Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: January 2023 – Trial Month

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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?

For me, January was a very hazy, slow month. I hit my income target and just chilled for the rest of the month, working on personal chores and Project M.

A part of me feels guilty of this because if I was more ambitious, I could make more. Which is true. I really need to get my planning in order so I can achieve what I want to achieve. Oh well, let’s just treat January as the trial month, the real work starts in Feb 🙂

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: January 2023

In January 2023, I spent RM10,361.42. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gifts (RM2,323.65) – Parents TNB bill, paid for dad’s dusun project
  • Project M (RM2,257.80)
  • TIED Dates/Travel (RM1,327.47) – Total used for Yogyakarta trip
  • TIED Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,327) – Half mortgage and bills

Cumulatively, the top 3 (this time, 4) expenses make up 71% of my total December 2022 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 January 2023

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

Spending notes:

  • Have decided to not go on any more international trips for a while. I think I overdid it (post-pandemic effect), need to save money for Raya. Traveling domestically is fine though, on special occasions.

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Bergaji & Pokai Book hit NUMBER 1 BESTSELLER AGAIN

This was my THIRD time being #1 on MPH Malay general books weekly bestsellers list!!

If you haven’t gotten a copy and want one, you can buy Bergaji & Pokai book online at or at bookstores nationwide 🙂

#2 – Broke my own affiliate marketing record

The affiliate marketing platform pictured is called Involve Asia (read my review, or sign up here). Can see my review on it in the article below.

But aside from IA, you can also register with Accesstrade (better commissions for some brands) and Shopee Affiliates (better commissions for shopee shops)

#3 – Went to Yogyakarta

Went for a trip to Yogyakarta with my in-laws for 6 days. Had a lovely time, had lots of food and fun 🙂

#4 – Organised a SOLD-OUT workshop

I organised an insurance-buying workshop on a whim and it sold out FAST. Not only that, I received at least 15 DMs asking for another round of workshop or to buy the recording.

So now I’m working on editing the recording to sell as a digital product.

#4 – Misc


  • Invested: How Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Taught Me to Master My Mind, My Emotions, and My Money (with a Little Help from My Dad) by Danielle Town

Bought for myself:

  • 3-years Macbook warranty
  • New litter box
  • 4 new books
  • Coasters from Ruma
  • Batik outerwear and pareo from Yogyakarta
  • New phone cable

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Double-booked hotel accommodation

I checked into the hotel and was told I made TWO bookings. Thankfully could get partial refund from one of them, but still. Paid RM417 in penalty for nothing.

But I guess my loss is your gain, because now you get to learn about Agoda’s Best Price Policy Guarantee!

#2 – Lost iPhone cables… again

I rarely lose my stuff, except for iPhone cables. I’ve lose those damn things 3 times in like 3 years.

Sure they’re easy to replace and all, but I just don’t like losing stuff. Who does!

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Working on and releasing digital product

Well, that was my first month of 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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One Comment

  1. Your food expenses were less than RM50! that was awesome. Ours RM500 but that one including expenses for 4-5 ppl and my children suka and kuat makan jugak. Lol! Btw, what apps that you used to track down your expenses? Thank you for sharing anyway.

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