budget update january 2022
Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: January 2022 – Is it important to enjoy work?

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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 January? Was it good, bad or meh?

In January, I was quite… lost. What used to be enjoyable to me is less enjoyable and feels more like work. In the process of learning technical keyword research (an important part in SEO – search engine optimisation – basically the art and science of getting your article ranked on 1st page of Google on the search terms you want), I kind of lost my passion for writing.

As a result, I haven’t been replying to new sponsored post inquiries. Which is a shame because they pay well.

That’s not the only thing I’ve lost interest in. I also have a project that’s been on pause for a while.

What an annoying non-issue, right? Got work but lazy to work because it’s not ‘enjoyable’. I know, I know, I feel guilty about this too. I hope this lack of semangat is temporary, I really do. I hope I buck up.

On the good side, I have picked up ongoing training work for the rest of the year, which I do enjoy, so that’s good.

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: January 2022

In January 2022, I spent RM11,990.94. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Dates/Travel (RM4,810.15) – Cumulative spending money during Turkey trip
  • Utilities & Rent (RM2,509.52) – Rent, bills, and half of mortgage
  • Home Reno + Deco (RM1,221.51) – Instalments for reno package
budget update january 2022

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 73% of my total January 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 January 2022

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

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Covid positive but asymtomatic

I got news that I was Covid-positive on 9 January 2022. It would have sucked, but thankfully I had no symptoms at all, and grateful the only things I had to deal with are minor inconveniences at best.

Completed home quarantine, and considered low risk again by 3rd week of January. Alhamdulillah.

#2 – Re-introduced to the joy of cooking and grocery shopping

In terms of grocery amount for January 2022, I’d say yeah what we spent in Jan 2022 was about the average amount. I did the calculation sometime ago and the two of us do spend ~RM9xx per month on groceries.

Due to home quarantine + both of us deciding to cook more rather than order in (for budget and health reasons), I had to work around grocery delivery and pay more attention to meal planning. Happily, this is one area in my life that gives me a lot of joy.

#3 – Wonderful delivery experience

Have to say, HappyFresh was so reliable, despite a few items here and there out of stock. Got a lot of items on sale too. Since we couldn’t physically go out to buy groceries, this service really saved us and our budget.

I’m also thankful for Grab Delivery, which sent over oxymeter and thermometer from a nearby pharmacy. I would be so anxious if the delivery is not instant – such a relief to check my oxygen level daily and see my stats stable.

Perks of living in the city and surrounded by such convenient services.

#4 – Renewed Netflix

Paid RM132 for 1 more year of Netflix subscription, aka RM11 per month. I’m using the cheap hack as explained in the Netflix Price Malaysia 2022 & Cheapest Way to Get Netflix Premium article.

#5 – Appeared on Astro Awani

Grateful to be on the Notepad with Ibrahim Sani show.

#6 – Ongoing home renovation going smoothly

The home renovation process is going well. We have done defect check (so many things to fix! If you ever buy a home never skip on this!) and the interior design team have put together some furniture options.

Slowly but surely, I can see the house turning into a home 🙂

#7 – Misc

Read 1 book:

  • A Fork in the Road: Tales of Food, Pleasure & Discovery on the Road edited by James Oseland

Noteworthy shows:

  • Encanto on Disney Hotstar
  • Spiderman 1 & 2 on Netflix
  • Single’s Inferno on Netflix

Bought for myself:

  • Yoga mat (started practicing again 🙂
  • 4 new books
  • Unpacking game on Steam (short but fun!)
  • Sofa cover (A really good puchase! Swipe to see how the sofa looks like without cover. I bought from here)

Nay of the Month:

#1 – High electric bill for parents’ house

Okay, so, I pay for the electric bill for my parents’ house. The monthly amount is actually quite ridiculous – RM800++ per month on a LOW month, as high as RM1.2k per month once.

I know. I’m not happy about it either.

The thing is, it’s hard to know what to do next. People say ‘check wiring’ and ‘replace aircon’ as if each one of those won’t easily run in the thousands.

To make it worse, it’s quite a hard topic to bring up. It’s as if I’m saying ‘you’re using too much’ or ‘I can’t afford it’.

I know I have to do something about it though. And I will. Just.. ugh.

#2 – Auto renewal pain

Forgot to turn off Grammarly subscription so I paid full price instead of deal price.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Getting CFP exam results (still hasn’t gotten it but they say ‘after CNY’ so should be soon. Pray for me!)
  • Furniture hunting

Well, that was my January 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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  1. If you need a little motivation on your side project:
    All you need is 1 person to convert, to follow through with your idea (if it’s to inspire someone to for the better). Then the trajectory of their lives changes forever, for good. 1 life impacted is better than 0 lives impacted.

    GL with it!

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