Suraya's Monthly Budget Update

Budget Update: September 2023 – Work Hard, Play Hard

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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, September 2023 was amazing – personal life, family life, work life – everything was good. Work hard, play hard described the month very well.

On work life, I was blessed with work opportunities with amazing clients (more on that below, under Yay of the Month). I get to test out a new toy, too – bought myself the Boyalink microphone so I can record and create new types of content.

Speaking of buying, I am definitely undoing last month’s decluttering efforts lol. Bought myself some new clothes, accessories and beauty products. It’s fun, but I have to remember not to make these splurges a habit. MindFUL consumption is fine. MindLESS is not.

Now let’s get on to the budget part.

Budget Update: September 2023

In September 2023, I spent RM6,025.48. The top 3 top expenses were:

  • Utilities & Mortgage (RM1,371) – Half mortgage
  • Groceries (RM868.55) – Gotta eat
  • Donations & Gifts (RM684.42) – Parents’ electric bill

Cumulatively, the top 3 expenses make up 50% of my total September 2023 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 2023

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

Yay of the Month:

#1 – Earned RM1k from my Shopee shop

My little Shopee shop hit RM1k in sales! Yayyy!!!

Selling digital products on Shopee is not like selling physical products. You need to submit (and wait for) a special form to allow virtual delivery. I didn’t know about this and spent a week and a half trying to figure it out.

But, as Marie Forleo said, everything is figureoutable 🙂 So now you can buy the How to Buy Your Own Damn Insurance/Takaful course, as well as my books Money Stories from Malaysians vol 1 and 2 on Ringgit Oh Ringgit shop at

#2 – Delivered personal finance workshops at Zurich Malaysia’s Kita OK Karnival

The biggest THANK YOU to Zurich Malaysia and the organisers for having me as a speaker at Kita OK! Karnival at Central Market on 23 and 24 September!

THANK YOU as well for everyone who attended. I had fun meeting some of you in real life :))

By the way, you should check out, Zurich’s FREE DIY financial planning tool.

I’ve tried it out. Inputted my numbers and desired retirement age and it immediately told me I don’t have enough haha. But the cool part is it’ll tell me how much more I need if I want to reach that goal.

All in all, fun platform to play around with. Worth a try.

#3 – Went to Malaysia ICT Summit 2023

Actually, the Malaysia ICT Summit 2023 was a week-long event so I should clarify I went to the Huawei Cloud Summit, or specifically the Fintech session.

5G and cloud technology was legit so cool, I had fun exploring the Exhibition area. You can see what I saw and earned in this summary video.

Btw what do you think of the video editing??? I’m new at this, feedback welcomed!

#4 – Exchanged Maybank TreatPoints into cash vouchers

I looked through the Maybank TreatPoints catalogue… and decided on RM300 worth of AEON Big cash vouchers lol. Made the redemption online and the gift cards arrived within a few days, super efficient.

Here’s to lower groceries expenses in October!

#5 – Attended weddings

In September 2023, I attended two weddings – my brother’s, and my husband’s cousin.

Both were fun and memorable. Food was great! And I didn’t spend that much on outfits too.

#6 – Misc

Read 1 book:

  • Eve: Memoirs of an International Sex Worker by Annika Cleeve

Bought for myself:

  • Boyalink (this will go under business expense tehehe)
  • Tymo hairdryer
  • 2 pants
  • A bag
  • Ballerina flats by Oxwhite
  • Earrings
  • A grey dress
  • 2 pairs of Bata sandals (ended up gave it to Mom and sister)
  • A haircut
  • Google One storage

Nay of the Month:

#1 – Hit by Google update, web traffic affected

Google rolled out their latest web updates and looking at the data, seems like was also a little bit affected.

I mean it’s not as bad as some other website owners (some said half their traffic is gone???) but I was hoping my traffic would be positively affected, so that bummed me out.

Oh well. As they say, keep calm and continue on.

Things to Look Forward to:

  • Continuing to sell more courses and books on my Shopee shop
  • Reading books and writing articles

Well, that was my September 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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