september 2018
Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: September 2018

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september 2018

Budget Update: September 2018

Confession: My bank account was dangerously low all throughout September 2018, and I almost had to dip into my savings, if not for payments from clients that arrived at the end of the month. If I ration it out properly, it should support me until the end of the year.

Now, what I really want to do with the money is invest it. I want to add more gold to my investment portfolio – the price seems great now. I saw a property in the RM500k range that looks promising as rental unit. I want to take another ASB loan to max it out.

But no action was taken yet. My excuse is that I don’t know when is my next big paycheck, so I should just leave all the money in my bank account ‘just in case’.

Isn’t that a stupid excuse for not investing? Rationally, I know I can just set aside a small amount of money every month – small but regular contributions are better than no contributions – so why do I still have this ‘go big or go home’ mentality? Why do I stop myself from investing when I can’t commit large amounts like RM3k and above in one go?

Does anyone else do this? How do you overcome the mental barrier and force yourself to invest anyway? Got advice for me?

september 2018

Yay of the Month:

  • All spending categories look okay. They’re not particularly high or low, just within usual range. The biggest expense was predictably travel expenses because I went to Japan.
  • Not including flight tickets, I spent RM2568 for 9 days Tokyo and Nagoya trip, including accommodation, travel, food and shopping. Did a lot there. Some of them: Attended one day of Ultra Japan festival and danced my ass off. Went to a famous public onsen in Tokyo (Shimizu-yu) and managed to relax despite being butt-naked in public. Visited my Japanese host family (I was an exchange student and was under their care for 1 year when I was 17). Joined a Pokemon Go gathering and caught a Mewtwo. Visited my old school and somehow joined their English class, where the teacher included some questions about Malaysia in a quiz (see pic). All in all, a very memorable trip.

  • Made the final payment for my Surface Pro 4 laptop – it’s all fully paid now! I have been paying RM568.12 per month as past of 12-month instalment. So glad to free up this amount from now on!
  • Black jeans is a wardrobe staple of mine – as part of my minimalist wardrobe, I pair it with everything. Both of my 2-year old Uniqlo jeans are looking a bit shabby now, despite my best efforts to re-dye them. Searched for months and decided on Levi’s jeans for the quality and fit. It was RM310 each at the store. Managed to get two pairs for RM300.76 during Lazada’s Shopathon sale. #win
  • I bought RM112.80 worth of products from Signature Market, but was away when the parcel arrived, so it was returned to sender. Contacted their team, and they kindly offered to refund the full amount with no hassle at all (they also offered to re-deliver for additional RM10). Even though they didn’t make any business this time around, this made such a positive impression on me. Thanks so much, Signature Market. What an awesome, customer-first policy. I’ll buy from you next time.
  • I got a free phone. 1.5 months after I wrote the honest review for Xiaomi MiA2 phone, they contacted and offered the review set. OMG the offer honestly couldn’t have come at a better time – I was going to buy a new phone anyway after recently (and stupidly) dropped my Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and cracked half the screen. Thank you Xiaomi <3
  • Went to KL Bird Park for the first time. Hey not bad you know! The peacocks and I walked next to each other casually, like it was no big deal, like I do it every day, like I’m a Disney princess like that. It was pretty magical.
  • Went to the Humans of KL Photostory Exhibition and had fun reading the stories and checking out Carcosa Sri Negara, one of the set locations for Crazy Rich Asians movie!
  • Read three books. Concept of a Hero in Malay Society by Shaharuddin Maaruf (explains how and why blind loyalty to the Malay elite is a valued trait among Malay people, even if they the elites don’t care about you and mainly act for their own material and political self-interest), Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (just for the escapism factor) and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (especially loved the chapter on capitalism). I got the last two books from Bookcurve at a good price, too!

  • Rhymba Hills Tea gave me a free box of tea with my order <3 Love the newer packaging!


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Thanks for the free box of tea, @rhymbahills! 🍵 Your stuff is delicious! #rhymbahills #tealover #malaysianproduct

A post shared by Suraya (@surayaror) on

  • And finally, my H&M giftcards arrived in the mail <3

Nay of the Month:

