Category

Money Management

The Real Answer to ‘How Much Should I Spend On A Car?’

How much should I spend on a car? I’ve thought about this question many, many times.

The answer is simple: whatever is the amount, I should make sure that I can afford it. Like every other purchase.

But it’s also not that simple, because if it is, how come 1 out of 4 bankruptcies in Malaysia is due to car loans?

If you’ve been wondering how much you should spend on a car and avoid it being repossessed by the bank, here are some answers. Thanks to all contributions from the RoR audience!

#1 – How many % of monthly salary to go towards car payment?

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All the Financial Tools I Use for My Own Money Management (Malaysia-Specific)

The other day I was listing out all the financial tools that I personally use for money management in my notebook, and the list got kinda long.

That got me thinking – all of you must have your own money management system, right? Even if it’s in your head, even if it’s messy. You know, more or less, that the money in account X is for daily use and the money in account Y is earmarked for, say, retirement.

I did that list because (1) it’s good to know exactly what I have and what I use it for and (2) I don’t want to accidentally forgot about an account, which happens more often than you’d think (that’s why there’s over RM5.77 billion in unclaimed money???).

So here you go – an article compiling all the financial tools I use for my own money management. Please don’t @ me if any of them sucks for you – they’re just the best option for my situation right now – I’m not loyal to any of them and happy to switch to better solutions as and when it suits me. Also please don’t take anything here as investment advice.

The financial tools are arranged in this order:

  • Bank account
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Pre-loaded/Loyalty cards
  • E-wallets
  • International money transfers/payments
  • Investment
  • Retirement
  • Insurance
  • Estate-planning
  • Accounting
  • Budgeting app
  • Other accounts with money inside it
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How to Avoid Islamic Inheritance Laws in Malaysia

There are many things I love about Islam. But the default faraid laws or Islamic inheritance laws is not one of it. Islamic inheritance laws stipulate that male relatives shall receive at least twice the amount of female relatives (of equal standing). The determinant factor is literally… genitals.

Islamic Inheritance Laws is Not Fairly Implemented and That Sucks

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[SPONSORED] 4 Lesser-Known Tips to Get The Best Credit Card in Malaysia (For You)

EDIT: This is a sponsored post for BBazaar Malaysia, but they have since exited the Malaysian market. Took out all their links, but the content itself is evergreen

Choosing the best credit card in Malaysia is like choosing dates on Tinder. Sometimes, you accidentally ignore the good cards (fast left swipes). Sometimes, the cards themselves beg for your attention (superlikes). And sometimes, the cards you want are not available to you (they didn’t swipe right for you..).

It can be a frustrating search process. You thought you have a lot of choices, but why is none of them suitable? But eventually you’ll find that perfect match for you, and you’ll never imagine life without them. Amirite, Tinder couples reading this?

Tinder analogy aside, credit cards really are great financial tools. I use them to earn points, shop (online and offline), make instalments on larger purchases and top up e-wallets (usually for the discounts).

If you can practice habits that make you a responsible card user – like paying off all bills in full at the end of the month and not treating it as ‘free money’ – I’d recommend you to get one. They can help you build a good DSR score, too – good if you’re planning to buy a house in the future.

Here are some lesser-known tips I can offer you.

Tip #1 – Always start with the process of elimination

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How Expense Tracking Looks Like (As Someone Who Doesn’t ‘Budget’)

If you’re a regular reader here at Ringgit Oh Ringgit, you know that I share my monthly expenses every. single. month.

The reason why I prefer expense tracking rather than budgeting is simple: it just works ridiculously well for me. All I have to do is record all my expenses and suddenly my financial life is just better, more organised, data-driven.

I don’t have to stress about keeping my expenses in one particular category under a certain amount, because I know that as long as it averages out okay in the bigger picture, I’m good.

(Example: Buying groceries in bulk will increase my groceries expenses in that month but lower them in subsequent months.)

This article is how about how it works. 

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24 People Share The Last Thing They Bought Online

I can’t be the only one curious about other people’s online purchasing habits, right? 😛

Recently, I asked the RoR community on Facebook about the last thing they bought online. There were some really great answers, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to share those here, because they’re fun to read! Plus, lots of money-saving tips too! You guys make me proud!

Bought Cheaper Items/Services Online

1. Gina Ee – “A face guasa board from Lazada for only RM8 per piece, instead of about RM20 sold offline. It’s a resin board made for traditional Chinese method facial and body massage.”

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Reviews of All The Ewallets in Malaysia I’ve Tried

As a finance geek, I enjoy trying out new fintech products, including ewallets. It’s fun exploring what kind of perks and cashbacks each of them offer.

Ewallets in Malaysia  – The Current Scenario

There are many companies trying to enter and compete in the ewallets scene in Malaysia. Last I checked, BNM listed 37 non-bank e-money issuers. I’m sure that list will keep growing in the next few years.

In time, I think we will see a few clear winners in this ewallet race, like what happened with Alipay in China. But for now, potential customers like you and me can have fun and enjoy being courted by these companies. Some of them are pretty generous with their welcome or referral bonuses – good for us!

Here are reviews of all the ewallets in Malaysia that I’ve tried out so far, and what I like about them. I have excluded banks and crypto ewallets from this list.

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How Much I Spend On Beauty

Sara of Jewelpie.com recently published how much she spent on beauty products. Loved it and was immediately inspired to show mine too!

To be fair, I don’t have a specific category for beauty costs. Most of the time they’re chucked in either Misc Needs or Misc Wants. If I needed those things urgently for an event or something, they’re logged into Misc Needs. If they’re just things I randomly picked up due to shopping mood, then they’re under Misc Wants.

Unlike Sara, I don’t know how much I spent on beauty annually. It fluctuates a lot – most of the time I keep it simple and spend very little, but I also did a RM3,600 dermafiller injection procedure, so that throws the whole annual average out of whack.

Doing things a bit differently, I drew out in my notebook: beauty expenses I spend on with the price range, what I splurge/skimp on, a frugal beauty habit, guilty pleasure and a beauty wishlist.

How Much I Spend On Beauty, A Visualisation

Analysing my beauty spending, I can see I prioritise services more than products. I am most satisfied by the more expensive ones, with the sole exception of eyebrow shaping – the eyebrow threading at Indian beauty shops are amazing and cheap, love them.

As for my makeup, it’s usually quite minimal. I only splurge on two things: sunscreen and eyeliner. Everything else I use regularly – face powder, eyebrow pencil, blush, lipstick, etc – is either cheap drugstore brands or gifted. I used to buy and use moisturisers, but now my skincare routine is mainly face masks + serum samples. Those little packs lasts for a surprisingly long time! I love getting them.

Do you know how much YOU spend on beauty expenses? What are beauty products or procedures you can’t live without? What’s in your wishlist, and what’s your guilty pleasure? What do you splurge and skimp on? Share with us!

Also, let me know what you think of the drawing! Don’t know if I should continue making more graphics and showing my notebook entries. See if this post got love or not 😛

Money Emergencies and How They Eff Up My Budget

money emergencies

I track my spending. All of it. In an app. Each purchase gets categorised – for example, rent money goes under the ‘Rent’ category and Tesco bill goes under the ‘Groceries’ category.

One of the categories is ‘Misc Needs’ – things that I have to buy anyway, but they don’t occur often enough to have their own category. They tend to be ‘money emergencies’. For example, things I have to fix or replace. But they’re also things I *have* to do, like haircuts.

I just want to share my observations about my spending patterns in this budget category.

Observation #1:  I think I’ve somehow upgraded my lifestyle in 2017

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