The Comprehensive Guide to Save Money on Groceries in Malaysia

comprehensive guide to save money on groceries in malaysia

Some people love grocery shopping. Some people don’t.

I happen to belong to the first camp. I LOVE grocery shopping. It’s fun to go to the hypermarket and pick between yellow and red onions haha.

When I first started to budget, my initial research was all about how to save money on groceries before I ‘graduated’ to other topics.

There are lots of ways to save money on groceries in Malaysia. In this guide, I will share what I know. I hope you’ll find it useful for your next shopping trip. I divided this article into helpful shopping tools to have and things to do before, during and after the trip.

Related: Grocery shopping tips not relevant to you? See other money saving tips in this 50 Ways I Save Money in Malaysia article instead.

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11 things I learned about self-employment in Malaysia

Self-employment in Malaysia

I’ve been self-employed for about a year now!

For those who don’t know the story, it’s basically this: moved to Ipoh late-2015, tried to open a business. Failed. Tried to look for jobs. Failed to find high-paying jobs. Started freelance writing. Now I am a self-employed writer.

Prior to this, I had always had 9am-6pm jobs. Like many people, I liked the stability of a full-time job. But I’ve also been envious of entrepreneurs and other people who ‘work for themselves’. Not having a boss seems like a nice concept, even though I liked all of my bosses.

Whether you’re currently self-employed, or considering to take the self-employment route in Malaysia, I think you’ll find this post insightful. Here are 11 things about self-employment in Malaysia that I found out in the past year.

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How I Will Be Managing My Money During Trump Presidency

 money during Trump

Like many people around the world, I’m disappointed by Trump’s win in the U.S. elections. Personal reasons aside, what’s done is done. But as it stands, the ripple effect of Trump’s presidency will be felt worldwide, even for us Malaysians who literally live halfway across the world.

My personal opinion is that Trump’s selfish America-first privileged white people-first economic plan won’t work, and even if it did, it would be to the expense of the rest of us global citizens. A group of 370 economists – including not one, but eight Nobel-prize winners think that his plan is crap, too.

Still. If we can’t change his plan, we can still plan around it, until a better U.S. president comes along. This is how I plan to manage my money during Trump presidency for the next four years. I divided this post into three aspects of money management: spending, investing and earning money.

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13 Cheap Things to Do in Ipoh For Your Next Visit

things to do in ipoh

Ipoh. Pretty Ipoh. Foodie Ipoh. One of the top 10 Places to Visit in Asia, according to Lonely Planet. Just 2, 3 hours from KL. It would be a shame to skip this city.  Plus, 2017 is Visit Perak year 🙂

As a Klang Valley girl, I’m surprised by how much I like Ipoh. I lived here for a year, and here are 13 places, activities and food places that I can genuinely recommend for you to try out. These places are cheap to experience, if you don’t go overboard with the shopping and eating.

I assume you guys have Google Map in your phones. Under each recommendation, I added Google Map Search keywords that you can type in to find these places.

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[SPONSORED] What Actual Retirees in Malaysia Say About Retirement

In my previous sponsored post about retirement, I talked about the importance of saving up for retirement, because the fact is that the majority of Malaysians don’t have enough money to support their golden years.

Who best can show you the reality of retirement, than actual retirees in Malaysia? Here are 3 retirees, and what they’re doing now to financial support themselves.

The original article appears here. Read it. It contains more details of these retirees.

Mr Moothy. Age: 65. Spent EPF money for family. Returned to workforce.

retirees in malaysia

Mr Moorthy bought property, but had to liquidate it to help his children’s finances. Because of a parent’s love, he had to return back to the workforce.

The consequences of not saving for ourselves can affect our parents.

 

Mr Haris. Age: 57. No EPF savings (self-employed). Still working.

retirees in malaysia

Mr Haris is self-employed, and still works to support himself and his dependents. This scares me, as I am self-employed as well, which means I don’t have the ‘paksarela’ 11% deduction every month.

If you’re self-employed, channel a percentage to EPF savings anyway. And have some passive incomes to help you.

Mrs Cheng. Age: 74. Survives on late husband’s minimal pension. Depends on daughters.

retirees in malaysia

Mrs Cheng stays with her daughter. Her financial position can be summed up in two words: filial piety. It’s not uncommon for us as Asians to expect this.

This is a poor strategy though. What if you don’t have children to depend on, by choice or by force?