  • Find out I was paid less, or at least could have been paid more for some projects.
  • Super procrastinated on the personal finance ebook project. Every day I tell myself to edit the draft. Every day I postpone. Sigh. How to motivate myself. Maybe I’ll just outsource it out… But I also want to learn by doing… Ugh I hate making excuses, this isn’t me 🙁
  • Ringgit Oh Ringgit website traffic dropped two months in a row.. I have to address this, it shows that I’m not meeting audience’s demands and needs. When businesses fail to keep up, others will take their place. I have no excuses, just renewed motivation to do better in personal finance blogging.
  • Caught a weird souvenir from Japan – a cold. I’ve been coughing for a week already.
  • Received weird emails saying I booked a hotel and bought some psoriasis and eczema cream?? Received these emails within a couple of weeks in my inbox. I DID NOT book the room or order the cream!
The hotel booking. Tbh whoever the scammer was, they were frugal. That’s a cheap room, as far as KL hotels go.
the order from wikipedeals. I’ve never had an account with them
  • There are so many odd things about these purchases. 1) They’re not phishing emails, I checked. 2) That’s my name, sure, but not my address. 3) I don’t own the card used for payments here, the Visa card ending with 6590.
  • So what’s going on here? Who made these purchases? Why was the confirmation orders sent to my email instead of the scammer’s? The person who stays at Lot 6371, Lorong Seruling 6, Taman Hipni, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, how long have you suffered skin problems? Sorry, I had to cancel the psoriasis and eczema cream order, the email spooked me out too much. But I hope your skin condition is improving. Also, please don’t steal from me?
  • (Also, what were you doing in KL? Short trip ke?)

Things to Look Forward to:

  • I’ll be one of the speakers at WordCamp KL! It’s the annual conference organised by Wordpress volunteers for the Wordpress community. The Ringgit Oh Ringgit blog runs on Wordpress and I absolutely love the learning process – the skills I learned along the way made me so much employable. My talk is entitled ‘Blogging with WordPress: What I Learned Along the Way, As a Beginner’ (note: working title!) and is suitable for those without IT skills who finds Wordpress overwhelming. The event is on 17 November 2018, and you can get your tickets here 🙂
  • Going to Island Music Festival! They kindly gave me a discount code, too!
  • Appearing in some (or at least one) video. Look out for those! I’ll share in the Ringgit Oh Ringgit FB page as always 🙂

Hey! There’s only 3 months left until 2019! Forget new year’s resolution, set some goals NOW to start the year right!

For me, my goals are:

  • Earn at least RM20k in 3 months in combined income
  • Put some money in at least one investment
  • No new clothes until end of 2018
  • Make at least 1 video of my own
  • Finish that ebook project by end of October
  • Limit calorie intake to 1200-1500 per day, depending on movement activity on the day, to hit my goal weight

What’s YOUR goals?

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

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  1. Good sharing.. hope you do get a start on the e-book soon.

    Just want to comment on calorie count. Be careful if going too agressive on the deficit. if your lifestyle is 2500 to 3000 a day before this, limiting it to 1500 can be shocking to the system.Body will think you went into starvation mode and may not cooperate…lol. I would suggest a more gradual route of perhaps 150 to 200 cals deficit a week or 2 before you hit 1500.

    I believe slow and steady is more effective and most importantly sustainable. The weight was not gained overnight, so neither should the loss.

    Anyways, i know it’s on personal finance, but knowing how well you track stuff it’d be nice to hear your journey on this cal counting too later down the road.

    1. Re: ebook – I will!

      Re: calorie counting – I did the calculation thing. My body requires 2113 calories to maintain current weight, based on my current activity (1-3 exercise per week). 1200 per day is the lowest end I’ll allow myself – most days it’ll probably be 1500 ish like that. Of course I’m eyeballing calories too and aware that we tend to underestimate it!

      But thanks for the reminder 🙂 Above losing weight I want to be healthy.

        1. Thanks for the link, Mustakim! Noted on the argument that 1200 calories is not a one-size-fits-all method. Good reminder for me 🙂

  2. Sounds like a lot of money well spent! Congrats 🙂
    I didn’t know about bookurve – will definitely have to take a look through it and will let you know about the RM 5 discount code, though I do have quite a stack of books to go through right now (ie Home Deus).

    Looking forward to your next update and the progress on the goals you’ve laid out 🙂

  3. Its a nice gesture by the teacher to include questions on Malaysia!

    How does your investment portfolio look like? Do you hold most of it in cryptocurrencies?

    1. Hi Anda,

      Yes it was more than nice, it was surreal in fact!

      My investment portfolio? I have a combination of crypto, mutual funds and gold. Have to check again the breakdown, been a while since I dissected it

  4. Hi Suraya,

    It seems like you are using a budget app? If yes, can you share whats the app name, and is it a free app? 😉

    Thanks and love your posts!

  5. I am procrastinating on my skincare ebook too 😂 haizzz so bad

    Signature Market is nice! Visited their office before during CNY and the founder is really passionate about healthy foods.

    I wished I used Wordpress when I started blogging. I jumped from Blogger to Wix and now I am having a nightmare because they are making it impossible for me to change my template or export my content #bloggerproblems

    1. HAHAHAHAHAH you too?? Omg we should do a support group rofl. Or learn from Sara of Jewelpie – she completed her ebook in just one week!

      I’ve never tried Wix, but not being able to export content sounds like a nightmare! But I have to say your website is beautiful – nice templates they have over at Wix 🙂

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