Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: December 2020 – Site Revamp!

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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! By the time you’re reading this, we already entered 2021, so Happy New Year to you!! 🥳

Budget Update: December 2020

In December 2020, I spent RM13,856.14. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gift (RM5,409.66) – Paid zakat; paid wasiat-writing service for parents; paid parents’ electric bill; contributed a bit to Dad’s dusun project; gifted food treats for family events
  • Dates & Travel (RM3,366.94) – For flights and accommodation in Langkawi
  • Business (RM2,258.37) – The balance of Money Stories from Malaysians book (re)order; new website theme (do you like it??)

So how was your December? For me it was a slow month, full of reflection. Looking back, all the events were almost surreal, yet all those things really did happen. As of the time of writing, the global death tally crossed 350,000 people. A huge tragedy.

Yet… can I admit something? 2020 was actually a good year for me. My personal, professional and financial life are doing well. Yes, I am lucky, privileged, extremely fortunate to be in this position, and have been actively resisting the desire to gloat share my own successes and milestones all year. I don’t want to be tone-deaf.

Here’s to a better 2021 to everyone who’s not doing as well. I’m rooting for you.

My Spending Breakdown in December 2020

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of December 2020, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Completed website revamp!

By now you should have noticed the new website design, yes? That’s one thing from my 21 in 2021 list that I can already check off!    

Big THANK YOU to David of for guiding me through the whole design and installation process <3

#2 – Went on Langkawi for Honeymoon

We wondered whether we should still go to Langkawi for Honeymoon slash New Year, considering Covid-19 cases kept rising nearer to our flight date, which we booked since way back in September. In the end, we decided to make the trip, but totally avoided packed places and definitely didn’t attend any parties. We also decided to self-quarantine ourselves after coming back.

Hopefully this will be enough precaution for our loved ones. Our flight was full and not everyone adhered to SOPs.

#3 – Took a financial behaviour assessment

This was a GREAT assessment and I’ll dedicate an article to do it justice, but worth mentioning here. I got the Couple test and completed it with my partner – we found out areas where we are similar in money, and where we are different. Really eye-opening for us.

The Financial Behaviour Assessment is available for individuals and couples. You can buy for yourself here (disclosure: I’ll get a commission on sales, but I was the one who loved it so much and reached out to offer to sell it).

#4 – Bitcoin reached ANOTHER All-Time High!

Although ngl I am anxious af of the upcoming crash (this has happened so many times). As of time of writing, crypto makes around 87% of my total investment portfolio.

#5 – Threw away stuff I hoarded

I have the tendency to hoard stuff, often justifying it under frugalism and zero waste. It’s usually harmless, but sometimes can be a bit on the extreme side.

In December 2020, I threw away old clothes (which I kept around to use as rags but never did), one very old mop, some empty boxes and some other knick-knacks. Will consider this a win.

#6 – Moderated webinar on warrants with Isabelle from Kenanga Investment Bank

Isabelle plays it down, but her trading mindset and strategies are freaking solid.

#7 – Lower phone bill

Hey RM20 is RM20 😛 Thanks Yoodo (note: ref code)

#7 – Misc

  • Read three books: Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul by Ruth Soukup (Solid tips but a bit on the preachy side); Unfriending My Ex: Confessions of a Social Media Addict by Kim Stolz (would have been insightful when it was published in 2014, but it’s now 2021 so nothing she says about feeling distracted and unfocused is new); and 2020; An Anthology published by Buku Fixi (one of my best purchases in 2020!)
  • One of our favourite restaurants reopened after closed for over 6 months! I thought they went out of business, so was really happy to be proved wrong!

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Series of bad luck during honeymoon

First, I couldn’t sit together with husband on the flight.

Listen, I’m not about to separate a mother with her children on a flight, BUT she should have purchased the seats herself.

And second, I lost one of my earrings. Saw it fell over the balcony and never found it again. It was my favourite pair too 🙁

#2 – ‘Burned’ one Fave voucher

I was saving up the voucher for a special occasion and didn’t realise the expiry date 🙁

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Slowly ticking off the rest of my 21 for 2021 List! I really really really want to achieve #13 ASAP!

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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