Conclusion

Are you on track to retire without money worries? Go to the original article and find out more about the reality of being retirees in Malaysia, and more about Mr Moorthy, Mr Haris, and Mrs Cheng’s life.

This article was written in collaboration with CompareHero. To stay up to date with the latest news on personal finance in Malaysia, please follow CompareHero Facebook Page

[SPONSORED] Retirement in Malaysia – Will You Fight or Flight?

Earlier this month, I was contacted by CompareHero, who wanted my opinion on retirement in Malaysia. This is what I said:

“Not being able to afford retirement is scary to me. I can’t imagine how unbelievably stuck that must feel. I don’t want to be 60 and in pain but have to push myself to go to work every single day just to be able to pay for medical bills.

This is why I am a big fan of EPF, PRS and achieving financial freedom. And if the maths say I must start now, in my 20s, then I guess I must start now. Maths doesn’t lie!”

Link to original article.

Here are some things that I learned from the article.

EPF Basic Savings for retirement has increased from RM196,800 to RM228,000

According to the latest revision in 2014, to take info account higher cost of living and longer life expectancy, the amount that an individual now need in their EPF Basic Savings is now RM228,000.

 

retirement in malaysia

You can benchmark your EPF savings progress

RM228,000 at 55 years old feels like a long time away, but you can check your progress towards this amount based on the image below.

Check your EPF statement (I know some places have that easy EPF printers where it’ll print out your statement with just IC). Are you on track?

retirement in malaysia

The easiest way to keep on track is to maintain 11% deduction instead of 8%. The difference is pretty big – see example below with RM3500 monthly salary.

retirement in malaysia

Most people don’t have enough EPF savings

The current statistics about Malaysians’ average savings are quite sad. According to the image below, only 1 in 5 of you will have enough savings to retire (but only enough to last 5 years! Assuming you retire at 55 and live until 75 years old – the average Malaysians’ life expectancyyou only have enough money for 5 out of 20 years).

Retirement in Malaysia

Significantly, almost 7 out of 10 Malaysians over the age of 54 years old have less than RM50000 in savings. Assuming RM1000 a month, that will last just slightly over 4 years!

Are you on track to retire comfortably in Malaysia? Go to the original article and find out if you can actually survive on RM1000 a month and how EPF works.

This article was written in collaboration with CompareHero. To stay up to date with the latest news on personal finance in Malaysia, please follow CompareHero Facebook Page

Are Malay Graduates and Job Seekers being Discriminated in Malaysia? Yes, finds this study.

malay graduates

High number of unemployed graduates, especially Malay graduates are not news in this country. We hear them blaming everything but themselves. But what if the Malays are indeed being discriminated against? Yeah right, I muttered at first, as someone who is sometimes ashamed by my own race (how could I not, when I’m assumed to be ‘easily swayed and confused’ half the time?).

Trying to keep an open mind, I read this study, and was quite puzzled by the findings. It was entitled ‘Discrimination in high degrees: Race and graduate hiring in Malaysia‘ and was published in the Journal of Asia Pacific Economy by UM and UKM researchers. Here’s the paper abstract (bold is my own):

This paper investigates racial discrimination in hiring fresh degree graduates in Malaysia through a field experiment. We send fictitious Malay and Chinese resumes to job advertisements, then analyse differentials in callback for interview attributable to racial identity, while controlling for applicant characteristics, employer profile and job requirements. We find that race matters much more than resume quality, with Malays  Malaysia’s majority group  significantly less likely to be called for interview. Other factors, particularly language proficiency of employees, language requirements of jobs and profile of employers, influence employer biases. Applicants fluent in Chinese fare better, and Chinese-controlled and foreign-controlled companies are more likely to favour Chinese resumes, indicating that cultural compatibility explains part of the discrimination. Malay resumes tend to be perceived and prejudged adversely, and employers’ attitudes towards public policy outcomes, particularly pertaining to education quality and employment opportunity in the public sector, also account for the observed racial disparities.

Let me simplify that for you:

When researchers sent fake resumes of Malay and Chinese fresh graduates, the Malay applicants are much less likely to be called back for an interview. Employers perceive Malays negatively, think that they have lower-quality education and always have the safety net in the form of government jobs to fall back on.

Huh. I’ve never been pro-Malay, but I hate discrimination more. How was the research conducted to come to this conclusion?

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