Budget Update: July 2018

july 2018

Budget Update: July 2018

What a full month! It was full of intense emotional experiences – from the low of my grandmother’s passing to the high of Good Vibes Festival to everything in between.

I shot my first video campaign (details coming soon!). Got angry at morally-righteous LGBT haters that I made a personal finance guide for LGBTs. Decided to visit my Japanese host family and splurged on a very-costly RM1765 flight tickets just because I want to fly off from Chubu Centair International Airport in Nagoya instead of cheaper airports like Osaka. I went on shopping sprees, both online and offline. I went on dates (good, bad and GREAT) and attended many events.

All this while working my ass off – I squeezed for that brain juice so often and so hard, I’m surprised it’s still working. Thank you for being reliable braiiiin.

Despite everything, my spending was… alright? Almost RM7k for this kind of month is okay. My spending is the lowest since January 2018. In the upcoming months, have to keep it even lower – have to save money for that Japan trip in September.

I have no complaints, only gratefulness that my income can sustain this lifestyle. How was your July like?

july 2018

Yay of the Month:

  • In June, I discovered I have over 175k in Maybank treatpoints. The vouchers finally arrived in the mail so I went on a Lazada spree! With the 2 x RM200 vouchers, I bought: a bed frame (finally not sleeping on the mattress on the floor lol), velvet clothes hangers (for that #minimalism look), magic eraser sponges, a yoga mat, a tefal frying pan, bed sheets and a microfiber mop.
  • Went to Good Vibes Festival. It was great! I spent RM600 ish for the ticket and accommodation, and maybe around RM200 more for food, drinks and travel. Such a memorable experience. You can really see which artists have better stage presence than others. Some didn’t do any crowd interaction at all except for the standard greeting (“How are you Malaysia???” *cheers*). Lorde, SZA, Odesza, Honne and The Neighbourhood stood out. No wonder they famous. Talent will only bring you to a certain level, after that it’s all professionalism.
  • Organised my wardrobe and threw out worn-out clothes. Enough of being cheap, I want to look put-together. Bought a bunch of new clothes that I can mix-and-match easily. Also replenished a couple of makeup supplies. I’ve found out that you can use eyeshadow as blush lol. So look out for 2-in-1 deals and stuff!
  • Got a free ticket to attend Digital Entrepreneurship Convention 2018, because I’m a member of the Malaysian Writers Society. I learned more things about the topic – go see my livetweets during the time on Twitter! They had speakers presenting on different topics, from making money via Fulfilment by Amazon to how and what to offer as a Social Media Manager to affiliate marketing.
  • Commissioned a Chibi Suraya and used it to replace my face in Ringgit Oh Ringgit social media. IT’S SO CUTE OMFG. Find the artist on Twitter, @_neurysm. JUST RM35 KOT.
  • Discovered lots of new Malaysia-based personal finance and finance content creators! Go see them in the updated Recommended Finance Websites in Malaysia page.
  • Finally managed to sell off my Microsoft Surface Dock, the one I received as part of a set when I bought my Surface Pro 4 (tips to buy laptop, according to you guys). Got pretty discouraged after getting lots of lowball offers, but finally someone matched my asking price. I want to get a Kindle Paperwhite with this money 😀 Posted in Carousell, Facebook Marketplace and Mudah.my. Was surprised that the buyer actually came from FB!
  • Went to Back to the 90s RIUH event at APW Bangsar. Saw OAG live – hey they have good stage presence! I’m a bit annoyed that I made some impulse buys there… But oh well the money went to independent sellers anyway so OKlah kasi support lah.
  • Signed up for SOCAR because I loved their marketing effort during RIUH event. They had this large tikam-tikam board and I FELT NOSTALGIC OK. Such a brilliant way to promote their services, taking the target audience in mind (90s kids). SOCAR is that car-hiring service, for as low as RM6 an hour. To try it out and get RM30 off your SOCAR booking, use this invite link. I’m so happy there are services like these catering to people who don’t own cars (like me lol).
  • Got more active in the local WordPress community and presented about what I learned about blogging with WordPress as a non-tech person. WordPress users, join our WordPress KL Meetup page to attend future events!
  • Hell yeah my Groceries cost for the month was low! Total out-of-pocket was just RM100ish. For the rest of my groceries for the month, I paid using money earned from BigPay referrals, plus I get extra discounts with orders via HappyFresh. I love to promote these two because they’re so generous with the referral amounts and both the person who invite and the person who register get money or savings 🙂 BigPay – Get extra RM10 credit if you use my referral code INLALP7ZLE (I get RM10 too!). To download the app, find BigPay in PlayStore (Android) or Appstore (iOS). HappyFresh – Use code ‘suraya63’ to get RM25 off your first HappyFresh order (I get RM20 off, too).
  • In June, I switched from Maxis to Yoodo, that select-what-you-use plan under Celcom. I selected RM85 for 40GB data and 50 call minutes (and no sms), a big jump in savings compared to Maxis’s RM128 40GB and unlimited calls and sms plan.  Switching was easy – everything from sim card order to porting (I’m keeping my number) was done through the app. In July 2018, I saved even further by tweaking my package to 30GB data and 100 call minutes – now my package is just RM75 per month. If you want to try it out too, get FREE RM 20 when you sign up using my referral link (I get RM20 too). You can also enter my unique Referral Code zwbai7716 at the confirmation page when you activate.
  • Got an invite to watch that mixed martial arts eventOne: The Pursuit of Power – live. Can I just say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would? Somehow it didn’t occur to me that fights can be non-violent, but there you go. So much respect to the fighters, including Malaysia’s very own Agilan Thani and Jihin Radzuan. Some memorable moments: one fella got his balls kicked twice in the same fight, and another got KO-ed and had to be carried off-stage, still unconscious.

