Budget Update: December 2018
Happy new year! Welcome, 2019! Thank goodness I didn’t go out on New Year’s Eve, or I would’ve spent more than RM6000 in December 2018 for sure!
December 2018 was… alright. A mix of extreme happiness and extreme apathy; a strange, emotionally confusing month. I pushed the limits of my mental strength, and found it. In the same month, I tried to: go to the gym regularly, maintain a strict diet and quit smoking, all on top of my regular schedule and work. It exhausted me. I felt like I was not really ‘there’ most of the time.
I’m glad I found my limit though. Now I know what I can and cannot do, and be more careful when implementing multiple challenges at once (even though they’re all technically good for me). As of time of writing, I’ve decided to stop the strict diet (keto btw) because it’s beginning to be quite damaging to my mental health. At one point, my cravings got so bad I spent an afternoon making a list of food items I that I ‘cannot’ have but really want. It came up to 37 items.
Any of you tested your capability to follow through a strict self-development routine? How’d it work for you?
Yay of the Month:
- I’ve quit smoking, after being a heavy smoker since my early 20s. I want to say it feels good, but honestly I feel like crap. I have trouble concentrating on work. I gained 2kg, probably due to increased appetite and food intake after quitting smoking. But this is still a ‘yay’ moment because I’m proud I didn’t light up, despite really, really wanting to.
- David from ClickWP gifted me the best Christmas gift – fixed a bug on ringgitohringgit.com mobile version that’s been bothering me forever! Thank you so much, bless <3
- Organised a personal finance bloggers and thought leaders meetup. 13 people turned up, and we had a great chat about our plans in 2019. It was lovely meeting everyone!
- Coincidentally ‘discovered’ Refash.my, ‘Malaysia’s largest marketplace for buying & selling secondhand clothes‘. The prices are much steeper than thrift shops, but the items are of good quality and most are branded too. I like that (1) I don’t have to sort through mountains of clothes to find something that both fits and in good condition, and (2) I get to be a bit more zero-waste. Bought: a RM19 halter-top black dress, a RM39 GAP tan hoodie and a RM39 long flowy black cardigan. So much for no new clothes before 2019, lol. But technically they’re not new, so 😉
- Utilised my gym membership well. The pay-per-entry fee is RM15. I went at least 8 times in December 2018. Keep it up, Suraya!
- Some progress made for my upcoming book compilation. Commissioned an artist to add some illustrations – 10 short stories, 10 images. Can’t wait to have it published and printed!
- Lower-than-usual public transportation costs. Didn’t go out much. I also tried my best to schedule meetings and errands on the same day – that seems to work so I think I’ll continue this approach.
Nay of the Month:
- I wasn’t a good daughter. No excuses. I have to do better.
- Lost one of the security passcards for my apartment. The replacement card costs RM50. Shouldn’t have happened, but it did, so I have no choice but to pay up.
- A couple of months ago I applied for a RM200k ASB loan. Found out that it was rejected. I don’t understand, my credit score is high (see below). Perhaps they consider me high risk because my income is irregular? I can’t help it, that’s the life of a freelancer 🙁
- Holy cow my grocery bills are high. RM800! I know why though – keto-friendly ingredients are expensive. Sadly, unlike the first time around, I’m not losing weight on it this time, so all that money is kinda wasted. Maybe my appetite increased too much after quitting cigarettes, maybe I’m eating too much protein for muscle growth, maybe I’m not drinking enough water, who knows.
- Only managed to read one book – seriously lacked concentration and focus. It was a great book though – Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell. He went to every. single. country. I didn’t realise some countries are THAT hard to get into! Such an enjoyable read.
- Bought a grammar software called WhiteSmoke. It’s crap, I hate using it. That’s RM285.80 down the drain!
- Did I forget to pay my bills? I did! Oh fish, better get that sorted out ASAP!
Things to Look Forward to:
- Taking off my braces in January 2019. The end is near! Halleluyah! I can’t wait to bite into an apple!
- Working hard and feeding on your energy. I love Januaries. It’s just.. the vibe is magnetic. Many people really do try their best to start the year right, and that motivates me to do my best, too. Let’s do this.
Aside from that, I’m also looking forward to make 2019 better than 2018. Here are some goals I want to achieve in this year.
Financially, I want to:
- Max out my ASB fund
- Achieve >25% savings rate (percentage of money saved after deducting all expenses)
- Work towards one more source of passive income
- Finally hire an accountant
- Survive another year being self-employed
Lifestyle-wise, I would like to continue:
- Weight training 2-3x per week
- My no-smoking streak (2 weeks smoke-free now!)
- Tracking my expenses
- Eating mostly home-cooked meals
And I would like to improve on:
- Mindfulness/meditation practice
- My water intake
- My relationship with food (why does feeling stuffed feels so comforting?)
- My relationship with my family
- Selling/getting rid of clutter
What are your goals in 2019? I’m particularly interested to hear your financial goals – share with me in the comments section!
Protip: don’t say ‘get better with money’ (or the classic: ‘save money’). Instead, give yourself actionable goals, like hitting a certain amount, or getting a specific job, or making a new lifestyle choice. You can even go on money challenges and see where you end up.