Budget Update: June 2018
More than half of my June 2018 expenses went to Donations and Gifts. RM1250 given out as duit raya, and a whopping RM2500 given to a friend to help her out.
Might as well tell you what happened. A friend (someone really dear to me) was driving and got busted for having recreational drugs in her possession. The police demanded RM3000 in bribe money. My friend was not able to negotiate it down and didn’t have enough in her bank account. She had to find the money asap, and came to me.
I was pissed off. Pissed off at the friend, pissed off at the police blatantly asking for bribes, pissed off at myself for giving the money anyway thus contributing to this stupid corruption culture in Malaysia.
Never again. I will never do this again. This is not the kind of person I want to be.
Tell me your bribe stories. Everyone has one. Tell me what I can do to protect myself if this happens again.
Yay of the Month:
- Aside from Donations category, my other expenses were under control. RM3700 in monthly expenses is an okay amount for the shitload of things I did in June 2018. Am particularly proud of how I saved transportation costs to go to Writer’s Retreat in Penang. Wanted to take a flight, but that would’ve cost me almost RM400. I took the bus instead for RM92 (and got 10% discount, AND cashback via Shopback!)
- Organising a writing competition. The theme is personal finance, naturally 😉 Here’s an open invitation for you to submit your short stories! I’m offering RM100 cash for each accepted entry out of my own pocket you know. Check the full details and ideas for stories here.
- Transferred RM3k to PRS account early this year. Usually I do it around the end of the year. But hey, the earlier I do it, the faster my interest can compound. If you have surplus money to invest, I can recommend PRS (see my guide here) – you’ll get tax relief for up to RM3k annually.
- FreeMalaysiaToday have started to republish my articles 🙂 Noticed an uptick in site visitors. If you’re a new reader, welcome!
- Bought 12 games during Steam Summer sales. Laughed my ass off when playing Racettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. I play a girl who must pay off her family’s debt by selling classic RPG items (think swords, armors, amulets, etc). Don’t think my haggling skills are very good there, I keep getting my house foreclosed lol. Other than that I’m also having fun with Stardew Valley, a Harvest Moon-esque game. Now trying to save up money to buy a barn.
- Used up two vouchers from HappyFresh and reduced my groceries bill by RM35 total 🙂 Use code ‘suraya63’ to get RM25 off your first order (I get RM20 off, too). ProTip: Go to HappyFresh website from Shopback and get additional cashback from there!
- Tweaked my website layout, did you notice? I like that I can fit in more articles in the front page now.
- Read three books: The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan (do you wonder about background stories of immigrants? Why and how they end up where they are? This book tells a Chinese mother’s story in China before she arrived in America); Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Professor Brian R. Little (the inspiration behind How You Behave With Money, Based On Your Personality article); and You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero (like many people, I have this mental roadblock when it comes to charging more for my services).
- Got myself a new experience – a perm. It was RM78, which was reduced to RM68.68 after using up existing Fave credits. At the shop, I had to pay RM50 more to get the ‘better quality perm, not Chinese auntie perm’ – so ended up paying RM118.68 in total. But hey, I’ve gotten more compliments on my hair so I’m not mad.
- Discovered I have over 175k in Maybank treatpoints. Forgotten all about them for at least a couple of years, so was pleasantly surprised. Browsed the redemption catalogue and decided to get two x RM200 Lazada vouchers for 87.6k each. I’ll earmark the vouchers for ‘fun’ purchases – guilt-free spending occasions doesn’t happen very often!
- Switched from Maxis to Yoodo, that select-what-you-use plan under Celcom. Now I’m paying RM85 for 40GB data and 50 call minutes (and no sms), instead of RM128 for Maxis’s 40GB and unlimited calls and sms plan. Savings: RM43 per month, or RM516 per year! Switching was easy – everything from sim card order to porting (I’m keeping my number) was done through the app. If you want to try it out too, get FREE RM 20 when you sign up using my referral link (I get RM20 too). You can also enter my unique Referral Code zwbai7716 at the confirmation page when you activate.
Nay of the Month:
- Went a bit overboard with the food this Raya. Gained 4kg in one weekend alamak. It’s back down, but I need to be more mindful.
- Have decided to let my virtual assistant go. Taking a more active role in blog management and marketing now. Enjoying the learning process.
- Chasing a client for payment. Usually I impose a 50% deposit before work rule, but that assignment was urgent and I stupidly completed the work, thinking I had nothing to worry about as they’re a well-known company. It’s been a couple of months now. I’m annoyed.
- Earlier this year, I engaged with a trust/will-writing agent. It was okay in the beginning but became a nightmare: was told what I wanted was not possible, late updates and progress, and then they lost my payment (which they, as it turns out, didn’t charge in the first place despite me filling in the forms – so lucky me here). So yup. I don’t trust As-Salihin anymore as a company. How can I trust you to manage my money if anything happens to me if you can’t even help me now? Do you have other trust/will-writing companies to suggest?
Things to Look Forward to:
- Good Vibes Festival!
- Researching ebook marketing and payment systems to implement. Finding editors and book cover designers. This whole ebook-creation process is fun! And seriously I can’t wait to see what kind of personal finance stories I’ll get. So excited!
- Attending events and meeting people. I want to look for someone new to love.
Oh! You know how media outlets and content creators always ask you to support them by signing up for their monthly subscriptions? I’ve never liked any of them enough to actually commit to that… until The Try Guys – formerly of Buzzfeed – went independent on Patreon. Now I’m actually paying them because I *want* to support them. It’s a strange feeling. Do you give your hard-earned money to anyone just to show your support? Friends and family doesn’t count!