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Budget Update: October 2019

Budget Update October 2019 1

Budget Update: October 2019

Oh my, my expenses in October 2019 was in the RM6k, almost RM7k range again. Urk. Business, Utilities & Rent and Insurance & Medical expenses took the bulk of it though. Even after all this time, even knowing how I shouldn’t skimp on these expenses, I still wishfully dream for under-RM3k monthly expenses.

Is that kind of monthly expense realistic, though? To thrive (not merely survive), at least RM4k+ per month is needed no? I know that many companies advertise jobs with starting pay of RM2.2, RM2.5k. And they expect people to be able to ration that out all thoughout the month?

And I guess other people got sick of that unrealistic expectations too, because boy did this tweet go viral:

Yes, YES, we *could* live on that amount. If we *only* spend on what we need to spend on to just live, we could.

BUT that would mean a living a life devoid of any entertainment, any leisure, any trips home to see the family, any activities with friends, any personal fulfilment, any meaning. How DARE they judge every single bubble tea, every nice meal we have, when that could be the only thing that makes life tolerable for us.

I’m going to share this article again: 3 Ways to Get A High Salary in Malaysia

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Malaysians Share the Biggest Credit Card Expenses They Ever Made

Ah, credit cards. The enabler of reckless spending, yet such a useful financial tool when utilised right.

How useful is useful? And how enabling? I had to ask. Naturally, I turn to the RoR audience – I wanted to know the biggest swipe they have ever made on their credit cards. Not just that – I also asked if they themselves thought it was a good decision.

Here are their answers. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

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8 Malaysia-Based Personal Finance YouTube Channels to Follow

I’ve compiled Malaysia-based personal finance Twitter accounts to follow, and Malaysia-based personal finance Instagrammers, so now its personal finance Youtubers and Youtube channels’ turn!

Note that I have intentionally excluded other personal finance media and figures in Malaysia who (1) don’t use English as a medium, (2) don’t publish videos on a regular basis, and (3) is too product-focused.

This names in this list links directly to their Youtube channels and appear in no particular order. If I missed out anyone, do let me know (or leave a comment with a link to the profile!)

#1 – Suyin Ong

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Personal Finance is Trendy. Here’s How You Can Make Money From It.

Confession: It’s really… weird… that personal finance, as a topic, is getting more attention than ever. I mean, it’s good and all, it’s just strange to be right smack of it all, as a personal finance blogger.

And shit REALLY got real ever since the Malaysian government launched the National Strategy for Financial Literacy (2019-2023) on July 2019. I’ve personally gotten more outreach requests for interviews, speaking engagements and collaborations since then.

Related: 19 Financial Education Initiatives in Malaysia You Should Know

So, there’s no questioning that personal finance is a HOT topic. For today’s article, I’ve decided to brainstorm and compile how YOU – a personal finance enthusiast – can take advantage of this situation. Here are some ways to make money from this hot trend.

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Link Roundup #37: 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. Half of millennials and 75% of Gen-Zers have quit jobs for mental health reasons  – CNBC

The data came from US demographics, but mental health is universal and this discussion is applicable to us Malaysians as well.

I don’t have solutions, but I agree with this gentleman’s sentiment:

But of course I admit that’s a priviledged way of looking at it. Some people truly can’t afford to quit their jobs because non-negotiable commitments are too high.

So here I want to say… employers, take care of your employees. I can give many reasons why you should – happier employees are more productive, etc – but at the end of the day… the reason you should take their wellbeing into consideration is because they’re fellow human beings.

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Pros & Cons of 4 Part Time Jobs for College Students in Malaysia

When I was in college – and by college I mean the combined time I spent studying for diploma, degree and masters – I supplemented my parental and PTPTN allowance with a bunch of part time jobs.

Had to lah. For one, I felt guilty for using FAMA scholarship when getting my diploma and degree, especially after I found out my parents were actually facing financial difficulties during the time. Parents, I tell you, they never tell you anything :'(

For another, looking and finding part time jobs for college students turned out to be a productive way to waste time. It’s procrastination but in a good way. Don’t lie to me – some of you college students reading this, you’re looking for part-time jobs despite haven’t finished your assignments yet correct not?

