Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: February 2022 – The Perfect Solution

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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.

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

In February I got a bunch of inquiries from potential clients. It overwhelmed me, and not in a good way. I dislike saying no yet I also want to protect my time.

So I decided to raise my rates, which despite how it sounds, is quite unpleasant and scary for me. It’s less about wanting more money, but more to having a legitimate excuse to keep small number of clients at any one time. As an intentional solopreneur, I can’t cope with too many clients at once.

However, I was also worried that I’d get no clients at all. But happily it wasn’t a big deal. Like at all.

Cool. I think I’ll stick with this tried and tested supply-demand strategy. When demand is high, and supply remains stagnant (there’s only one of me, after all), the price increases.

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: February 2022

In February 2022, I spent RM11,760.27. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Business (RM4,828.61) – Mostly towards cost of new laptop
  • Utilities & Rent (RM1,849.75) – Rent, bills, and half of mortgage
  • Home Reno + Deco (RM1,221.51) – Instalments for reno package

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 69% of my total February 2022 expenses. (My belief is, if you want to save money, always trim from the top 3 expenses rather than cut out a few ringgits from other already-low expenses)

My Spending Breakdown in February 2022

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of February 2022, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Passed final CFP exam

I got news that I passed the fourth and final CFP exam 🙂 I’ve done it, yay me.

However, I can’t call myself a licenced financial planner, since you need to be attached to a company + have a few years of experience + maintain annual ‘points’ + pay annual fees to get that title.

#2 – Lucky to get the chance to buy FarmFresh IPO

I know the chances to get IPO allocation is very small, I’m very grateful by this turn of events.

#3 – I got a Macbook

I really didn’t want my 4-year-old laptop with the bloated battery to blow up on me (see Nay of the Month section), so I decided to buy a new laptop.

After much research, and LOTS of recommendations, it appears the best value for money product is the Macbook Air. So, despite the fact I’ve always used Windows, I bought it.

I was worried about the switch from Windows to MacOS but happily it wasn’t that hard. By the time of writing, I’m almost fully adjusted.

Y’all were right, it is a great device. Hopefully this laptop will last for a decade or so 🙂

(Related: I’m also proud of paying in full)

#4 – Got awesome deal for Microsoft Office!

Now that I got a Mac, I knew I needed to get Microsoft Office. Just my luck to come across an awesome deal – purchased the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2021 edition for the grand one-off price of RM210. Usually it’s priced over RM1k, so I saved a lot of money!

Note: Don’t know if the deal is still ongoing, nor when it’ll happen again

#5 – Appeared on Actsplore This Podcast

The topic was Money Talk for Couples, which was very timely for Valentine’s Day. Listen to it on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ZyWN62nNeuQgGGgzGbGY4?si=M52N44qfSHCdlsL-COYdgw&context=spotify%3Ashow%3A02xWljGMOwQEyKWRFFvN3e

#6 – Helped MalaysianPayGap IG to grow from 74 followers to over 100k within a week

The MalaysianPayGap IG page would have grown anyway without my help, since Malaysians being underpaid is a hot topic, but I did help to make the growth faster.

You can read the founder’s mission to advocate for wage transparency in Malaysia in this VulcanPost article.

#7 – Misc

Read 3 books (!! wow good job Suraya keep it up):

  • For Richer or Poorer: Confessions of a Player by Victoria Coren (poker player, that is)
  • Carpe Diem: Seizing the Day in a Distracted World by Roman Krznaric
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Noteworthy shows:

  • Tinder Swindler on Netflix
  • Love is Blind Japan on Netflix
  • Love and Leashes on Netflix (I am… slowly watching Korean shows? Ooo this is new)

Bought for myself:

  • Massage session from Sentuh.my
  • Thrifted this cute mirror for RM80

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Extremely frustrated with ProductCare, the extended warranty programme by Harvey Norman

Harvey Norman was like, you must get this problem fixed by Microsoft Authorised Service Centre or you’ll void the remainder of your warranty.

But Microsoft was like, we don’t have any Authorised Service Centres in Malaysia.

I enjoyed my Surface device, but probably won’t get it again. I also suffered from the glitch dubbed flickergate before this (they replaced my device since it’s still within 1 year warranty).

#2 – Procrastinated on a few tasks

I really need to:

  • Complete Money Stories from Malaysians: Vol 3
  • Get my estate planning done (it’s important but also so mafan ugh)
  • Investigate why my parents’ home electric bill is so high

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Furniture hunting

Well, that was my February 2022. 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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