I Figured Out The Perfect System to Stop Food Waste

What use is buying ingredients to cook at home if you, the average Malaysian household, throw away 0.5-0.8kg of uneaten food per day? I thought you wanted to save money, and eat healthier at the same time?

I’m going to spare you the lecture, because honestly I’m not your mom, even if the food waste problem in Malaysia does piss me off a bit. Do you even know how many people are starving as we speak-

And we dare to say we are a food nation

Food waste is such a stupid problem. I thought we have advanced enough as a society to solve this but the fact that we HAVEN’T, UGH

The System I Use to Stop Food Waste in My House

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Link Roundup #54: 10 Things to Know This Week

Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. How to Grow Your Money Made Really Easy for Enterprising Artists  Eksentrika

I love the intersection between personal finance and the arts in this article!

It covered a few sections:

  • The 4 (financial) types of artists (fun read!)
  • 5 personal finance terms
  • 8 steps to become financially stable, and
  • Types of investments

Recommended read, for both creatives and non-creatives 🙂

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16 Malaysians Share How They Monetised Their Hobbies

While I’m a big believer in having hobbies for nothing more than the sheer joy and fulfilment it can bring to your life, attempting to monetise your hobby is not a bad way to start dipping your toes in entrepreneurship culture. The transition from ‘hey this is fun’ to ‘omg people want to pay me for this??’ is nothing short of amazing. I sincerely hope everyone will get to feel that.

(Note: Not everyone can or should be an entrepreneur, but everyone should have entrepreneurial mindset, ie problem-solving skills and all that, wouldn’t you agree?)

RoR started as a hobby, too

Personally,  I started writing personal finance blog articles as a hobby. I offered it as a service while I was looking for a new job, but it eventually expanded into this whole Ringgit Oh Ringgit shebang and its current 8 sources of income, so I never looked back. But of course, I also failed figured out a few ways that didn’t work along the process.

Obviously, I wasn’t the only Malaysian who have attempted to monetise my hobbies. And when I asked RoR readers about it, I was blown away by the variety of answers – your hobbies are hella cool, some of them I never even heard of!

With their permission, I compiled some of the answers – thanks so much to everyone who agreed to be featured in this article 🙂 Definitely opened my eyes on the many possibilities of side incomes, and I hope it’ll do the same for other readers too.

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17 Saving Money Tips I Tried (but Ultimately Couldn’t Stick To)

*Generally* speaking, I’m pretty good with applying saving money tips in my life. I enjoy experimenting with different ways to save money, while being mindful in being frugal instead of cheap.

As a result of that constant experimentation, I’ve kind of figured out over the years:

  • things I’m not willing to skimp on,
  • things that are not worth my time, and
  • things I don’t enjoy doing just for the sake of saving a few cents or ringgit

That last part is somewhat important. Unless you’re still, you know, saving up your first RM1000 or something, or urgently trying to pay off your high-interest credit card or personal loan debt, then I don’t think it’s worth being… I dunno… miserable in being too obsessed in saving money. You were not born just to pay bills and die.

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Comparing My Average Monthly Expenses Before & After Covid-19

Did Covid-19 change the way you spend money?

Common sense said it did. Almost everyone has been affected by the pandemic, in one way or another (notably, following MCO rules to the best of our ability, correct not). Most people are spending more on groceries and online shopping, and less on everything else and offline purchases.

This is my guess based on what the media reported, but how true is that statement in my personal life?

So I thought, hey why not make a direct comparison of my spending pattern, before and after Covid-19 hit? In what way did my personal spending change, in each expense category? I can do this. I track my expenses. I have the data.

For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using,

  • Before Covid-19: My average monthly spending per category (as recorded in My Total Income and Expenses in 2019)
  • During Covid-19: Data collected since MCO started on 18 March 2020 until time of writing, (almost exactly 3 months worth of data)

Expenses Comparison: Before & After Covid-19

CategoryBefore Covid-19 (from 2019 Expenses Data)During Covid-19 (from 3 Months' Data)Comments
Utilities & RentRM1,292.96RM972.34Average reduced as landlady (bless her) waived one month's rent
BusinessRM1,271.90RM2103.79Coincided with #MYMoneyStories book printing & distribution
Dates & TravelRM1,240.16RM15.83What travel?
Donations & GiftsRM634.05RM2,957.35Biggest increase. Happy to do it
GroceriesRM495.32RM513.17Surprisingly more or less the same
Insurance & MedicalRM454.39RM166.33Maintained medical card and PA insurance. Reduced as no longer seeing chiropractor
Public TransportationRM377.44RM43.38Significantly reduced travel. Also used up SOCAR credit
Misc NeedsRM354.44RM340.37This seems to be my average, MCO or no
Misc WantsRM345.74RM36.66Didn't buy much non-necessaries
SocialRM354.44RM6.57Friends, I miss you!
FoodRM116.48RM141.63Increased non-groceries food expenses. Ok la, was puasa also
MobileRM80RM66.70Lucky enough to be able to generate enough referrals to offset mobile cost
Total average expenses per monthRM6,864.73RM7,364.12Roughly RM500 increase, but mostly due to Donations & Gifts category


