Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: December 2016

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December Budget Update Summary

 Happy 2017, everyone! I hope you had a good 2016. It was surreal, wasn’t it?

December 2016 was definitely a good ending to the year for me. I didn’t earn as much (total: RM5863.51), but I also took it easy, being in holiday mood and all. I’m embarrassed that I spent more than I made in December 2016, but hey at least I’m honest.

I have so many things to be grateful for in 2016. My freelancing income is stable, and I’m starting 2017 with clients who I’m genuinely happy to be working with. Ringgit Oh Ringgit grew 10x in traffic in one year (!!! thank you!!). I’m living in a cute apartment with two adorable cats – okay, I can do without them randomly waking me up at night fighting ON MY BED. Nasib baik korang comel kalau tak dah buang kat pasar malam -_-

Thank you, everyone, for your kind, encouraging words for me. I get high on feeling useful, so the fact that many of you come here for the money tips means a lot to me. I just… want to make the world a little bit better, a little bit happier. Regardless of your situation, I hope your financial life will continue to improve in 2017. As a tool, money brought me great joy, and I can’t wait for you to experience that as well.

Here’s to a wonderful 2017, full of self-improvement and learning and continuous love, joy and acceptance.

Yay of the Month:

  • Celebrated New Year’s with friends. Much laughter, too many chicken wings, and reminder that if you buy charcoal last-minute, you’ll only get the crappy ones.
  • Celebrated Christmas. “Suraya, this side of table not halal, this side all halal. We separated them. Everyone, don’t mix the spoons ah”. Oh, God bless all of you. Thank you for sharing your holiday with me.
  • Conducted my first ever giveaway! Congratulations Ping on your new bag! I really enjoyed reading all the submissions – I asked them to answer ‘what was your most value-for-money purchase in 2016?’ – read the entries here! Thank you Biji Biji Design for sponsoring the prize!
  • My friend gave me preview passes to the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale and the experience of leisurely browsing books without much crowd was honestly one of my highlights of 2016. I bought a lot of books, including personal finance books. I might share them with you guys later, after I read them 🙂
  • Read Confessions of a Sociopath: Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas. This memoir of a high-performing sociopath was so interesting and insightful. Sociopaths have difficulty with empathy, but it also makes them rational and logical. It’s not a personal finance book, but the author admits to doing extremely well in the stocks market. I guess it makes sense, because emotions make a shit trader. I think, above all, what I learned from this book is characteristics of a sociopath so I can (try) avoid being manipulated by one.
  • Found a GREAT eyebrow threading place. She’s so good – the eyebrow threading process did not make me cry once! (On average, I cry between 2-3 times every session). She’s so skilful, and the best part is she only charges RM5 for both eyebrows! Look for Sonia from a boutique shop called Viva Danz Co. No FB or website – very small place. It’s along Jalan Suppiah Pillay, off Jalan Ipoh. At the Viva Residency area. The one famous for Tommy Le Baker and Theatre360 one. You’re welcome.
  • Interviewed by CompareHero about my 2017 financial resolutions 🙂 Read it here!

Nay of the Month:

