Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: January 2024 – No More Financial Anxiety

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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?

January 2024 was quite the spiritual month for me. Not only I went to perform umrah (see Yay of the Month), I also fasted for 10 days.

I realised I reached a very zen state nowadays and I barely worry about money. It’s not that I have a lot of it – I certainly still have to work to secure my retirement life and Baby Mika’s education. What I mean is, I just worry less.

Thank you automation and money chores that Past Suraya have setup/settled. As for the income part, what’s meant for me will come to me (with effort). So I’ll do that.

Sounds weird but as someone who had a lot of financial anxiety, this peace I’m feeling is new to me. I am grateful, very grateful. I just have to make sure I know how to balance ‘enough’ and not confuse it for ‘stagnant’.

Now let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: January 2024

In January 2024, I spent RM10,303.84. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Donations & Gifts (RM3,384.05) – Parents’ electric bill
  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,371) – Half mortgage
  • Business (RM1,196.90) – Credit score reports, email marketing consultancy

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 59% of my total January 2024 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 2024

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of January 2024, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Completed umrah with family

My family – as in myself, my husband, Baby Mika, my parents and two sisters – went for umrah trip together.

Alhamdulillah, we completed the 13 days 11 nights trip and had a wonderful time, both spiritually and family bonding.

All in all, I spent over RM20k, of which RM13.9k was the cost of my package. I’ll write an article to review Tabung Haji umrah package we took soon.

#2 – Investing in my business

They say you should invest back into yourself and your business so that’s what I’m doing! Will be working with Arinah from Iman Publication, the marketing professional.

I’ve been following her for years and excited to see how my business can be optimised!

In addition to this, I also subscribed to ChatGPT. Its shared with other people, so the cost is lower – only RM100/year. I’ll consider this a frugal win 🙂

#3 – Belanja family makan

I spent over RM800 in January just buying food for my family and my in-laws. It’s perhaps a tad on the higher side buuutt Ramadan is coming, so takpe kot eat a lot now (see how I justify? Lol)

#4 – Finished all my Kiddocare sessions

Back in July 2023, I bought a package of 6 x 6-hour Kiddocare sessions for RM600.

Finally I managed to use them all up before expiry date.

Overall I like the experience of using Kiddocare. Great service for parents, especially worried and often-blamed moms. Thumbs up.

#5 – Bought THREE credit score reports

Check your credit score, they said. Well, I did, at ALL THREE CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES. That’s like you getting medical checks at 3 different hospitals lol.

My credit score was alright, but its so interesting how the data in all three reports were slightly different. Some sections were also a lot different hmm.

If you want to get your own credit score and not sure which company to go with (no need to take all 3 like me, I’m crazy), you can see my comparison post at Credit Reports in Malaysia: Experian vs CTOS vs Credit Bureau Credit Score Comparison

#6 – Misc

Read 0 book

Bought for house/family:

  • Winter clothes for Baby Mika
  • 2 more baby carriers (it really is trial and error)

Bought for myself:

  • Steam game
  • Uniqlo shirt
  • Head massager
  • New pen
  • Some makeup from Guardian 50% off sale
  • Longchamp bag (100% happy with it, I feel so ~chic~)
  • Batik dress for an event

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Cheap clothes that turned out to be expensive

On one occasion, I found a pretty jubah dress for RM39. Wow so cheap, what a good deal! You’d think the same right?

Well, it frayed after one wear and pretty much unusable by the second wear. So essentially, the cost per wear is RM19.50 -_-

On another occasion, I bought a few cheap dresses on Carousell but when they arrived, turned out all of them were bad fits. So I donated them all. Lost RM100 or so there.

Oh well, you win some you lose some.

#2 – Cats peed on couch

Perhaps its a territorial thing, but one of my cats have taken to pee on the breastfeeding pillow which I always leave on the couch.

The pillow, I can chuck in the washing machine. The couch, however, REEKED.

After trying a few Tiktok solutions and failing, I decided to get one of those proper sofa vacuum. While it was annoying and I wasted a day just cleaning, I am glad I managed to get it rented instead of buying. It would have been a very costly purchase.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Recovering from umrah trip. I developed minor fever and nasty cough. Hope will get better soon 🙁

Well, that was my January 2024. 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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