Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: March 2023 – Rest is Hard

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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 March? Was it good, bad or meh?

For me, March 2023 was… disorienting.

I’m going through something major at the moment and its driving me nuts. The advice given was simply – Rest.

Rest is hard for me, I’m so used to working. Even when I’m not working, I’m thinking about work. So most days I’m just cruising on autopilot, trying not to stress myself out. Work-wise, I could only focus on one thing at a time, ie my course launch and marketing.

This unfortunately meant I wrote less articles. Predictably, my analytics suffered – both website and social media traffic are down. It’s expected, but still made me sad.

Yet, I survived another month. And most days I am happy and content instead of succumbing to panic and anxiety attacks (what if no one hires me ever again???). So that’s good.

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: March 2023

In March 2023, I spent RM7,697.36. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Insurance & Medical (RM1,522) – In addition to my usual monthly insurance, also renewed my annual term medical insurance
  • Donations & Gifts (RM1,419.70) – Parents TNB bill
  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,327) – Half mortgage and bills

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 57% of my total March 2023 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 March 2023

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of March 2023, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Had a successful course launch

In total, 420 people (hehe) bought my How to Buy Your Own Damn Insurance/Takaful course. The launch ended on 31 March 2023.

It’s too soon to say whether the course is doing what it should (help you buy your own damn insurance), but I know it has helped at least one person buy their insurance so far!!

#2 – Celebrated my partner’s birthday

I got him something he really wanted (something guitar-related, makes sounds, idk that’s the extent of my understanding) and treated him to dinner 🙂

Using my money to make loved ones happy is the best <3 I am very grateful.

#3 – Family members facing health issues

In March 2023, multiple close family member faced health issues. At one point we were ready to say goodbye to one of them, even.

I’d put this under Nay of the month except for 2 things: (1) Illness and death is unavoidable in life, best to face it head-on with as much love and care as possible, and we definitely tried our best, and (2) the re-realisation of how important family is.

#4 – Appeared on:

a) Utusan Malaysia centerfold!

This one was such a honour. My mom was so proud of me, and my partner told me his father (aka my FIL) shared it in the family Whatsapp group lol.

The older generations of my family have no idea what I do so this kind of give them some idea. It was nice 🙂

b) Antarabudaya Malaysia Volunteer Sharing Session

Gave a talk on topic: Top 5 Popular Investments in Malaysia. Also promoted my favourite NGO, Antarabudaya Malaysia 🙂

c) Oh Sebenar International Women’s Day Community Event

It was lovely to meet some of you at the event!

d) Belum Raya, Dah Pokai? with Iman Publication

A fun Twitter Space activity 🙂

#5 – Misc


  • Started 3 books, finished none 🙁

Bought for myself:

  • Muji duvet cover
  • Books

Nay of the Month:

#1 – High groceries cost

In March 2023, I spent RM1,183 for groceries for our family of 2. That’s a bit more than the usual RM850 or so average.

Guess just have to go on ‘clear out pantry’ challenge. That always works and reduces expenses (and waste too).

#2 – Liquidated some crypto BEFORE the (minor) moon

My timing sucks la. I’ve been meaning to sell a small bit of my crypto stash and when I finally did, the price went up.

Yes I know there’s no way I could’ve known but still.

I’m not complaining since its not like I sold at a loss or anything, but it’s still annoying. Classic ‘what if’ syndrome.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Raya holiday

Well, that was my March 2023. 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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