Oh my, my expenses in October 2019 was in the RM6k, almost RM7k range again. Urk. Business, Utilities & Rent and Insurance & Medical expenses took the bulk of it though. Even after all this time, even knowing how I shouldn’t skimp on these expenses, I still wishfully dream for under-RM3k monthly expenses.
Is that kind of monthly expense realistic, though? To thrive (not merely survive), at least RM4k+ per month is needed no? I know that many companies advertise jobs with starting pay of RM2.2, RM2.5k. And they expect people to be able to ration that out all thoughout the month?
And I guess other people got sick of that unrealistic expectations too, because boy did this tweet go viral:
So sick and tired of all the personal finance advice that accuses Malaysians of not saving enough money when the biggest reason is actually freaking low wages
Yes, YES, we *could* live on that amount. If we *only* spend on what we need to spend on to just live, we could.
BUT that would mean a living a life devoid of any entertainment, any leisure, any trips home to see the family, any activities with friends, any personal fulfilment, any meaning. How DARE they judge every single bubble tea, every nice meal we have, when that could be the only thing that makes life tolerable for us.
Sometimes I forget how different people value different things. Who am I to decide or judge how you interpret happiness?
I think it’s time to retire ‘buy experiences, not things’ from my personal finance approach. Instead, I will use the phrase ‘intentional spending’ instead, the opposite of ‘mindless spending’. I want to be more mindful of what I spend on, regardless whether they are experiences or things.
And thus, I find myself buying non-thrifted art for the first time. I’ve never allowed this purchase for myself. I’ve never bought something beautiful for the sake of it being beautiful. Whatever pretty knick-knacks I have, must also be practical: think boxes, containers, pillows, candles.
Have you ever used learning as an excuse to NOT do something? Like, in a “oh I can’t possibly do that yet, I’m still learning about it” way.
Yeah. Hi. Can I join the club?
Creating video content is that thing that I’m forever ‘learning’. So far, in the last couple of years, I’ve:
Asked many people for advice
Bought some equipment
Bought a video-editing software
Bought and went through courses (including one in August designed to conquer the fear of being on camera, a course called ‘Confidence on Camera’)
Made a looooong list of possible video content angles
And yet – and yet! – at time of writing, I still can’t bring myself to actually do it. The only reason why I have a Ringgit Oh Ringgit Youtube channel set up (if you want to be an early subscriber…) is because I need a place to house a collaboration video done with HelloGold.
On one hand, ok fine baby steps. On another hand, this baby needs to grow the hell up.
Someone smack some sense into me please. Or suggest video content you want to watch, maybe that might help. I don’t know.
What a memorable month. More about that under ‘Yay of the month’ section below.
For the past few months, I’ve battled my ‘solopreneur’ identity quite a bit. I feel like I should take advantage of this momentum I’m having and expand, get a team under the Ringgit Oh Ringgit brand. I thought of hiring a team of writers and video editors, create more content.
But slowly, through personal reflection, I figured out that (a) I’m really happy being a one-person team, (2) I have no desire to be the boss of anybody, and (c) having a team would require an office, and I worked so hard so I didn’t have to *go* to an office every day.
Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future. Maybe that’ll still happen, out of necessity or change of heart. But for now, I’m loving the way I work. I can still outsource if the workload gets too much. I can still collaborate with other people to create content that I can’t personally create.
Any of you consider yourself solopreneurs? Do you plan on staying that way or planning to expand? Let me know in the comments section.
An okay month, budget-wise. Things slow down due to fasting season, less events and meetups than usual. That gave me more time to spend on online courses.
The one I’m enlisted in now, Dream Job course by Ramit Sethi, has a component forcing me to identify and list down my mental barriers, or negative beliefs that stop me from achieving whatever it is that I want to achieve.
After taking some time to think about it, I came up with 6 mental barriers that I personally have:
Fear in managing a team. This has kept me as a solopreneur all this while, a one-person team. I realise that while I can grow fast, I can’t grow far without hiring people.
Hard to get out of scarcity mindset. It’s not as bad as before, but my default is still to save money rather than earn money.
Need to improve my presentation & speech skills. It can be better. It can always be better.
Stingy with higher-cost self-development tools and courses. Self-explanatory.
Don’t like working with VIPs or bigshots. So I prefer not having them as clients, despite the big paychecks. I’m okay with this barrier actually.
Uncomfortable with outbound sales. I guess the solution for this is to be really, really good with inbound sales.
‘Fixing’ myself will be a process, hopefully a fun and fulfilling one. I just want to be the best version of myself, you know? After talking to some friends, a few suggested going to Toastmasters meetups to improve on #3.
If anyone has more suggestions on how I can improve my presentation skills, I’m all ears 🙂 Been getting more speaking and presenting gigs nowadays. I just want to do a good job and be worth people’s time.
In April 2019, I spent just under RM6k, inclusive of Zakat payment. That’s alright, I guess.
Okay let’s talk about something else. I like brainstorming for different ways to make money – regular readers know that. Recently, I thought of two more ways in addition to what I’m already doing now.
Coaching services – Not for financial planning, but for financial organisation. I’m good at tracking my expenses, putting them neatly in categories, and reviewing them regularly to look for patterns. It’s a service I can sell on an individual or group basis.
Personal finance retreat – Think of it like yoga retreat but for financial mindset. I figure this is a good way to get a fully-paid retreat for myself while helping others at the same time.
Which one would you join?
Again, both are in the consideration stage, nothing’s concrete yet, they just sound fun and financially worthwhile to do. I’d probably give early access and get beta testers from email subscribers, so join the mailing list if you’re interested.
Wake up. Brush teeth. Make coffee, have breakfast. Check my daily to-do list. Anxiety. Take out phone, scroll online for hours for distraction. Tell myself to get back to work. Anxiety. Find food to eat. Repeat until midnight. Repeat for days on end.
January 2019 should have represented a new start and a new beginning, but it didn’t, at least not for me. For much of the month, I was stuck in a destructive procrastination mode. I’d spend hours mindlessly scrolling the web and eating comfort food, knowing that those behaviours are my unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Guys. I want to do so many things. I want to achieve so many things. But they’re overwhelming and I fear failure and instead of rising up to the challenge, I… get anxious instead. When I feel that way I just want to distract myself (phone) or feel comforted (food).
Does this happen to you? What do you do to break yourself out of that spell?