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Budget Update: September 2017

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Budget Update: September 2017

Money was good in September. I earned about double my usual income, making it my best-earning month so far. It came from two big writing projects, a couple of sponsored posts/advertisement on this website, my usual business development work with Wirex and additional income from affiliate marketing and Adsense.

But God, the amount of work I had to do for that kinda money… I am so burned out. Mentally, I am not at my best. I’ve neglected my health and my family. I skipped the gym for weeks and had a horrible relationship with food all month. There were moments of genuine happiness, but I never truly relaxed unless I was sleeping. When attending events, people legit told me to my face that I look tired.

…Acknowledging that I am burned out and writing this down was hard. I try to not be a complainer. I try to practice gratitude. But at this point, I feel like I’m just sugarcoating the real situation – that I am chasing money, but I don’t know why I do it. I mean, I already live comfortably enough as it is – it’s not like I need more money to fulfill a basic need.

How do you balance between (a) working as hard as you can for the benefit of future you and (b) limit earning potential so you can enjoy the money you have now? I *thought* I was doing a combination of the two, but the scale has definitely tipped over to (a) without me realising.

Sigh. Not enough work is a problem, too much work pun a problem. Then I feel guilty of complaining, and that made me feel worse. This reminded me of the time when I reflected my relationship with money (read: [Personal] How it feels like to constantly obsess over money).

Any of you going through a similar experience? Do you feel like you’re working too hard, and not sure anymore if the money is worth it? Please comment how you’re taking care of yourself while going through it.

september 2017

Yay of the month:

  • Bought myself a new laptop, the Surface Pro 4. It was a fun process because Twitter was involved – I asked for recommendations based on my requirements (i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB hard disk and above, RM5k and below) and got so many helpful replies, so seriously thanks for that. Compiled the best tips in the article 4 Best Tips I Got From You Guys When I Wanted to Buy New Laptop. I’m now paying RM568.08 x 12 months for the laptop + Microsoft software package + additional 4 years coverage (total 5 years). It’ll now be included in my monthly ‘Business’ cost.
  • One of my best purchases of the month was definitely a RM78 vacuum cleaner from Lazada. I got this one. After manually sweeping the floor for years, I’d consider this a lifestyle upgrade.
  • I also splurged on new pillows and a duvet cover for my bed. Honestly, it was long overdue – the old pillows frequently gave me neck pains. I just put up with it because it was free (stolen from my parents’ house lol).
  • Traveled to Ipoh and Singapore for work. Had fun working and networking.
  • Attended the Duality show by the VSC Project three times. It was so visually and emotionally beautiful. One of my highlights of the year.
  • As stated above, my income for the month was great. Especially love seeing my Google Adsense income grow – Ringgit Oh Ringgit’s traffic is at its highest and earned me $79 in September alone! A couple of months before it was less than $50 per month, so you can see how fast this passive income is growing. Here’s a writeup if you also want to start your own website and earn money from it: The Exact Steps I Use to Earn Money from Blogging.
  • Here’s a gift for you guys, courtesy of HelloGold. Go to the AppStore/PlayStore, download HelloGold app and apply code ‘SGOLD10’ to claim RM5 in gold. No catch, just a generous user acquisition strategy. My writeup on them (plus links): [SPONSORED] How to Buy Gold in Malaysia, as an Investment.
  • I also enjoyed learning about Malaysian stocks in September 2017, via Asukabu. Highly recommend it if you ever consider stocks as an investment. See: [Sponsored] How Asukabu App Helped Me Understand Malaysian Stocks.
  • A couple new Malaysian personal finance blogs came out! Check out MoneyTalksCafe and GreyNautic. For a full list of recommended personal finance websites, see here.

Nay of the month:

  • Unhealthy lifestyle. All-in-all, I gained 5kg since May. Ugh. Tired of complaining, must do something about it. Aiming to lose this amount by the end of the year. 3 months, 5kg – doable? Should be. You can do this, Suraya.
  • Spent an unhealthy amount of time online and on gadgets. Need to go on one of those digital detox things. Even the thought scares me. I love being online, but not all you love is good for you.
  • Didn’t even finish one whole book. At least I managed to read half of Game of Thrones Book 1.
  • I don’t like Maxis. In fact at this point I straight up loathe it. They hit me with a RM38 roaming charge in Singapore without me asking, the whole process was apparently ‘automated’ and felt unethical af. I really miss Umobile and its free roaming in some countries, including Singapore.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Taking it easy. Perhaps go on a mini-holiday. I’m contemplating attending a personal finance conference in Dallas, Texas. It’s quite the financial commitment to go there – at least RM10k – but FinCon has been on my bucket list for years because it’s THE event for personal finance bloggers and content creators like myself. MY PEOPLE IS THERE. As of now I still haven’t made any concrete plans, but let’s see.

Reminder that 100-days-until-2018 countdown has started.

To read about my past monthly budget update, click here. Graphs are taken from my expense-tracking app Money Lover (review).

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4 comments

  1. I’m at a point where I want to keep all of my money and not spend any of it. To make it worse, I’m criticising my friends’ choice of lifestyle when it comes to spending money because it is wasteful for me. This is unhealthy, and I’m trying to re-shift my objectives and goals on why I want to have so much money.

    1. Hey Aine,
      I’ve since adopted the ‘your money, your choices, not my place’ rule. I used to judge people’s spending habits a lot, but now I just keep them to myself (mostly).

      Highly recommend to just sit down and think of how you want your money to help you. Really helps you discover your relationship with money.

  2. I had the same problem with Celcom when I went to Singapore. Double charge some more. Thankfully, they entertained my numerous calls and eventually waived the whole thing off.

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