spends on electronics  100% spends on appliances Only a minority of them will spend $4500-$5000 and over on automotives accessories & customizations as well as electronics, based on their monthly income. From the interviews, majority of them said that they have overspent their income on certain months or they could only save about $100 monthly. So from here we are able to conclude that those who are able to save about $100 per month, save only $1,200 a year and if they have started saving from the beginning of their employment and they work for approximately 35 years, they could only save around $50,000 or less. This will not be enough to support them in the future.

We also identified that the more they consume the more unused items they accumulate because they do not have the knowledge of the different ways to dispose them. From the many ways to dispose of the unused items, out of the 117 respondents:• • • • • • 26% prefer to keep their automotives accessories & customizations in the storeroom 19% prefer to keep their electronics “Everywhere else in the house” 40% choose to throw their appliances away 32% prefer to give away their apparels & accessories to their friends or relatives 30% prefer to keep their broken or unused sports goods in the storeroom 28% will keep their broken or unused computers in the storeroom

Only 15% of the respondents recycle the selected luxury items. Therefore it proves that majority of them do not know about the existence of recycling companies in Brunei that cater to these sort of items. CONCLUSION In conclusion, we have derived from our findings that there is overspending amongst the age groups 20-30 years and above 40 years. We have also found that most of the respondents are unaware of the places where they can recycle their unused or unwanted items instead of just storing it away, which takes up a lot of space. As quoted in a review by Jackson, T. (2005),“To engage in attempts to change consumption patterns and consumer behaviors is, in one sense, to tinker with fundamental aspects of our social world. And to proceed without acknowledging this degree of complexity and sophistication is to invite an inevitable failure.”

References: 1. Jackson, T. (January 2005), Motivating Sustainable Consumption. Retrieved from : http://www.sd-research.org.uk/documents/MotivatingSCfinal.pdf 2. Financial Problems. Retrieved from (November 28, 2001):

http://www.wasc.noaa.gov/wrso/security_guide/finances.htm 3. Fadeeva, Z. Sustainable production and consumption – Educating future consumers. Retrieved eeva-sustainable_production.pdf 4. UMR Research (January 2006).Electrical and Electronic Equipment Survey January 2006 – A Quantitative Report. Retrieved from: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/waste/eee-survey-report-jan06/index.html from: http://www.unescobkk.org/.../user_upload/esd/documents/workshops/kanchanburi/fad

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