Nay of the Month:

  • My grandmother, Kamariah binti Sidek passed away in early July after a long sickness. Please take a moment to send her some prayers. I miss her.
  • Accidentally lost my Touch N Go card 🙁 Burn la the RM25 or so in there. When I shared on Twitter, many told me that I could’ve registered the card number and make a report to Touch N Go, and they will reimburse. Stupid me didn’t. I don’t remember the card serial number. I also lost the top up receipt containing the top up number. Oh well. Lesson learned.
  • Have officially resigned as VP from ACCESS Blockchain Association Malaysia. If you know me in that capacity, see my announcement post here. It was hard making the decision – I know it’s a setback for women in blockchain in Malaysia. Sigh. My heart was so conflicted.
  • Did not manage to read a lot. Only one book, B: by Hanno Frank – a book which made me think of the concept of ‘service providers’, which in this context are people who others take for granted for emotional and financial support, and the act of actively saying no to maintain sanity. A simple book, but very enlightening.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Visiting my Japanese host family who live in Nagoya 🙂 And making a side visit to Tokyo to attend Ultra Music Japan, one of the biggest electronic dance music festival worldwide! I just really want to see an EDM festival in a country known for its technology. It better not disappoint!
  • Presenting about personal finance blogging at the next PechaKucha Petaling Jaya event! Other speakers include: Amir Muhammad (founder of Fixi), Iqwan Zarif (Product Manager at Katsana Advanced Telematics (they do navigational technology), Pang Khee Teik (founder of Seksualiti Merdeka), Dr. Nadzariah Cheng Veterinarian Alternative Care (Veterinarian, specialising in ophthalmology), Dr Aznul Sabri (academician specialising in Artificial Intelligence), Melizarani T. Selva, (If Walls Could Talk – poetry open mic). Come and learn something new. GET RM6 OFF TICKET PRICE WITH CODE ‘SURAYA’. Buy it here!
  • Reading all the entries from the writing competition I’m organising. Paying for ads was painful but it paid off! IF YOU READ THIS BEFORE 15 AUGUST 2018, YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO SUBMIT!!!

As I’m writing this, August looks like it’s going to be an awesome month, too. I’m excited about the future. Whoever you are, I hope you’re doing well too. Let me know if you need help with the money stuff. Investing your time in those knowledge really does pay off. If you’re a new visitor, you may enjoy reading this article breaking down the steps I took to earn online.

To read about my past monthly budget update, click here. Graphs are taken from my expense-tracking app Money Lover (review).

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