Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: September 2021 – Transitioning to Endemic

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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!

How was your September? Did life change – and for better or for worse?

September was a good month for me. As a nation, we are transitioning to post-lockdown, endemic life. Somehow, my closest family and friends have escaped the worse outcomes of the pandemic. There will be some changes, but things are slowly getting ‘back to normal’.

I’m grateful for so many things: to be able to reconnect with loved ones, after not seeing them for months. Grateful that work is still stable. Grateful to have a wonderful life partner, who has been the most amazing companion in lockdown life. Any and all grievances are minor at most. I know I am lucky.

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: September 2021

In September 2021, I spent RM10,706.53. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Business (RM3,283.18) – Graphic designer, CFP Module 4 fee (!! final!), extra financial calculation class, course, accounting software annual fee
  • Donations & Gifts (RM2,529.50) – WAO, Dad’s dusun project, Rider tips, Friend’s bday
  • Utilities & Rent (RM1,220.14) – Gotta keep a roof over our heads

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 71% of my total September 2021 expenses.

My Spending Breakdown in September 2021

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of September 2021, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Enjoying the loosened restrictions

So happy to be able to meet family members again, and to be able to take short holidays. As much as I like staying home, I am also someone who craves experiences and novelty so the weekend spent in KL completely rejuvenated me. We had fun eating and shopping and pretending we were in Japan haha

To be safe, we took the COVID test a few days after returning. Happy to say both of us tested negative, yay 🙂 Can do these types of trips again, yay 🙂

#2 – Passed my CFP Module 3 exam!

Q3 2021 is going to be SO BUSY for me but final module, here we go!

#3 – A great month for affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of my income sources, and usually I earn an extra few hundred/thousand per month from it, depending on the month. However in September 2021, one of my posts did extra well and I earned my highest ever income from affiliate marketing.

#4 – Gave 1 talk

I did:

  • Types of Passive Income with MyAgeing™️ Financial Literacy and Educational Hub (MyFiLE), UPM

#5 – Started home renovation/ home decoration journey

We are about to get the keys to our new home soon, which is very exciting! I have added Home Reno + Deco in my expense tracking app to keep track of the whole cost.

My current game plan is (scroll right):

#6 – Crossed 3 million views

HUGE milestone reached! Thank you so much for supporting!!

#7 – Misc

Read three books:

  • Write Yourself Happy: The Art of Positive Journalling by Megan C Hayes, PhD (see review below)
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behaviour by Thomas Erikson (not the biggest fan of the Red/Yellow/Green/Blue profiling – Big 5 is better. Still an okay read though)
  • Surrounded by Psychopaths: How to Protect Yourself from Being Exploited by Others Thomas Erikson (see review below)

Noteworthy shows:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 & 2 on Disney Hotstar
  • Only Murders in the Building on Disney Hotstar
  • Cruella on Disney Hotstar
  • Kate on Netflix
  • Elysium on Netflix

Bought for myself:

  • New York Times subscription
  • Hair perm
  • 3 tank tops (RM11.34 including shipping! Proud of myself)
  • More cosmetics
  • A few books
  • A fake plant

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Don’t know if my efforts are working

I’m aware I’m doing many things at the same time and sometimes I worry about spreading myself too thin, and end up not achieving anything at all, despite all the effort I put into it.

I don’t know. All I can do now is to continue the work and trust the process, even though I’m not seeing any immediate improvements at the moment.

#2 – Got grey hair-shamed

I have grey hair and I’m okay with it, but the folks at the hair salon made a big deal out of it and keep mentioning their clients who come for hair colouring and root touch-up sessions.

The hair perm itself was good, I like how my hair turned out. But dowan go there anymore.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Starting my CFP Module 4 classes
  • Completing work for various clients. Bracing myself to go through my busiest period yet.

Well, that was my September 2021. 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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