Selamat Hari Raya! Please forgive my many, many mistakes so far ye tengkiu lapchu.
I’ve written a couple of blogposts about Raya so far, namely:
But I’ve never written a post-Raya spending post-mortem, so that’s what I’m going to do. 2017 was my first Raya where money wasn’t an issue, so I was curious how it compared to previous Raya spending experiences. This is what I spent on this year.
#1 – Baju Raya
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.
September Budget Update Summary
I earned RM8743.22. Less than my target of RM10k, but it’s been a good month. Minus expenses for the month (RM3525.17), that’s still RM5k nett income. All of the income came from my writing services.
Sponsored Post (long post with lots of examples)
This is my first sponsored post! I’ll be promoting cards from two banks at the end of this article but all opinion and cashback hack ideas here are my own.
Can I just say that I am actually a big fan of credit cards? I use them anyway and they have saved me a lot of money over the years, especially combined with other cashback hacks. During my recent Krabi trip (which costs me about RM900), I gave example how I used a credit card to make some payments, and got RM50 + RM66 in total cashback. That made the vacation so much sweeter 🙂
How to Combine Credit Cards with Other Cashback Hacks
A lot of people asked me recently about the app I use to track my expenses. To the best of my ability, I answered them personally – I use an app called Money Lover. It is available for Android, Apple, and Windows platform. They use the freemium model – free use, pay to unlock features. Here is the website.
There’s many reason why I love the Money Lover app more than other types of expense tracking app. I’ve been tracking my expenses for a while (~10 years, give or take), and I’ve used the pen+paper method, custom Excel spreadsheets, and many other expense-tracking apps.
First up, free expense tracking apps exists. But as of mid 2014 when I stopped using the free ones and used Money Lover exclusively, the free ones suck. The apps would freeze, or it would limit features, or it’s simply not user-friendly enough.
Secondly, I maintain that the best expense tracking method is the method that works best for you. If you are comfortable with the abacus, go for it (lol).
Here is my Money Lover review, as the 9 things I personally love about the app.
I love that more people are talking about their monthly budgets!
One of my favorite Malaysian PF (that’s personal finance in case you’re not familiar with the jargon), Mr Stingy aka Aaron Tang recently published an article where he outlined his monthly budget when he was earning RM3,500 a month in 2010. His article was inspired from this Pakdi.Net article written by a fresh graduate who said that his RM3,500 salary wasn’t enough!
I was earning RM3,500 until a few months ago (in communications/NGO line, that was considered a decent salary okay), so I would like to share my own monthly budget then.
FYI I enjoy tracking my expenses and I have data of every. single. transaction. For the sake of this article, I will be taking the average spending during 1 year period, October 2014-September 2015. This means that I will be dividing each category by 12.