Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: September 2022 – When You Want to Travel But Have to Be Responsible

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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 September? Was it good, bad or meh?

For me, my wanderlust feeling was definitely strong in September. It was always there, but came especially strong after Japan announced they’re going to lift off visa and travel guide requirements.

Did you hear me? Japan – freaking JAPAN – will open its borders, and I really really really want to take my husband there!!

But… I am expecting a major expense next year and still paying off my home reno instalments so rationally, a big trip is not the most financially-sound option at the moment. It sucks to be responsible ๐Ÿ™

Yet, the wanderlust feeling must be curbed. So we’re making do with a short Thailand trip in November, costing less than RM1k total for 2 pax. Oh well, as long as I have something to look forward to.

Let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: September 2022

In September 2022, I spent RM8,591.90 The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Home Reno + Deco (RM1,662.63) Monthly EPP for renovation
  • Dates/Travel (RM1,318.59) – Apartment in Melaka, future trip to Thailand, dinner dates
  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,241) – Half mortgage
budget update september 2022

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 51% of my total September 2022 expenses. (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 September 2022

Here’s what I spent on in the whole month of September 2022, in their respective categories and from highest to lowest amount:

Spending notes:

  • I am only 2 payments away from finishing a RM1,013.13 monthly instalment (for home reno). Can’t wait!!
  • Irregular payments of the month – Renewed passport for RM200, dentist visit

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Had a relatively stress-free work month

In September 2022, I delivered a couple of workshops, collaborated with a few brands for their campaigns, and tried my best to think of new ways to earn money while maintaining that elusive life/work balance (same thing as work/life balance, except life comes first).

I’m happy that my new book will (hopefully) be an additional source of income. The title is yet to be determined, but the gist of the book is more or like this original title I had in mind. Expanding RoR to the Malay market is exciting and I can’t wait to promote it once it’s out!

Aside from that, I’m also contemplating a couple of courses, since I see the demand is there:

  • How to DIY your financial planning
  • How to choose and buy your own insurance

What do you think? Something you’d buy? What’s the price point? I’m thinking RM99 or so.

#2 – Short trip to Melaka

It’s been a while, Melaka! I had so much good food there:

  • Nasi ketum ayam
  • Asam pedas pari
  • Cendol
  • Sotong goreng tepung (10/10 worth another trip there)
  • Putu piring gula apong
  • Ondeh-ondeh
  • Asam pedas chips
  • And not to mention delicious food from my friend’s wedding reception

My tummy and tastebuds were so happy ๐Ÿ™‚

#3 – Found a new dentist

I was loyal to my previous dentist for a good 5 years, but she moved. Happily, a new dental office just opened near my place and I found a new dentist to be loyal to, yay ๐Ÿ™‚

#4 – Saved RM350 on invoicing platform

Decided to stop using my invoicing platform, saved RM350 (after discount). They changed the interface sometime last year and it was such a pain to use.

For now, I’ll use Canva. But will also see if there are better options for bookkeeping. Thankfully my business is fairly easy to keep records.

#5 – Appeared on..

#1 – Financial Mistakes I Should Avoid Before 30 on Twitter Spaces with Iman Publication

#6 – Misc


  • Started two books but finished none ๐Ÿ™


  • Cyberpunk on Netflix
  • Just Mercy on Netflix
  • Better with Money on Netflix

Bought for myself:

  • Some supplements
  • 2 dresses on Carousell
  • 5ml decant of my fav perfume

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Intense feeling of being stagnant

For the most part, I enjoy my work. But it’s also getting less and less fulfilling. Work is just work, and I still get things done, but it just feels monotonous.

It’s important to say here that I am NOT burned out. I’ve been there, this is not it. I would choose this job over anything else a hundred times over, I love my flexible schedule. But at the same time, I crave inspiration and motivation.

That prompted this tweet:

Thanks everyone who offered suggestions. Y’all are the best.

#2 – In worse physical shape than I thought

In the end, I was so embarrassed I quit. It’s ok, I’ll still do my swims and walks and yoga for exercise..

Things to Look Forward to:

  • My editor said my book is almost done, so I guess I’ll have to take part in marketing it. I can feel the anxiety coming.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, that was my September 2022. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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