Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: April 2022 – Autopilot Mode

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Selamat Hari Raya and Welcome to another edition of my monthly budget updates, where I break down my expenses by category and share the highlights and lowlights of the month.

So how was your April? Was it good, bad or meh?

For me, it was so.. what’s the word.. disorienting? I started the first week of puasa with daily horrible headache due to caffeine withdrawals. For the rest of Ramadan, due to sahur, my sleep patterns went out of whack. It was so hard to focus, but somehow, I pulled through. Thanks, Autopilot Suraya.

In an effort to reduce new work, you might also notice (or not, Idk) that I took down my Hire Me page. For now, I’m not taking any more new work, just need to complete pending commitments.

(By the way, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m making shitloads of money. I don’t. I make enough to cover my current expenses, and for savings. But beyond that I value my free time more, so I don’t take more work than I have to.)

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: April 2022

In April 2022, I spent RM7,273.95. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Utilities & Rent (RM1,938.12) – Rent and bills
  • Home Reno + Deco (RM1,221.51) – Instalments for reno package
  • Social (RM1036.60) – Buka puasa food with families

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 59% of my total April 2022 expenses. (My belief is, if you want to save money, always trim from the top 3 expenses rather than cut out a few ringgits from other already-low expenses)

My Spending Breakdown in April 2022

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of April 2022, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Completed some long-term projects

Sent all the invoices out, so now I’m waiting for around RM15k in payments to hit my bank account, yay!

#2 – Renovation works are progressing!

After some delays, renovation work for our new place is finally continuing!

That means, final payment for work done will be due soon, too. Lol goodbye money received in #1.

Side note: cost to move into new place reaching RM50k. I’ll do an expense breakdown when its all over 🙂

#3 – Ramadan and Raya

Ramadan and Raya came and went. Selamat Hurry Raya to everyone, it was unexpected but also kinda fun 🙂 I spent almost RM3k for Raya, but this expense will be brought forward to May budget expenses.

As much I’m glad it was over, I enjoyed Ramadan. Managed to visit our families more often for buka puasa and dinner together, which was nice 🙂

The Ramadan effect also skewed the Groceries and Social expense categories – I spent less for Groceries (RM332 which was low! It’s usually around RM1000 for the both of us) and significantly more for Social (over RM1000 on buka puasa food with family).

#4 – Progressed with organising

In preparation for the upcoming move to new place, I spent some time organising accumulated items. I’m a bit of a hoarder so it was nice to finally let go of some old items that can’t even be donated.

But this is just the first step. One of these days I have to summon the motivation to list and sell preloved items, clothes and books. Can get RM500, easy.

My only dilemma now is with old laptops. Tweeted it out, got a lot of great advice in the replies.

#5 – Appeared on..

#1 – Consider This show on Astro AWANI

Can’t believe I got to talk about how it’s the government’s failure to address wealth inequality and low mean salary and that’s the cause of people wanting to access even their EPF aka retirement money on TV

Thanks to Melisa Idris and Astro AWANI team for having me and my commentary🙏

#2 – #JadiSavvy Speaker Series

The topic was Cybersecurity for Small Businesses, organised by Accelerate by The Asia Foundation

#6 – Misc

Read 2 books:

  • A Juz A Day: Summary of the Quran by Yahya Ibrahim
  • Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards

Completed 1 course:

  • Governance and Leadership course for new AFS Board Members

Noteworthy shows:

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore at the cinema
  • The Ultimatum on Netflix
  • Selling Sunset Season 5 on Netflix
  • Death on the Nile on Hotstar
  • Murder on the Orient Express on Hotstar
  • Kongsi Raya on Netflix
  • The Kardashians on Hotstar

Bought for myself:

  • A pair of Oxwhite flats
  • A pair of wedges from Sketchers
  • A new telekung
  • A mini cutting board from Jalan Jalan Japan
  • Haircut and scalp treatment session for RM228

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Increase in medical card cost

Medical card now costs RM170 per month 🙁 It’s annoying, but also to be expected (and your agent should have told you about it), so I’ll continue to pay. It is a bit high though so I’ve also reached out to my insurer to see what options I have, who knows can tweak to better plan at less price.

I do have to say, it was fascinating to see the increase % and frequency by other people. Some increased more than 100% within a few years! See in the replies and QTs of this tweet.

P/s – To those who wonder why the cost is low. I got stand-alone medical card back in 2014, at around 26 years old. The coverage is low (RM190k annual limit, no lifetime limit) but I wanted the access to bougie healthcare facilities. I also have a secondary medical plan.

#2 – Paid extra Rent due to delays

We were supposed to move into new place by May, but due to the delays, we will be staying at current (rented) place for a bit longer. That means I have to fork out additional 1.5 months in Rent, paid in advance. That’s RM1800 in extra cost.

I would be annoyed, but I’m also really happy. Shopping and browsing for furniture with a partner I love, imagining our new life together, all if it was so joyful.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • More furniture hunting – expecting to move out to new place in June!
  • My birthday

Well, that was my April 2022. How was yours? What’s your yay of the month, nay of the month, and something you’re looking forward to? Tell me in the comments section 🙂

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

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  1. Selamat Hari Raya Suraya! Thank you for putting out content for us, always look forward to your posts.

    Please give Only Murders in the Building a watch on Hotstar! I think you’d enjoy it based on your list of noteworthy shows 😊

    1. Selamat Hari Raya back to you Dina! You’re so sweet, thank YOU for reading my syok sendiri articles <3

      Ps- I watched Only Murders in the Building! It's good and looking forward to season 2!

  2. Selamat Hari Raya Suraya! great post as usual. My yay of the month is of course, giving duit raya. I haven’t had my nay yet, but It would probably be for my exam fee. around 90USD T_T

  3. Hi Suraya! I just saw a tweet of yours where you said your insurances totaled up to 1.5k a month (for both you and your husband)

    Do you mind sharing the breakdown? It’s cool if you don’t want to, just want to get some idea of what other expenses I should prepare for in the future. Thanks!

    1. Hey Fahmi,

      We have:
      – car insurance
      – life takaful for house
      – Him: life takaful with medical and critical illness
      – Me: medical, critical illness, personal accident

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