Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: August 2023 – Decluttering Month

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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 August? Was it good, bad or meh?

For me, August 2023 was quite the decluttering month. I managed to sell some items (sold off the robo vacuum cleaner), threw away some items, and packed some items for later use (aka hid them under the bed).

There are still more items to sell, donate and throw. I also found out about Zalora’s clothes donation programme that comes with RM20 cashback for each box weighing over 2kg so that’s a fast way to clear out a lot of stuff!

If you have any other quick decluttering tips, I’ll be happy to hear them 🙂 Now let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: August 2023

In August 2023, I spent RM6,779.18 The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gifts (RM2,384.50) – Parents’ electric bill, dad’s car payment
  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,371) – Half mortgage
  • Social (RM615.15) – Belanja family makan

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 67% of my total August 2023 expenses.

(My belief is, if you want to save money, trim first from the top 3 expenses rather than cut out a few ringgits from other already-low expenses)

My Spending Breakdown in August 2023

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of August 2023, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Found unclaimed money

The good news is I have RM187.65 to claim. The bad news is they rejected the supporting document (ID) I uploaded so I have to re-do, or go to the office.

Find out how you can check too! Refer to How to Check Unclaimed Money in Malaysia & 14 More To Do If You Need Financial Help article

#2 – Accepted help

My husband was going to be away for a weeklong company trip. At first I thought of staying home alone with baby Mika, but then decided to accept my parents’ offer to help and stayed with them.

I moved out of home in my early 20s so its been a good decade since I lived at home (it has nothing to do with my parents – they’re lovely. I’m just ‘super independent’ and wanted to ‘prove myself’).

It was really nice. I loved seeing my parents bond with their grandchild. In my youth, I had wanted to migrate but now I’m so happy I live near family.

#3 – Sorted out my Tabung Haji account

I had wanted to sort out my Tabung Haji account and finally did! Effectively couldn’t log into my account for years because I forgot my account number and didn’t have it logged anywhere. Finally I have THJari on my phone.

Before you say, oh Suraya you should have just called them – I did. Many times. Maybe just my luck but no one picked up. But it’s ok, the nice officer at Tabung Haji Kelana Jaya branch didn’t even let me line up – he asked what I needed (just the account number) and printed it out for me.

#4 – Met friends

August 2023 was a great social month. I met my good friends from high school – we could only meet each other a couple times a year, if at all so I’m thankful we could all catch up after we voted in the last PRN.

I also managed to meet friends from AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia during the AGM. Wish we could hang out more but even the short time was fun 🙂

To my friends reading this – Sorry I’m not that great at reaching out. But please know I really do value our friendship.

#5 – Work plans

Last month, I decided to relaunch the How to Buy Your Own Damn Insurance course, and sell the Money Stories from Malaysians book series.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the time to do them but I did get some interest, particularly after answering some anonymous questions related to insurance/takaful on Twitter. I do believe the demand is there, so its just a matter of working on the relaunch!

I also got another positive review, which is nice!

#6 – Appeared on:

1) Lite FM’s #TheLITEBreakfast

Terry and Asha had me on the #TheLITEBreakfast – topic is saving and budgeting 🙂 Listen to it here:

2) BFM’s Ringgit & Sense

Shou Ning from BFM interviewed me on baby-related costs. You can listen to the podcast here:

3) The Star included my commentary on budgeting. You can read the online version here:

#7 – Misc

Read 0 books (again)

Bought for myself:

  • Secondhand books
  • Baju kurung for wedding
  • Milk booster

Nay of the Month:

#1 – No more tumpang Netflix 🙁

So this happened 🙁 It’s been nice paying only RM11 per month for Netflix.

#2 – Stepping down from volunteering roles

Nowadays, it’s hard to find time to work + take care of baby, what more to volunteer. So I formally tendered my resignation as board member of AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia, and turned out 2 non-paid volunteering activities.

Slight guilt, but with limited time, I have no choice but to prioritise my time and attention.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Documenting Baby Mika’s growth. I made him a (private) instagram and enjoyed posting his growth so far, from a few hours old to 3 and a half months old now. He’s doubled in weight already! Time flies 🙂
  • Reading books and writing articles

Well, that was my August 2023. 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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