Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: June 2019

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budget update june 2019

Budget Update: June 2019

What a memorable month. More about that under ‘Yay of the month’ section below.

For the past few months, I’ve battled my ‘solopreneur’ identity quite a bit. I feel like I should take advantage of this momentum I’m having and expand, get a team under the Ringgit Oh Ringgit brand. I thought of hiring a team of writers and video editors, create more content.

But slowly, through personal reflection, I figured out that (a) I’m really happy being a one-person team, (2) I have no desire to be the boss of anybody, and (c) having a team would require an office, and I worked so hard so I didn’t have to *go* to an office every day.

Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future. Maybe that’ll still happen, out of necessity or change of heart. But for now, I’m loving the way I work. I can still outsource if the workload gets too much. I can still collaborate with other people to create content that I can’t personally create.

Any of you consider yourself solopreneurs? Do you plan on staying that way or planning to expand? Let me know in the comments section.

budget update june 2019

Yay of the Month:

  • Went on a fully-sponsored programme to Estonia πŸ™‚ The programme organisers didn’t skimp on the budget either. I’d estimate they spent RM10k just for my costs, including the flights, accommodation and food. I still spent about RM900 of my own money for travel insurance, souvenirs and personal spending, but that’s nothing in comparison.

  • MPH Distributors agreed to stock Money Stories From Malaysians: Volume 1?? And the thing is, they don’t just stock MPH Bookstores (like you would assume). They also stock at Kinokuniya, MyNews, Popular Bookstores and other locations. What even is my life oh my God

  • Plus, it turns out that MPH Distributors ordered 750 copies of the book for its first order?? I thought they’ll just start with 100-200 books, to minimise risk. I had to spend RM2700 to print more books because I didn’t have enough in stock!
  • On that happy note, a reminder that submissions for Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 2 is still open! I can’t guarantee it’ll end up in bookstores too, but you bet your sweet ass I’ll do my best. Click here for more information.
  • Obviously I’m happy it’s no longer puasa month lmao
  • Did a 30-day decluttering challenge. While I wasn’t exactly consistent with it, I still managed to sell, donate, throw and replace items that I’ve been keeping on for a lot longer than necessary. I finally threw away the hole-y dress and pillowcases, and bought myself new mugs (and they were not thrifted!)
  • Blessed with work. Received a lot of income-generating inquiries and opportunities. Some in my capacity as a personal finance blogger, some in my capacity as a business writer.
  • Obsessed with the white kebaya top I got for Raya (a desire totally evoked by the #bringbackthekebaya crowd, but I ain’t even mad lol). To make things sweeter, my mom gave me like 5 of her old skirts, so combined with skirts I already own, I can get a lot of outfit combinations out of it. I’ve worn it twice since, and received lots of compliments πŸ™‚
  • Using a fancy notebook for the first time. It makes me feel so decadent, mmm

Nay of the Month:

  • My knee pain flared up again. Usually, it’s triggered by strenuous physical activities… or weight gain. I’m 99% sure that the latter is to blame this time around. Long story short, I’m on the keto diet again.
  • Pissed that I didn’t manage to see Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) live in action. Registered myself for the special engagement session and everything. I blame jet lag (it was the day after I touched down). NST published her speech transcript though, so at least I can read that.
  • Gave away RM2050 in duit raya money. Wow it sure did increased from last year, what happened? That sure is a lot of mon- Be ikhlas, Suraya.
  • Found out that Indah Water Consortium raised their rates from RM8 to RM14? Yeah it’s just RM6 but that’s a 75% increase!
  • Didn’t manage to read any books in June 2019. None, zero. I’m a bit disappointed with myself, I’ve always managed to finish at least one book per month for years. Oh well, will do better in July.
  • I lost my favourite pair of gym pants πŸ™ πŸ™ I’m irrationally attached to that pair, quite sad I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye.
  • Bought new bedsheets and threw away the MUJI bedsheets that I bought maybe 8 months ago. You would have thought MUJI’s stuff is high in quality right? I thought so too, but the last time I counted, there are at least 10 small holes in them. Very disappointed, it was expensive kot.
  • I thought I bought a bag from an indie, small shop. It turns out it was a dropshipped item from China and sells for way less. If it’s any consolation, some of you have pointed out that while the two shops used different images, the quality of the actual bag might be different. Here’s hoping the bag I bought is of good quality.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Being part of a panel session at Affin Hwang Asset Management’s Investment Forum 2019: Wealth & Beyond. Check out my fellow panelists!! Please Suraya don’t make a fool of yourself in front of all these people omg omg NERVOUS KOT


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Come see me at @affinhwangam ‘s Investment Forum this 20th July at MITEC Kuala Lumpur! . My fellow panelists are: πŸ”ΉYB @hannahyeoh πŸ”ΉPn Fazleen of @akpkofficial πŸ”Ή@aarontang84 of πŸ”ΉModerated by @drjasonleong . You know how you know you’re not exactly ‘poor’ poor, but you don’t feel rich either? Yeah we’ll be talking about that . Register and get your tickets at My session is in the morning so you can still go to Genting for Good Vibes Festival after that 😁 . Also, let’s take a moment to appreciate the gender and racial diversity among speakers and panelists at the event. Good job there Affin Hwang . #mitec #affinhwang #wealthandbeyond #malaysia #kualalumpur #gvf2019 #goodvibesfestival #personalfinanceMalaysia #pelaburan

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  • And then going to Good Vibes Festival directly after the forum lmao. I’m so happy they got Yuna to headline!

To end this monthly budget update article, another reminder that the writing competition is still ongoing. You have until the end of July to submit your personal finance-related stories. Anything goes – fiction, non-fiction – as long as it has a personal finance element, I’ll consider it πŸ™‚

See the types of stories that made it into Volume 1 for inspiration πŸ™‚

If you can’t/don’t want to submit, do me a favour and send the link to the writing competition to the most creative writer you know? Most of the authors in Volume 1 were all previously-unpublished authors and it would be great to publish more new authors this time around!

To read about my past monthly budget update, clickΒ here. Graphs are taken from my expense-tracking app Money Lover (how expense tracking works)

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  1. Hi Suraya,

    Love reading your budget. I am somewhat in joy whenever I read your yay of the month. Keeps me motivated to put a target and push the target for myself. Kudos.

    On other note, I noticed you mentioned about keto diet on many of your post including this one. I am thinking of doing so. But the thing is I still want to have a nice cheat day every now and then and I did some reading. I just want to share some intriguing information (not intending to discouraging). Apparently, there is a recent research saying that having a cheat day or breaking out from keto diet leads to quite a scary side effect. You can check below link.

    Now that I read that, guess I can take it as an excuse to skip diet. Again. lol

    1. Hi Ick,

      Hey thanks for your kind words! I love writing my once-a-month personal reflections for myself, glad to know you enjoy them too πŸ™‚

      Re: keto – this is not my first time on it. I’ve done it a few times. If not mistaken keto (+ other lifestyle changes) helped me lose something like 25kg? It works for me πŸ™‚

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