may 2017
Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: May 2017

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may 2017

Budget Update: May 2017

Eventful month. Between work meetings, business travels, networking events, liaising with existing and new clients, getting a new addition to the family, relationship issues, creating a new website from scratch and God knows what else, I barely had time for myself. Or rather, when I did have time, most of it were spent thinking about things that needed doing. I tried to read books, but found that I couldn’t focus on the topic.

On the upside, earned > spent. My highest-earning month to date.

So obviously working from home is good for me, income-wise. However I struggle with ‘switching off’ my mind off work. People have advised me to use co-working spaces, to work from coffee shops (can’t now during Ramadan obviously) and generally to be more disciplined with time management.

The thing is, I can only work to improve on this when I have time. What a catch-22. Motivators among you, can you yell at me, please? I think I need the tough love approach.

may 2017

Yay of the month:

  • I’m an aunt! My sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I have to find out his name.
  • Experienced positive discrimination. The field I work in – blockchain, cryptocurrencies, fintech, and finance in general – are male-dominated. Some of my colleagues took effort to improve women participation in decision-making level, you guys. I’m VP in a newly-established blockchain association.
  • Fun month trying different forms of workout. Finally tried yoga and Zumba at my local gym. Got a free personal trainer session and she taught me the proper squat form. I’ve been doing it wrong! I was going to get the personal trainer package, but legit forgot about Ramadan month. Have to postpone it for next month.
  • Paid off final Tesco and IKEA installments for fridge, couch, washing machine and other home stuff. RM450-ish freed each month from now on!
  • Splurged on exercise gear. Bought a second pair of sports shoes (the first one is dying) and gym pants. Also bought myself sneakers, because I’ve never had one.
  • Bought a kilo of roasted almonds for RM61.50 (cheap!) and 6 1-liter packs of almond milk for RM63.50 (also cheap!). I love almonds.
  • A popular cashless payment service provider organised a bloggers session. We all walked away with a gift of RM200 in credit. To be honest, I’m fairly conflicted. Is this a gift, or is this a bribe? The power is still on me whether to write about them or not, but I admit now I’m slightly more biased towards them. Having said that, I really appreciate that they were open to feedback and criticism during the session. The world of influencers is new to me, it’s very interesting to navigate. Everyone wants you to say nice things about them.

Nay of the month:

  • Despite being my birthday month, I didn’t take much advantage of freely-available birthday treats 🙁 The Twitter community said that I could claim free tickets from cinemas, get free food and drinks (Starbucks, My Burger Lab, Boost Juice, Tealive), free stuff (Sephora), vouchers (Parkson, AEON) and more. The only thing I used, without my knowledge, was the free 1GB high-speed internet from Umobile.
  • I notice now, on dates, I’m much less stingy with food prices. I had two meals over RM100 for two – quite rare. Need to be mindful of this and limit to only once a month, at the most. It’s not a luxury I want to get used to.
  • I tried to go keto for Ramadan, but it didn’t have the effect I wanted. Instead of having full mental clarity, I was just lethargic and barely productive. Went off it. Really enjoyed my chocolate chip apam balik, you guys.
  • I have a thing for disclosures – it’s only fair to disclose to your audience that you were paid for an ad, right? Unfortunately, no less than two potential clients wanted me to write for them but requested it to be a native advertisement. Aka they don’t want me to label it as sponsored. Had to turn down those jobs, so no income from them. As a side note, one Instagrammer I really like doesn’t tag her posts as sponsored, even though it’s pretty damn obvious. It pisses me off because I really like her content. Be careful of how marketing agencies use this tactic to sell stuff, guys.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Raya so I can drink freaking coffee again. There is no perfect time to have coffee during Ramadan. Drink it when breaking fast at 7.30pm, can’t sleep at night. Drink it when having sahur at 4.30am, can’t go back to sleep -_-
  • I really do like my work though. I look forward to work plans progressing.


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. Omigosh! May I ask where you scored the roasted almonds from? That’s seriously cheap! I love almonds too and since I make my own peanut butter, I’d like to try making almond butter too.

    1. I bought it from Mahnaz Food, a wholesaler specialising in Middle Eastern products. They’re located in Shah Alam -

      Apparently their online purchases is not reliable, so have to go in person.

      Oh that’s a good idea, thanks! I’ll try making almond butter too!

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