budget update: December 2021
Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: December 2021 – Took a break

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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. First of all, Happy New Year!

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

I don’t know if any of y’all noticed, but I barely updated RoR in December. That’s because I gave myself a 3 weeks break and aside from sporadic posting on social media, I absolutely refused to take on any unnecessary work during the time.

It felt good. This is the longest break I’ve had since I went self-employed 6 years ago.

I’m happy I took a break, but not that happy about not publishing on my regular schedule. In total, I skipped like 4 days, which is horrible considering I haven’t skipped in years.

The guilt is there… albeit minimal considering I was overworked as heck in November 2021. So in an effort to be kind to myself and to prioritise my mental health, I’m going to (try) let this go and not let it bother me. I can’t change the past anyway – I can only do better in the future.

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: December 2021

In December 2021, I spent RM15,876.31. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gifts (RM6977.70) – Mom’s bday present, Parents’ electric bill, Dad’s car repair bill, Zakat for 2021, Donation for flood
  • Utilities & Rent (RM2,525.01) – Rent, bills, and new mortgage
  • Dates/Travel (RM2,122.33) – Payments for 2 trips
budget update december 2021

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 81% of my total December 2021 expenses. (My believe is, if you want to save money, always trim from the top 3 expenses rather than cut out a few ringgit from other already-low expenses)

My Spending Breakdown in December 2021

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of December 2021, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

budget update december 2021

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Had 2 vacations

Had a family vacation to Terengganu and a couples vacation to Turkey. Trip and budget breakdown for Turkey coming soon!

#2 – Received suraya.eth as a gift

I tweeted this:

And before I knew it, my friend Dave bought it for me (even after I tried declining). But honestly it’s such a thoughtful gift and I’m genuinely happy.

#3 – Did teeth scaling

Had an overdue scaling and polishing treatment. My dentist charged me RM150. I’m fine with the payment, but also wonder how hard it is to make an appointment with Klinik Pergigian Kebangsaan, because I heard that’s just RM1.

I mean… if my tax money is already funding it, why not, right?

#4 – Bought new glasses

After years of delay, I went to Focus Point and got myself new glasses for RM188. The last time I checked my eye power was like, 10 years ago. So yes, it was due.

#5 – Enlisted as board member in AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia

When I was 16, I went on an exchange programme under AFS Malaysia, the international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities. I spent 1 year in Nagoya, Japan, and lived with a host family, attended high school, the whole experience.

It changed my life.

It benefited me so much that I’ve been a volunteer with AFS Malaysia on and off ever since I returned. In 2021, I’m happy to be given a chance to take on a bigger role in the organisation – as a board member. This is new for me and I can only hope I’ll do a good job πŸ™‚

#7 – Applied for my first IPO

I applied for Farmfresh IPO via MITI. *If* I get it, I plan to sell some to break even, then hold some for long-term ownership.

#8 – Misc

Read 0 books πŸ™

Noteworthy shows:

  • Spiderman: No Way Home at cinema
  • Witchers Season 2 on Netflix
  • Don’t Look Up on Netflix

Bought for myself:

  • 1 x course on content creation
  • 3 years SSM extension for my biz
  • (From Turkey): clothes, soup mixes, food products, tea and coffee, kitchenware

Nay of the Month:

#1 -New financial commitments

We got our new house keys! We got our new house keys! This means 2 things – (1) we’ll be planning our move out/move in in the next few months, and (2) I’ll start paying my share of mortgage and also home renovation costs.

(2) have started. I’ve started paying for these in December 2021:

  • Home loan – RM1200 per month for 35 years
  • Renovation instalment (1) – RM1013.21 per month for 12 months
  • Renovation instalment (2) – RM208.33 per month for 24 months

(That’s only the first instalment, not even the full bill. There will be more costs to pay. Eeep)

#2 – Finding it tough to sell wedding packages

My wedding reception was cancelled due to a small event that is the pandemic. I still have bookings which are non-refundable. They said I can transfer the booking to another person, but selling them is proving to be hard.

Anyway, let’s try my luck here. Here’s what I’m selling.

#1 – Bridal makeup and hairdo/hijab styling package by Anggun by Deanna

If interested, 1) whatsapp Deanna (click link above for direct link + see her work) and ask if she’s available for your event date, and 2) if she’s available, DM me to take my slot. She has increased her price in 2022 to RM850 so if you take my slot, you save RM100!

#2 – All-in Nikah/Reception/ Wedding package

If interested, 1) message the venue and ask if your date is available. Contact details in https://beacons.ai/glassgardenhouse/ 2) if yes, message me to take over my slot. You save RM1.5k!

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Getting CFP exam results (pray for me!)
  • Planning our home renovations (this is fun πŸ™‚

Well, that was my December 2021. 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 πŸ™‚

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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