As you can see:

  • Biggest increases are in categories: Donations & Gifts and Business
  • Biggest decreases are in categories: Dates & Travel, Insurance & Medical, Public Transportation, Misc Wants & Social
  • No or minimal changes in categories: Groceries, Misc Needs, Food (Non-Groceries) & Mobile
  • Overall, my expenses actually increased by almost RM500, if compared before and after Covid-19. Mostly due to Donations

Old me would be worried about appearing to be humblebragging, but new me embraces and – dare I say it – is proud of my own actions. I didn’t just encourage people to donate, I also put my money where my mouth is. Almost RM3k per month in donations is really stretching my budget but if there’s a worthy YOLO occasion, this is it.

How has Covid-19 affected your monthly expenses? Which expense categories significantly increased and decreased for you? Let me know in the comments section 🙂

Link Roundup #53: 10 Things to Know This Week

Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. How to Cope with Being Broke, Angry and Ashamed  The Cut

Been broke, angry and ashamed before? Have a read. You’ll relate with many of the points. The article is an interview with Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist who partnered with the wildly popular Death, Sex and Money Podcast, to create a series of Financial Therapy series.

But beyond that, let’s talk about anxiety caused by financial situation. In case you didn’t know, that type of anxiety is really, really common. We feel bad when we are not making enough. We feel bad when we make too much.

(How? – you might ask. Think of people who feel bad over their work taking time away from family time).

Have a look at other types of money anxiety at the Death, Sex and Money podcast page. Chances are you’ll find someone you can relate with.

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5 Genres of Personal Finance Videos You HAVEN’T Watched

Like many of you, I, too, enjoy a nice round of YouTube binge-watching. I mean, who doesn’t go off to YouTube when procrastinating work, amirite? AMIRITE.

The purpose of this article is two-fold:

(1) to expand your idea of what fits under the category of ‘personal finance’. Too often, ‘personal finance videos’ mean videos about saving money and investing (how-tos, advice and motivation), but I think it’s broader than that. Many of the videos I’ve listed below are not ‘classic’ personal finance videos – usually they’re lumped under the catch-all ‘lifestyle’ and/or ‘parenting’ niche – but they’re useful as personal finance references.

(If you’re looking for the stereotypical personal finance Youtube listing: 8 Malaysia-Based Personal Finance YouTube Channels to Follow)

And, (2) make myself feel a bit better about the hours I spent watching them lol. At least I can tell myself ‘this is personal finance research’ as I click on the next suggested video.

Without further adooooo

(As much as possible I prioritised Malaysians in this list, because hell yeah support Malaysian content creators)

#1 – Grocery haul videos

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3 Reasons to Attend Cakna Kewangan Summit 2020

Ringgit Oh Ringgit is pleased to be one of the official media partners for Cakna Kewangan Summit 2020, the Malay-language personal finance event which will run for 3 days, from 13-15 June 2020.

Some sponsors/partners you might be familiar with include PTPTN, Bursa Malaysia, UOB KayHan, INSKEN (Institut Keusahawanan Negara), MFPC (Malaysia Financial Planning Association) and (for some reason) Kelantan state government.

cakna kewangan summit 2020

Let me give you two good reasons to attend Cakna Kewangan Summit 2020.

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Budget Update: May 2020

Budget Update: May 2020

In May 2020, I spent a total of RM4799.69, with two-thirds of that across only 2 categories: Donations & Gifts and Rent & Utilities.

Most donations went to Raya food orders (saved my family the trouble to cook on Raya Day 2) and duit raya giveaway. At first I was like hmm I should donate to other causes too (and I did), but then I remembered, charity starts at home.

May 2020 was a very strange month. I think I was out of focus for a good chunk of the month, due to (1) fasting, and (2) still processing the pandemic. Some days I feel like I’m handling it well, some days I just kinda zombie out and just do the bare minimum, professionally speaking.

What would you suggest I do? Advice wanted. I want to ‘snap out of it’ so bad. I want my pre-pandemic mental clarity back.

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Link Roundup #52: 10 Things to Know This Week

Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. How to Track Your Income and Expenses [With FREE Template]  I’m Funemployed

“Once you’ve developed the habit of expense tracking, the rest will fall in place later.”

So true. You won’t know if you’re doing good or bad if there’s no measurement.

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