By the way, the stomach in the picture in the post below is not mine. My stomach is not so big. And the post is not meant to be a new year resolution. I don't have the habit of making NY resolutions. When I have an objective in mind I would try to set a target and work towards it, for example saving money for an expensive item like a holiday abroad.
Except for the house and the car, I prefer to pay upfront cash for furniture and electrical items and appliances rather than to buy them on hire purchase. The primary advantage of hire purchase is that you can use or enjoy the item before you could save enough money to buy it. The main disadvantage is the high interest rate you have to pay.
For houses and cars we should make sure that the monthly payment is not too harsh on us. Otherwise I think it is better to get a smaller house or to do without a car.
2012 seems to pass exceptionally quickly. In the blink of an eye, 2013 is upon us and before you could blink again, it will be Chinese New Year.