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.
Yay of the Month:
- Went on a fully-sponsored programme to Estonia 🙂 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.
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Completed 1-week media course in Estonia, funded by the Government of Estonia and Baltic Film and Media School, Tallin University . It was great. Learned so much about the media landscape, e-government, startup scene and more . Thank you so much for having me, Estonia. You were beautiful and magical . Article about the trip and lessons learned coming soon in ringgitohringgit.com! . #estonia #tallinn #nordic #baltic #europe
- 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 🙂
- Using a fancy notebook for the first time. It makes me feel so decadent, mmm
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My partner gave me this fancy, linen-covered, name-personalised custom notebook from @summorieco as a VDay present. He picked the cover colours himself 🥰 . Now that my previous notebook is running out of pages, time to use this. Writing in it feels decadent, it’s a premium item after all. A few years ago I was exclusively using free notebooks received at events je kot 🤷♀️ . Why is it the nicer something is, the more you DON’T want to use it because ‘sayang’? This is not just me right 😂 . #thoughtfulgift #notebook
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 🙁 🙁 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: 🔹YB @hannahyeoh 🔹Pn Fazleen of @akpkofficial 🔹@aarontang84 of Mr-Stingy.com 🔹Moderated 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 ahc-conferences.com. 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
- 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 🙂
See the types of stories that made it into Volume 1 for inspiration 🙂
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!