Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: February 2023 – Supporting family members

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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?

For me, February was the realisation that I have accepted my role as financial contributor for my parents. I mean, I’ve done it for years, but only recently accepted that ah, this is a forever thing.

And I’m fine with it. I’m not going to be one of those people who say things like, ‘parents should not view their children as retirement plan’ for internet points. If anything, I understand my parents sacrified their retirement plans for me, for us, their children.


  • This mindset doesn’t apply to parents who view their children as cash cows btw. The ones who have Dark Triad personality traits (Narcissists, Machiavellians and Psychopaths) and ask their kids to take loans or finance big unnecessary purchases to ‘pay them back’
  • My parents do have assets, but they’re very hard to liquidate in this market. This is also why I’m wary of property and other non-liquid assets as investments

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: February 2023

In February 2023, I spent RM9,837.99. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gifts (RM4,495.70) – Parents TNB bill, paid for dad’s dusun project and rental
  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,327) – Half mortgage and bills
  • Groceries (RM757.96) – Self-explanatory

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 68% of my total February 2023 expenses.

(My belief is, if you want to save money, trim first from the top 3 expenses rather than cut out a few ringgits from other already-low expenses)

My Spending Breakdown in February 2023

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of February 2023, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Had fun listening to Budget 2023

FINALLY they presented Budget 2023. I’m quite happy with it actually. Love the focus on eliminating hardcore poor and reducing leakages.

Could it be better for me? Sure. But it is for the better good, so considering my priviledges… I’ll shut up.

#2 – Got more Critical Insurance coverage

Got additional RM200k in critical illness coverage, on top of my current RM200k. Increasing my CI coverage is something I wanted to do for a while so I’m glad I got it done!

For this one, I didn’t even shell out money, I used money in EPF Akaun 2. More info in Best Insurance and Takaful in Malaysia for B40 and M40 On A Budget

#3 – Had excellent dates

I know I shouldn’t plan for overseas trips anymore (to save money), but I’ll be damned to give up my dates with partner.

That’s what we did. Had an excellent visit to a flowers wholesaler, visited Tsutaya bookstore, went to various malls, grocery shopping trips (scored some amazing ‘atas’ groceries at clearance prices!) and ate nice food.

All that for RM481 in Dates cost (mine, excluding how much my partner paid) is more than worth it!

#4 – Challenging process to turn recording of insurance-buying workshop into course

I was going to complain about how hard it is but you know what? I’ll put it under Yay of the month instead because I’M LEARNING BY DOING and that’s always good.

It’s still hella hard though. The translation part was hard,

The video editing part was hard,

And choosing the platform to sell the course is hard as well.

But again, I’m learning and at the same time leveling up my skills, so all is good 🙂

#5 – Misc


  • Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by Dr John Medina

Bought for myself:

  • Kitchen rack (well, for the house)
  • 2 dresses
  • Skincare top up
  • Shampoo

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Missed out on Wordcamp Asia

Wordcamp Asia is the regional event postponed since 2020, when the pandemic hit. I bought a ticket, which could still be redeemed, but decided not to go to Bangkok, where it was held. I missed out on all the amazing workshops 🙁

Maybe all is well though. Post-event, they said an attendee contracted Covid. Maybe if I went, I would need to quarantine there or something.

Gotta think positive.

#2 – Liquidated 15g~ worth of gold

HelloGold closed its B2C operations in Malaysia, which means all investors in the platform, me included, had their gold involuntarily liquidated (ie turned to cash, MYR).

For me, that meant receiving RM3k+ back in my account and looked for alternative gold investment platforms.

Both Maybank and Wahed Invest gold investment accounts are good contenders for digital gold investment, but there are more options – see my updated The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Gold in Malaysia article.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Working on and releasing digital product

Well, that was my February 2023. 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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