october 2017
Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: October 2017

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october 2017

Budget Update: October 2017

Expenses-wise, I thought RM6.2k was a bit steep, even if business expenses (RM1.5k~) were factored in. Sometimes I wonder how the hell did I survive with RM3500 salary last time.

Right now I pay particular attention to ‘lifestyle upgrades’-type personal finance posts. A lot of people warn about new expenses that creep up without you noticing. This is exactly what’s happening to me – I keep justifying lifestyle upgrades even though I was equally happy before. Within the last few years, I have upgraded:

  • My apartment – from sharing with up to 3 housemates to no housemates
  • My laptop – splurged on Surface Pro 4 plus the warranties
  • My mobile phone plan – switched from Umobile to Maxis for the internet speed
  • My food – I stick to some (more expensive) products and willing to pay a bit extra for convenience
  • My entertainment – Spotify Premium
  • My social activities – I don’t mind paying extra to eat nice food with good company (last time, I would politely decline these invitations)

The lifestyle upgrade posts said that it’s hard to lower expenses if you’re used to spending that amount, and oh my goodness that is so true. I can’t really cut down much from my top three expenses – Business, Utilities & Rent and Misc Need – they’re all important.

However, as an effort to reduce my spending, I decided to not continue gym membership (RM127.20 per month) for next month onward. I’m also going to try cut down my public transport expenses and take more trains instead of Uber/Grab.

At the same time, I’m also contemplating to go back to Umobile’s affordable plan and get a WiFi dongle instead for my data needs. I don’t know about this though. Part of me wants to keep it simple and refuse responsibility for yet another gadget when my phone works fine as a hotspot. Still thinking about it.

What expenses do you find hard to cut? Why is it hard?

october 2017

Yay of the month:

  • Had an insanely fun time doing the Bajet 2018 Lepak Session livestream on Facebook with Aaron from Mr Stingy and Julian from The Very Long Run! Last I checked, the video racked up 1.7k views – way more than expected. Thanks everyone who joined and gave comments, glad you enjoyed it! We got requests to do livestreams again, too 🙂 You can see the video here.
  • My date took me to Auntie Ainis for some Negeri Sembilan cuisine. It was seriously delicious, highly recommend a makan trip there just for their asam pedas. I first found out about her from the Gordon Ramsay Meets His Match in Malaysia video, and still laugh my ass off at the ‘clitoria bush’ part.
  • I’m a member of the Malaysian Writers Society and this year was invited to conduct a session during the MyWriterFest 2017! My topic was ‘Step by Step: Earning a Living Through Freelance Writing’. Received positive feedback afterwards, super happy about that. Slowly, I’m improving my public presentation skills. It’s not something that comes naturally but I’m glad all those preparation hours paid off.
  • Holy crap on fire Ringgit Oh Ringgit recorded the highest amount of traffic yet! Thanks to you guys, I broke my daily views record three freaking times in October 2017! Damn son.
  • Enjoying my Spotify Premium account, after months deliberating on this splurge. Read up 3 Ways to Get Cheaper Spotify Premium in Malaysia article for tips.
  • Read two books: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick and Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong edited by Jessica Bacal. The former is the book which inspired the original Bladerunner movie, while the latter compiled how various women grew from their mistakes. Both were enjoyable reads.
  • Keep seeing posts about micellar water and decided to get it as a makeup remover. Awesome stuff. Apparently I haven’t been cleaning my face properly for years. Hoping for clearer skin, but let’s see.

Nay of the month:

  • My gym membership and personal training sessions finally ended. Other people join gym, lose weight. I join gym, gained weight wtf. On the plus side my weightlifting form is so much better now.
  • Wanted a houseplant for ages. Got one from a friend, was happy… for like 10 minutes. After bringing it in the house, I found out that my cats apparently have been craving salad wtf. They keep biting the leaves so now I have no choice but to leave it outside the house. Poor Phil 🙁 How do you keep your cats away from your plants??
  • Went through more hassle than I care for to get my passport renewal done. ProTip: don’t go on Fridays between 11am-2.45pm (closed; Friday prayers) and try to go early even on weekdays. I don’t know if its peak passport renewal season or what, but I visited three Immigration offices and all of them were packed by 11am.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Attend Singapore Fintech Festival and various blockchain events in Singapore.
  • Conduct interviews with interesting people as part of my report-writing work.
  • Organically grow my writing business while helping other freelance writers earn money (that’s the plan).
  • Attend Wordcamp KL – a community-organised event about everything Wordpress. I hope to find out how to optimise this website further.
  • I heard BNM is going into insurtech and coming up with some affordable insurance products, pretty exciting stuff. I’d love to review my current insurance and get the same products for cheaper if possible.

Wishing you an awesome November, lots to be grateful about now that Budget 2018 is sorted out.

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. Hello cik Suraya. Saya tahu ia agak peribadi, tetapi saya mohon bertanya breakdown perbelanjaan untuk kategori Social, Dates, Food dan Donation/Gifts kerana saya rasa kesemuanya seperti berkaitan? Terima kasih.

    1. Hi Adi,
      Untuk ‘Social’, saya letak perbelanjaan dengan kawan dan family.
      Untuk ‘Dates’, semua yang berkenaan dengan dating life.
      Untuk ‘Food’, semua yang makan kat luar (bukan dengan kawan/family/dates), mostly sebab malas nak masak atau teringin snacks
      Untuk ‘Donations/Gifts’, semua yang donate kat orang, termasuk kawan, family etc. Biasanya duit yang kasi terus, bukan belanja makan ke apa (kalau belanja makan, masuk dalam ‘social’.

      Yang ini cara saya, tapi boleh adjust ikut suka 🙂

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