  • Got scammed – RM1400 gone. The summary: contacted an online vendor, ordered RM1400 worth of furniture, and they delayed the delivery until blocked my communication with them. It’s a shame, because I deliberately wanted to support small businesses instead of buying furniture from big stores. I’ve bought many things from online sellers, and this one made me feel… betrayed. In the end I got IKEA furniture. I’ve made a police report. Let’s see what comes out of it. If you are a small business owner, please take care of your customers. It gives a bad rep to the whole industry.
  • My new apartment is pretty, but it was also empty. I’m now paying 2 x RM200+ instalments for the next 6 months – mostly for the fridge, washing machine and IKEA couch. Took advantage of Tesco and IKEA’s 0% instalment plans.
  • I only receive less than half of my security deposit from the Ipoh house. Reason: the cat scratched the couch and landlord said it needs to be replaced. Fair enough. My cat, my responsibility. Still mildly annoyed about this unexpected expense, though.
  • So I might need braces. Dammit, I should have done them sooner. My teeth alignment is getting worse. That’s RM3k just for the deposit in January 2017. People with braces – what can I do to save money on this??
  • Getting a bit overboard with kitchen tools. In a month, I bought an oven, induction cooker, pans, hand blender, mixing bowls, salad spinner, baking pans, and other baking tools. I didn’t have an oven in Ipoh, so I didn’t bake anything for a year. I missed baking, but maybe I should be a bit less enthusiastic about it :/
  • Wow my public transportation costs really skyrocketed. Uber and Grab are still better options for me than having a car, though.
  • Lifestyle upgrade. I’m trying really hard not to get sucked into this, but I bought myself presents: garment steamer, speakers and a facial session. I shouldn’t need anything else for the time being, though.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • I bought equipment to start an aquaponics garden: solar pump and pebble clay. Now I just need to get plants and fish. And fish food. I *was* excited about this, but I’m also scared of failing. I know almost nothing about gardening, what more aquaponics gardening. So that means I have to do this challenge.
  • Going for a mini-holiday to Langkawi in mid-Jan 🙂 As usual, I’ll be doing it on a budget. I’ll write a post about it after I get back!
  • Backlogged payments. Come fast, you 🙂 My bank account is waiting for you <3
  • Working hard.
  • Paying taxes. Sometimes I think I take too much enjoyment in this, but idk, the process is fun for me.

Above all, I hope that I will continue to be better – new year or no new year. Continuous improvement is my goal for 2017 in life. And I would love to hear how you plan to improve yourselves this year, too, financially or otherwise. Again, thanks for visiting RoR and let me know what kind of content would be helpful for you – I always need ideas 🙂

To read about my past monthly budget update, click here.

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  1. How much in total for your braces? Does it includes everything, such as plucking tooth, retainers… etc. You know some dentist have extra charges, xray extra charge, pluck off tooth extra charge. So my best tips is to find a dentist that have includes everything or list down all the charges. Mine is 5k in total, includes everything. The dental clinic is at Cheras.

    1. Hey Shanice,

      My dentist provided 3 options: normal braces (~RM5k), Damon braces (~RM8k) and Invisalign (~RM15-20k). I want the last one but that is way out of my budget.

      Between normal and Damon braces, my dentist suggested the latter due to my teeth alignment. I had to pay an x-ray charge and teeth mold charge. RM3k deposit then the rest payable in installment.

      I think this is about the average cost. The good thing is this dentist is near my home (can walk), so I save on transportation/parking. And the reviews are good.

      I’m not looking forward to having braces though. It’s not for cosmetic enhancement (although that’s swell), more for my jaw/alignment.

  2. Braces are expensive! I have two front teeth that came out sideways when I was a kid. The dentist was humorous, he asked me to use ice-cream stick to push it in before it is permanent. That’s like my license to eat ice-cream and after a year and countless stick, all my teeth are well aligned and no braces required.

  3. I use the ceramic type which cost about 12k all together. the down payment was around 5k and would have me pay RM300 every month when I visit for monthly appointments.

    However you might have to consider some unfortunate events like some extra visits to the dentist (i had gigi berlubang and i had to patch them up. Also, my wisdom tooth decided to pop out!) which will cause extra money. Some dentist would advice to have scaling done.

    Hope this helps 😀

      1. Well there were cheaper options and because having the braces on was more for my jaw complications rather than getting my teeth pretty. It would have been around 8k for standard one plus the complications. I’d say 12k was more of a ‘mengada’ decision because it does the same job, only it looks much cooler. It had these fancy clip on brackets to help make it easier when changing the archwire.

        1. I’d like to look cool with braces on, too. And I’d pay for convenience. I’ll ask my dentist about those clip-on brackets :p

          Thanks for sharing!

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