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Best Ways to Use Your Economic Stimulus Money, Ranked

So you’ve probably heard all about the PN government’s RM250 bil economic stimulus package, designed to save Malaysia’s economy reduce the financial damage that COVID-19 and reduced oil prices will do to Malaysia’s economy.

(Well, it’s actually just RM25 bil in direct injection. You MakCik Kiahs aren’t getting that much. The loan deferments you still have to pay later and the EPF withdrawal is YOUR OWN MONEY, but I guess RM250 bil in total is *technically correct*, so let’s go with that.)

Regardless of the creative accounting, fact is that a lot of money will be freed up now, which can go back into the economy. Some of you will be getting a combination of the one-off financial assistance,

some of you will choose to withdraw your EPF money, up to a maximum withdrawal of RM500 per month, and some of you will be getting your loan payment(s) deferred (ie postponed). Assuming you have a mortgage and a car loan, that’s at least, what? RM1500 in freed up money every month?

(side note: should you defer loan payments or continue to pay? Read here)

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Malaysians Share 7 Silver Linings from the Coronavirus Pandemic

One of my favourite quotes is: change what you can, accept what you can’t.

That quote is more important than ever nowadays. It’s hard AF, but I want to choose to change my attitude to this whole coronavirus pandemic. I refuse to play the ‘woe is me, everything sucks’ game.

Don’t get me wrong. I am miserable. MCO sucks. Living alone and being away from loved ones right now sucks. Cancelled plans suck. Feeling helpless sucks. Not knowing when this will end sucks.

But I still want to try and live. Find the positives wherever and however I can. It’s the only way I – we – can cope with this without going mental. I’m already seeing predictions from pandemic specialists on how months of MCO may be necessary. How am I supposed to be productive and creative (and earn money during the recession) if I’ve lost it at this early stage?

The thing about feeling negative is it makes it hard for you to think positively. So I turned to the RoR audience for help.

And omg, did you DELIVER. What amazing perspectives you had. Thank you so much. I love it so much, I’ve decided to compile them here, so everyone else can also see the silver linings that you saw.

#1 – The Environment takes a breather

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Link Roundup #48: 10 Things to Know This Week (COVID-19 Edition)

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. 10 Practical Tips to Help Avoid Coronavirus When You Leave The House CNET.com

Definitely worth a read. We may be staying home most of the time, but not all the time. One tip in particular was especially practical: when outside, as much as possible use knees, feet, elbows and knuckles instead of fingertips.

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13 Things to Do During Restricted Movement Order in Malaysia

Restricted Movement Order just started, but I admit I’m already restless.

But… I refuse to complain about it. Whatever I’m facing is minor – so minor – compared to what the frontliners are facing. Staying home is the least I can do.

In this article, I compiled some things we can all do during the Restricted Movement Order.

#1 – Work from home

As you know, the Restricted Movement Order demands people who are not part of essential sectors to just stay home and do their work from home. We just have to assume we ourselves are infected and limit our exposure to other people so we don’t infect them.

Easier said than done though. I was already working from home before this, and the transition is minimal, if any, and I still find myself unable to focus on the work.

But hey, like aka work goes on. That’s why I published this article anyway.

#2 – Enable your spouse to work as well

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oh shit, are we in a recession?

Recession. Hard topic to cover. I am so torn between ‘don’t create unnecessary panic’ and ‘don’t be in denial’.

Are we? Are we not? What’s the definition anyway. Oh, ‘a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.’

Okay I’m no economic expert or nuthin’, but I think there’s a good chance of that happening, caused by reduced country revenue due to falling oil prices and I dunno, A GLOBAL PANDEMIC halting most economic activities in public spaces.

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Link Roundup #47: 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. 12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts Ladders

I am an ambivert leaning towards the introvert side of the spectrum, and currently thriving as a work-from-home writer and blogger. I love that I don’t have to expose myself to social interactions on a daily basis. My head is messy enough without external stimulations.

Seriously, thank you technology for enabling this line of work. I am so thankful.

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How to Apply for SOCSO / PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme

I enrolled myself in the PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme!!!

(By the way: PERKESO = Pertubuhan Keselamatan Social = Social Security Organisation = SOCSO)

This is so exciting. PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme was previously only available for the Passenger Transportation Sector (ie e-Hailing drivers), but as of January 2020 have since been extended to cover 19 more informal sectors. Scroll further down to see the sectors and types of professions eligible for enrollment.

What Benefits You Get Under the PERKESO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme

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What’s On My Bookshelf: What I Read and HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Let’s just skip the whole ‘why reading is important’ part because you already know that and I don’t want to insult your intelligence.

After showing you the contents of my bag, today I want to show you another aspect of my personal life: the books I read. These are the worldviews and ideologies that shape me: I am who I am because of these materials. Everything I write is directly or indirectly influenced by these authors.

My bookcase contains more than personal finance books.  I read a wide variety of topics, mostly non-fiction. If you want personal finance-specific book recommendations, do check out these articles instead:

Without further ado, let’s start. I’m not going to list ALL of my books, just the ones that truly made me think and self-reflect, even years after I read them. Some of them also inspired RoR articles (I’ll link them too).

Have fun checking out what’s on my bookshelf. As if you need a reason to buy more books, lol.

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Budget Update: February 2020

Budget Update: February 2020

Did anyone get any work done at all during the two-week political crisis??? Holy smokes on a stick, all that really did happen didn’t it??

Whatever happens, I just hope that (1) we don’t normalise corruption again, and (2) good economic policies benefitting Malaysians – not just rich Malaysians! – will be made.

Now back to my expense breakdown. Business, Rent & Utilities and Groceries expenses made up two-thirds of all my February 2020 spending. Travel and Public Transportation categories are lower than usual, due to lack of events to attend and cancelled events.

I wonder how long this will continue. I’ve read how COVID-19 is accelerating the number of companies offering remote-working option. If this goes on, maybe this will even be the new norm :/ What a situation we’re living through right now.

Does COVID-19 affect your expenses at all? In what way?

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