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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Everything I Bought from Lazada and Shopee (2017 – 2020)

Three years ago, I listed everything I bought from Lazada and rated each purchase as worth it, not worth it and SUPER WORTH IT. The summary of the results then: “Statistically, I’m happy with 23 out of 36 items, or 64% of them. That’s one in three chance of not being happy with a product bought online, for whatever reason.”

I’m going to repeat this process all over again, with the items I have since bought from the two major online shopping platforms beloved by Malaysians, Lazada and Shopee. Similar to the last methodology, I’ll list each item bought, rate them and conclude at the end.

How happy am I with my purchases this time around, within Oct 2017-May 2020 timeframe? Let’s find out.

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Please consider using them if you want to purchase any of the products recommended, thank you! #helpacontentcreatormakemoneywithoutdependingonsponsors

Everything I Bought from Lazada and Shopee (2017 – 2020)

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[PERSONAL] Upgrading vs Making Do: My Dilemma with Lifestyle Inflation

I have a very complicated relationship with lifestyle inflation.

In personal finance literature, lifestyle inflation is bad, full stop. It is the ruin-er of life, the reason for debt and bankruptcies and subsequent financial hardships, broken families and in the worst-case scenarios, suicides.

Yet even knowing this, and even as I write this as a personal finance blogger (who is supposed to know what she’s doing), I, too have let lifestyle inflation happen in my own life.

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Investment Tip | 10 Places to Automate Your Investments in Malaysia

I’ve decided. Now, anytime anyone new to investing asks me about which investments to get, I’m going to say ‘get the set-and-forget’ ones. Take this investment tip: Unless you have a natural passion (or desire to learn about) stocks and properties and other research-heavy investments, go for the investments you can automate.

Why? Because the challenge is not about picking an investment. There are a lot of good options. The challenge is adding more money to it on a regular basis, usually monthly, over the long term.

Without automated investments, most people will start an investment… then ‘forget’ to contribute to their investment portfolio on a regular basis. And by not adding, the money will never grow as fast as you want. 

I know because I’m talking about myself. Despite being an investor for over 10 years now, transferring money out of my banking account to my investment account still hurts each and every time. Therefore, it’s a good idea to feel the pain once (as you set up the recurring deductions), rather than feeling the pain many times over many years.

In this article, I’ve listed out all the investments that you can automate in Malaysia, that I know of. If there are more, let me know in the comments section.

#1 – Mutual Funds/Unit Trust/ETFs

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Link Roundup #51: 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. My First Investment Portfolio for 2020 (Dividend 2030 portfolio)

Everyone says welcome to a new personal finance blogger, Sivasathish! He’s a senior lecturer, a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a self-confessed conservative, low-risk, long-term stock investor.

This is is current investment portfolio, which he plans to track and share until 2030. Amazing detail and super clear writing style. Whoever interested in the stocks market can follow.

I like how (1) he repeats again and again that he’s NOT a professional (no stocks guru feel, which I like), and (2) how his students say nothing but good things about him! See the comments section – so full of notes from his students. This type of student-teacher interaction is super endearing 🙂

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How to Sell Books in Malaysia: Eveything I Did to Increase Sales

In 2019, I launched my first ever book, Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1. That did well (so much that I wrote a case study on selling online), so I worked on (1) a sequel and (2) the Malay translation.

After over a year of planning – including organising a writing competition to source for the short stories, hiring a Malay translator, getting the book designed and printed etc –  On 26 April 2020 finally I launched 2 new additions to the #MyMoneyStories book series:

  • Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 2. The sequel of the Money Stories series. It contains 11 personal finance-themed short stories
  • Cerita Duit Orang Malaysia: Jilid 1. The Malay translation of  Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1, with two additional stories (total 13 stories).

>>Click here to purchase all #MyMoneyStories books<<

Launching the books means *selling* the books. Because this is my second time doing it, and by now I have a bit of experience, I decided to make a how to sell books in Malaysia guide. I figured this guide would be useful for not just current and future book sellers, but also any online seller.

Before we start, a confession: SELF-PROMOTION IS STILL HELLA HARD FOR ME. I have a lot of mental block when it comes to promoting my own work (ESPECIALLY my own work). And that is NOT the trait of a good salesperson.

But… one does not grow in the comfort zone. So what if it’s hard, I get to challenge myself. And as one of my fav personalities, Marie Forleo said, “Do hard things” and “Everything is Figureoutable”.

How to Sell Books in Malaysia: What I Did to Increase Sales

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[VIDEO](Stereo)types of Malaysian Investors: Who You Are Based on What You Invest In

What are the stereotypes of a property investor? A stock investor? Gold? Crypto? Join me as I list out the stereotypes and impressions I have about different types of Malaysian investors.

This video is inspired by an article I wrote a few years back: 12 Types of Investment Available in Malaysia and The People Who Have Them

(If you want more bitchiness, you’ll LOVE this one: Roasting Different Types of Investments in Malaysia (Everything That Sucks About Them)

Do you agree with the way I stereotyped Malaysian investors? Disagree? Tell me in the comments section!

Also please follow the RinggitOhRinggit Youtube channel. I’m currently exploring YouTube as an additional income stream. So help me out by watching and subscribing, I’m trying to hit 1000 subs and 4000 watch hours so I can write about the monetisation process 🙂



[Nepotism] My Sisters’ Baju Raya 2020 Collection (Regular & Plus Size)

Let’s get straight to the point – both my sisters are boutique owners at (regular size) and Malaysia Plus Size, and OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF MY HEART I’m dedicating this post to promo their baju raya 2020 collection.

If you’re trying to save money, please skip this post. If you were looking for Raya clothes anyway, or sengaja nak cuci mata, scroll on 🙂 Each set sells between RM99-129 only.

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Budget Update: April 2020

Budget Update: April 2020

Another month where only 4 categories showed up in my expense-tracking app:

  • Business (RM4,877.69) – mostly paid the balance of book order, and packaging for deliveries
  • Utilities & Rent (RM1,352.47) – ze living quarters
  • Misc Needs (RM565.22) – restocked cat food and cat litter, bought office chair, new stand fan and kettle (more on that under Nay section below)
  • Everything else

Let’s talk about something. Donations. This has been on my mind, and I just want to let it off my chest.

As you know, a lot of people are having financial hardship. A lot of people are seeking help.

I think… I’ve become increasingly desensitised to the many, many donation calls which appeared in my social media timeline. Nowadays I simply scroll past most of them, opting to take the ‘don’t see, don’t know’ approach.

As time goes on, I know that I will only give my attention and money to the donation calls that are especially gut-wrenching. The ones with emotional pictures and copywriting. They work, you and I know they do, think of the last donation you made. And as NGOs understand how well they work, they’ll use that strategy more and more.

The higher volume means I’ll get desensitised to those soon enough, too.

Feeling guilty for not doing more when I have the means to do so is a constant feature of my life now. I’m aware how much this sounds like virtue-signalling – I’m pissed off at myself too because boohoo kesian Suraya wow she feels horrible, wtf Suraya this ISN’T about you, how DARE you think YOU have it rough when millions, maybe BILLIONS of people will starve. In 2020.

I don’t know, you guys. Does avoidance as a coping mechanism make me a bad person? Is choosing to prioritise my FI/RE journey a bad thing? I hate that I hate wealth inequality, yet choosing to do the exact same wealth preservation strategy the rich are making, by ‘staying invested’.

Bleak thought process? Well it’s a bleak world. I’ll try and focus on the good, but I can’t lalala my way out of this. The journey to understand my own psyche continues. I hope eventually I’ll come to a better way to cope and/or manage resources. This is part of personal finance too.

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