It’s okay, no judgement. In fact, doing a little work is good for you, beyond the obvious income factor. If your parents make noise, tell them a HSBC-led research said that ‘the academic performance of students who work 10-19 hours per week is superior to their peers‘.

In this article, I want to share the pros and cons of different types of part time jobs for college students in Malaysia. Let’s start.

#1 – Booth attendant / Promoter / Event staff

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5 Interesting Info I Found in the Bank Negara Malaysia Website

So I got bored one night and decided, hey, this is a good time as any to dick around in the Bank Negara Malaysia website.

Why not? I’m curious about what information is available on their website. Like many of you, I know that BNM plays an important role in our financial ecosystem, even if I don’t know how exactly.

First impression of the homepage – nice layout, easy enough to navigate. The lack of https in http://www.bnm.gov.my/ bothers me a little bit, if I’m honest.

(All images in this article were taken from the Bank Negara Malaysia website. Please don’t sue me.)

bank negara malaysia website

As I clicked around, closing down tabs with too many words on them – remember, I’m doing this activity for leisure – I found some pretty interesting stuff. Here are some of them:

#1 – Proper handling of banknotes

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5 Ways to Buy More Time, According to Malaysians

Isn’t it amazing that you can use your money to buy more time?

Using money to buy time, as a concept, did not come naturally to me. When I was younger, I spent a lot of hours looking for the best deals. 

This money approach went on until I ran out of things to cut from my expenses. Looking back, I could’ve used all that time to make extra money, or learn high-income skills

(but hey it’s not good to dwell on the past)

The realisation that money can be used to buy time also forever changed my attitude towards money. Despite being obsessed with personal finance, I no longer glorify money in itself. What’s the point of having money if I have to work all the time? What’s the point of having money if I can’t spend time with loved ones, or make them happy?

I’m not alone in this view. Recently, I asked the RoR audience about the expenses they’re happy to pay for because it saves them time. Here are some of their answers, republished with permission. 

#1 – Paying to avoid the queue or long drives

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Link Roundup #36: 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 Start a Business With No Money – The Street

Note: you can start a business with no money but there’s no such thing as starting a business with no effort.

Here are 8 methods listed:

  • Start a service or consultation business
  • Crowdfunding
  • Incubators
  • Angel investors
  • Line of credit
  • Small Business Administration (I’m not sure we have an equivalent for Malaysia – let me know if we do)
  • Small business grants
  • Friends and family

This is just me, but I consider people who like to fund their business ventures with mostly OPM (other people’s money) as somewhat entitled. I stay far away from them.

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Budget Update: September 2019

budget update september 2019 1

Budget Update: September 2019

I spent a little under RM6k in September 2019, with half of that going to Medical and Rent & Utilities categories. I’ll expand a bit more about them in the Yay and Nay sections below.

Now, let’s talk about how dope personal finance is, as a topic. I can’t get enough of it, I’m still obsessed with it. There’s always something that challenges my thinking.

For example, I have been a ‘buy experiences, not things’ practitioner. Been so for years. But the tweet below made me seriously evaluate my approach.

Sometimes I forget how different people value different things. Who am I to decide or judge how you interpret happiness?

I think it’s time to retire ‘buy experiences, not things’ from my personal finance approach. Instead, I will use the phrase ‘intentional spending’ instead, the opposite of ‘mindless spending’. I want to be more mindful of what I spend on, regardless whether they are experiences or things.

(Although, it’s fair to note here that research did say that spending on experiences, not things usually makes people happier. So don’t use this as an excuse to splurge or anything.)

And thus, I find myself buying non-thrifted art for the first time. I’ve never allowed this purchase for myself. I’ve never bought something beautiful for the sake of it being beautiful. Whatever pretty knick-knacks I have, must also be practical: think boxes, containers, pillows, candles.

And you know what? This art piece does make me happy. I don’t regret the purchase.

Any of you hold back against collecting art – however you define it – because of the ‘buy experiences, not things’ approach?

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