Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: May 2023 – Birth and Taxes

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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 May? Was it good, bad or meh?

For me, May 2023 was an eventful one: we welcomed our first child. Baby Mika was actually due in early June but decided to come earlier.

In fact, he couldn’t wait to come – I had a relatively short 2.5 hours birth and actually delivered him before we even reached the hospital!

Thank you again to everyone who wished us well, I super appreciate it. Feel so loved, honestly.

Thanks to the whole experience, I have ideas for at least 2 articles. The first one is on baby stuff that I bought (and splurged/skimped on):

And the other is on the decision to have a child:

Look forward to those articles in the next couple of weeks 🙂 For now, let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: May 2023

In May 2023, I spent RM11,058.38 The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Misc Needs (RM5,708.29)Mostly for income tax – 2022 and 2023
  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,327) – Half mortgage and bills
  • Donations & Gifts (RM1215.90) – Parents’ electric bill, Mother’s Day, paid for my partner’s medical consultation

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 75% of my total May 2023 expenses. This is quite the anomaly, as far as monthly budgets go. I don’t pay that much in taxes every month.

If we take out Misc Needs, the next biggest expense is Social – managed to get a ticket to the Coldplay concert!

(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 May 2023

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

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Welcomed baby Mika

My default is no kids unless I can afford it AND found someone to go through the parenting journey together.

On the latter, I sure am grateful with how life turned out. I love seeing my partner happy whenever he held baby Mika. He’s going to make an excellent father. I am very very blessed now I have two boys to love.

Something I am VERY happy about: we have already opened a SSPN account for Mika, as well as submitted to receive the Itizam Anak Selangor initiative. I mean why not – it’s free RM500 towards Mika’s education fund!

#2 – Managed to buy Coldplay tickets

My sisters and I will be going to the Coldplay concert, yay!

#3 – My book, Bergaji & Pokai got #1 bestselling spot again

Again, thank you <3

#4 – Avoided jail time by paying income tax 🙂

Don’t ask me about my tax arrangements, but I’ve paid around RM5k for taxes in May 2023. It’s… a lot. Sure paying taxes is my responsibility but I’d be lying if I say I’m happy to pay it, more like I have to lol.

Instead of being bitter about paying taxs, I’ll convince myself its just a fee I have to pay to avoid jail time. I’ll put any positive spin on it, cos if not my heart still pain.

#5 – Misc

Read 0 books

Bought for myself:

  • A large tote bag from Jalan Jalan Japan
  • A cute pot from Jalan Jalan Japan
  • A pregnancy photoshoot

Nay of the Month:


I – along with many other LLP owners – were hit with compounds from SSM in May 2023. After much back and forth with officers, I have since found that winding down one’s LLP in Malaysia is next to impossible, even though it has been dormant.

I mean, look at this level of beauracracy just to get the necessary documents and information just to get SPC from LHDN.

In case you want to know the process to close down your LLP in Malaysia, you can use the steps below. As for me, I’ve given up. I’ll pay the bloody RM200 fee for each annual submission.

#2 – Anxiety about not working

This may sound weird for some of you but as someone who is self-employed and brain always on ‘work mode’, I find it hard to be on maternity leave, even though I know my body needs the rest after childbirth. I also know we need time to transition into parenthood. When it comes to caring for a newborn, there’s a LOT of things to learn.

But it’s hard to NOT work, because I had always done the work/life integration thing (instead of work/life balance).

Case in point: I’m forcing myself to write this budget update to publish. Not so much for everyone else to read, but more to out of habit.

I do like that I write a lot though.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • My maternity leave

Well, that was my May 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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