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Opinion Piece

My say on current events.

4 Things Guys Can Do For Women

Things Guys Can Do For Women

I don’t shout out this fact often, but I used to work at an international women’s rights organisation. I can answer most questions you have on women’s human rights, or at least point you in the right direction.

Personal activism is important to me, and I try to implement the lessons I learned during working in NGOs in this blog, in a way that is non-discriminatory to all. I hope that showed through.

If you haven’t noticed, the subject I am most passionate about is financial literacy. In this post I want to invite you to do some personal activism to help the gender that tend to be both overworked and underpaid. Women, in general, earn less than men, retire/stop working earlier than men, and has a longer retirement period to worry about (longer life expectancy). This post is written for the male reader in mind, but I invite everyone to do their part.

Here are 4 things guys can do for women in their lives.

#1 Talk to her about investing

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How the Fashion Industry Makes Money (Credit: Fashion Babylon)

 How the Fashion Industry Make Money

Since my post on saving money on fashion, I am on a fashion roll. I’m actively trying to dress better – this does not mean choosing exclusively branded clothes and accessories, this means paying more attention to quality fabric, good stitching and well-cut, well-fit clothing items.

I even read about them, to find out more about how the fashion industry makes money. Read on. 

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33 Thoughts on Paying Zakat in Malaysia

 paying zakat in malaysia

Disclaimer: Not a zakat expert. If any info is wrong, please help me learn by commenting

As a brainwashed Muslim (I say this with a bit of both resignation and pride – it’s a very odd feeling), I’m generally OK with paying zakat in Malaysia. I accept it as a responsibility, plus I believe it’s a way for me to ‘cleanse’ my earnings. I was told early on that as much as I try to generate halal income, some of my money will not be halal due to imperfections of the system.

Here are my thoughts on paying zakat in Malaysia. I littered this with plenty of my own questions as well, but I hope it’s useful for you guys.

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10 Ways to Retire, From Awesome to Depressing

retire early

I’m just 28, but the idea of retirement have fascinated me for a while. I still don’t know how I feel about it. Sometimes I think that retirement is an entitlement for productive members of society, while other times I think it’s incredibly wasteful, even discriminative, to suddenly force someone out of a trade, profession or career due to her or his age.

Growing up, I simply assumed there is just one type of retirement. You serve your company for decades, then receive pension/retirement savings to retire at 55-60+ years old to make room for younger folks. I think many of us have this impression as well. This is the traditional formula in life, isn’t it? Birth, Play, School, Work, Family, Work, Kids, Work, Retire, Die.

This formula doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but I admit that I’ve never been drawn to the Kids part. My ideal family structure for now is DINK = Dual Income, No Kids. Also, I’d like to retire early and retire young.

Thankfully, I’ve met some people during my travels and read first-hand accounts of actual retirees (thanks, Internet). Some of them have kids, some of them don’t, but they do have one thing in common – they like the idea of being self-sufficient and not being a ‘burden’.

Here are 10 ways to retire. Some of them may overlap.

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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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My 5 Rules to Make Beauty Products Affordable

beauty products malaysia

I talk about money and currency all the time – things that are valuable; that has value. Beauty has value as well, and this post is all about that.

Makeup and skincare are something I took up seriously early on, but never really mastered. I’m still navigating this world. Some women are really good at it, and I salute them. If you don’t, it’s worth trying – wearing makeup (or at least good at grooming) may help you to earn more money, according to this research. There is financial benefit in being more attractive, so why not? Worth noting: the effect is similar to men, albeit a smaller boost.

I have 5 general rules when it comes to beauty. It may help you, it may not, but this is what helps to make beauty affordable to me.

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My Experiment on Living Paycheck to paycheck

My Experiement Living Payheck to Paycheck

First off, here’s a cool infographic on sample budgeting if one earns RM3,300 a month, with no dependents. The infographic is brought to you by CompareHero! Recently, they published my article on Bitcoin Debit Card Guide for Malaysians, so I’m returning the favour 🙂 It’s not hard, because I’m a big fan of their infographics in the first place.

Related: I wrote about my own actual monthly budget when I was earning RM3,500 a month.

Scroll down for infographic. My experiment on living paycheck to paycheck is under the infographic.

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Incomes and Expenses of a Freelance Writer in Malaysia

freelance writer in malaysia

Being a freelance writer was not something I planned. Yet, somehow, here I am, making ends meet with nothing more than my laptop, internet access, and some brain power.

I won’t bore you with pros and cons of being a freelancer (yes, I do get to work in my pajamas), but I do want to talk about the income and expenses side of it. I searched online, and there aren’t many resources for people like me. So I’m making one, and I want to share it with you.

So if you are a freelance writer in Malaysia, or if you want to become one (it makes great side income!), here is some finance-related information about incomes and expenses that you should know about.

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