Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: March 2017

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 March 2017 Budget Update Summary

I suck, I think I forgot to log some expenses. They are probably closer to RM8k, but I can’t remember the details or what I paid for. Annoyed with myself.

I’m consistently spending RM7-8k per month now. Granted, that includes business expenses (about RM2.7k in March) and a short vacation, but still. I’m torn – should I split my personal and business expenses?  Or remain it as it is? Splitting makes practical sense, but a budget that works is something that I can do easily, and the easiest is to combine them :/ Readers who track your expenses, how do you do it? Happy to hear all advice!

All-in-all, March 2017 was a fulfilling month. I had fun and worked hard. I learned more personal finance stuff (see my book recommendation under Yay of the Month), and one of the points is regarding earning. Specifically, one should never reveal how much one earns because it’s just not ‘classy’. I quite enjoy my transparent style when it comes to finances though… I’ve been sharing my income sources and how much I earned through my work, but now I’m not so sure if I should continue giving this information. Ah well, for now I’ll just say my income>expenses in March and leave it at that.

Lately, the Malaysian personal finance scene is expanding and I’m so stoked to see how this develops. Personally, I’d love to follow someone’s adventure to pay off their big loan, or side-hustles they do to finance a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Do you feel like dabbling in blogging about your personal finance? If yes, I support you 🙂 Contact me if you need advice on website-related things and stuff!

Yay of the month:

  • After working out somewhat consistently for about a year, I’m so much happier with my body. As in, how strong it’s getting. I have arm muscles. I have arm muscles. I’m less intimidated to go for physical activities, something I’ve mostly avoided all my life. I like this feeling, even if those activities cost more than staying at home.
  • Had a fair few career-enhancing activities. Project meetings. Recurring clients. Handling more responsibilities. Networked. Work-wise, I’m at a good place.
  • Made some tweaks to Google Adsense and wtf it increased my blog passive income by a lot. Ringgit Oh Ringgit generated close to USD1 per day despite usual number of traffic. It was only like 30 cents or so previously. I really like blogging as a passive income strategy. I get financial benefits and have fun at the same time. Yay to hobbies that make money 🙂
  • Bought new makeup, had a haircut. Feeling cute 🙂
  • Went to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
  • Had a socially fun month. Met up with old and new friends. Entertained a few foreign friends and enjoyed playing host. Siderant: I find it annoying when people find local food that they’ve never tried / don’t like repulsive. We shouldn’t make fun or look down at what other people like to eat, period. Durian-lovers don’t like to hear your ‘eww’ reaction when durian is mentioned. Be respectful to other’s peoples’ cuisines, especially if it involves insects or other sources of protein (ie balut). Be polite okay?
  • Finished an AWESOME personal finance book! Find ‘The Rules of Wealth’ by Richard Templar. If you like my style of writing, you’ll definitely like this book. It’s divided into short, 2-page articles about wealth ‘rules’, from the mindset, to the goal, to ways to grow and preserve wealth, to how to use it to enhance your life. It’s written for the 40-50s age group, but inclusive enough to have something for everyone. I highly recommend it, two thumbs up.
  • This writer now reviews performance arts, too! Read my thoughts on the play A Language Of Their Own here!

Nay of the month:

  • Being physically active did cost me: my heel hurts when I walk. I need to stretch my feet often and wear supportive shoes. Bought myself a pair of Scholl sandals, they are so expensive wtf (RM228). But no regrets, immediate improvement. The reason why I’ve developed this is because I liked to wear shoes with thin soles, it did nothing to cushion impact when walking. This means I have to gradually replace all my shoes with thin soles with thicker ones. Or maybe I can just ask the roadside cobbler for this? Hm.
  • When filling up Form B for tax payment, I found out that my tax bracket is the highest it’s ever been. My income is now taxed 16%; previously it was single digits. It’s hard to complain without sounding entitled, so I won’t, but gosh that’s quite a bit of money to give to the government. I have to cut back next month and beyond.
  • Bitcoin price crashed again and I almost sold all. I didn’t (which turned out to be a good move), but whoah I was so nervous during that time.
  • I’m more lax in expense tracking and I wonder if I missed to log any expenses 🙁 Have to improve on this. Must quickly log after each payment.
  • I thought my groceries bill was kinda high…
  • My only earphone is not working 🙁 I need to get a new one; it makes working out more fun and dammit I need all the distraction I can.
  • Putting my keto diet on hold after a few half-assed attempts. I’ll get back to it if my weight gets out of control again. I’m really enjoying rice though – haven’t had it in months.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Participating in Bloktex Conference! I’ll be at KL Convention Center on 8-9th for this blockchain event 🙂 Come visit me at the Wirex booth! If you want to attend the conference, I have a promo code in this article (Ctrl+F ‘Bloktex’)
  • Been making monthly instalment payments totalling about RM450 per month to pay off washing machine, fridge, couch, and other home stuff. Looking forward to having these expenses paid off by April/May.
  • Do more things to improve my health/fitness. Need to finally try out that gym near my place for variety and fun.


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

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  1. I love your monthly expense reports! Especially your “yays” and “nays”.

    Since this is a finance blog I don’t think it’s “unclassy” to reveal your income, but I do think it could be dangerous to your privacy. So I think you have the right idea – just list out the expenses.

    I haven’t touched Bitcoin myself – it seems to fluctuate too much and unpredictably. For a store of value, I think gold is still better. The supply is of gold is pretty stable (and rare) in the world and I doubt it’ll ever drop drastically.

    1. Thanks for the support Andy! I like my monthly reflections too 🙂

      Gold is good. I had some previously but sold all for minor profit. Having gold prepared me for bitcoin – have to think of method of storage, keep myself updated on global events, etc.

  2. Hey there Suraya,

    Love how you breakdown your yays and nays. A thing that i should look foward to doing and keeping track of my monthly income(newbie).
    Have bought bitcoin recently but was abit f’d up. LOL But now looking foward to just buying on bitcoin alone and not focusing on invest in any companies on the side.

    1. Hi Anon,

      Thanks, I like them too. It’s fun to reflect on my month 🙂

      I’m no financial expert, but try to diversify and avoid going all-in bitcoin. Try to balance with some low-risk investments too, just in case.

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