budget update February 2021
Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: February 2021 – Indulged in Consumerism

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!

How was your February? Mine was memorable – I allowed myself the experience of indulging in consumerism.

This isn’t my usual character – I’m usually against consumerist culture, with all of its psychological warfare to get you to spend more than you should. But I admit I missed retail. So, as a treat, I indulged in a few days of retail exploration when all the shops at the malls finally reopened.

I really enjoyed walking through Mid Valley and The Gardens mall and do the whole people and trend-watching. Clothes look different in person than on Instagram. Louis Vuitton had LONG queues (also I saw at least 10 people wearing LV bags). Some shops just launched, and others closed down. Department stores now feature Work from Home/Study from Home sections.

While I was tempted, I didn’t buy anything except a pair of jeans from Uniqlo (which I returned the next day as they didn’t fit well – they have an amazing return policy, handy for times like these when fitting rooms are closed), and it was great to eat my favourite foods at the restaurant (I MISSED THIS. FOOD DELIVERY AIN’T THE SAME).

Have you been to the malls since they reopened?

Budget Update: February 2021

In February 2021, I spent RM8,489. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gifts (RM3,128.36) – Paid for estate planning services for Mom, donation to Malaysiakini, donation to Syed Saddiq’s tablet initiative for Muar students, paid parents’ house electric bill and some others
  • Dates/Travel (RM1,402.82) – treated my partner to a 4D3N staycation
  • Utilities & Rent (RM1,328.26) – Gotta keep a roof over our heads

My Spending Breakdown in February 2021

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

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Increased net worth

The markets were good to me. All I need to do now is to maintain frugal lifestyle, because what the markets give, the markets can take away.

#2 – Donated a lot (1/3 or February 2021 expenses)

Because of #1. It was a joy to redistribute back some of that money to my parents and other good causes.

#3 – DeFi experiments turned lucrative

This is as close to magic internet money as it gets.

Want to learn? It’s not fast and its not easy, but it’s worthwhile. Read this book:

Related: I Am Self-Learning DeFi (Decentralised Finance). Here’s Why.

#4 – Appeared on TV3’s Borak Kopitiam and BFM 89.9 Ringgit & Sense Show

TV3 Borak Kopitiam:

BFM 89.9 Ringgit & Sense:

#5 – Finally switched my EPF account from Conventional to Syariah

I thought I did it, but it turns out I haven’t, but now is better than never. If you already have the EPF i-Akaun, you can just do it online. Super simple process.

#6 – Kailan plants growing well!

I’m just amazed they’re still alive! I am NOT used to my plants not dying! This is amazing!

#6 – Misc

  • Read two books: Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable by Dan Lyons (Main takeaway: be very cautious is your boss idolises Jeff Bezos, aka someone who prioritises profits over people) and The Virago Book of The Joy of Shopping, edited by Jill Foulston (a collection of excerpts from fiction and non-fiction books referencing many aspects of shopping. Really fun to see how the shopping activity have evolved from as early as 1400s to just before Covid)
  • Bought another paint-by-numbers kit. I finished one in January and had so much fun, so I got another one (Cost: RM35~)
  • Bought a yoga ball and some resistance bands for home workouts
  • Replenished my book stock:

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Settled mom’s estate-planning (and reminded of her mortality)

Sorted out: Mom’s estate-planning. I’m glad to have helped her with the paperwork and payments, but I can’t say it was a fun process – I had to face the possibility of her leaving me straight-on. Dammit I’m sad again..

#2 – My only watch died

I’m not a watch person (thank God), but I do own one – a gift from my Dad. It recently died 🙁

Thankfully, Twitter friends recommended some places I could go to fix it. I want to hang on to it forever, wearing it reminds me of my Dad.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Last instalment payment for my iPhone!! Will pay the final RM289.92 in March 2021. Wonder how long I’ll last before another consumer item tempts me
  • Sitting for CFP Module 1 exams. I’m okay with the theory parts, but the financial calculation parts kill me.

Well, that was my February 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!

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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