good with money

35 Things That Happen When You’re Good With Money

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I notice that these things happen to people who are good with money. Not saying I’m that great (OK OK only), but I try. They are based on personal experience and anecdotes collected from various personal finance-related forums, blogs and other sources online.

These are meant to be humourous, so don’t take them too seriously!

1. You walk aimlessly at the mall after finding yourself there out of habit. You don’t really have anything to buy, and you don’t really feel like window-shopping. Also, you don’t want to look at things too closely in case you’ll like it and spend money on it just out of boredom. Related: My ‘I Want This, But I Won’t Buy It’ List

2. Plus, you know prices at malls tend to be higher anyway – you’ve done your fair share of cost-comparison on online commerce platforms.

You also know that shops like to artificially inflate the price and slash it down so it looks like it’s on sale but it’s actually not. That item at AEON, marked down from RM119 to RM89, is actually RM68 on Lazada.  

It annoys you but you continue to wander around aimlessly because you have time to kill and the aircon is free so why not.

3. You might want to get a snack at the mall simply because you’re bored. Eh, might as well go all the way to the grocery shop at basement level and get some bananas. Cheaper and healthier than Boost Juice.

4. Still at the mall. You saw a shop that you used to heavily frequent. You used to spend a lot of money there. ‘Ah, I was so young then,’ you thought. Sometimes you go in for nostalgia’s sake but you never buy anything. You know it’s hard to stop at just one item so you’d rather not start.

5. You like to bring a water bottle even though it makes your bag heavy because you’ll be damned if you have to pay RM2.00 for plain water wtf.

6. Sometimes you calculate things based on the hours you have to work for it. Say your salary is RM3000 after all deductions, and you work 40 hours a week. Your hourly pay is effectively RM18.75.

Effectively, that Starbucks drink costs one working hour, what! That clear plastic jacket – you have no idea why it’s considered trendy, so ugly actually – costs 10 hours, crazy!

7. You develop an internal value-for-money-o-meter. You’d rather buy something for RM100 that you can use 100 times than buy something for RM20 that you can only use once. With a tinge of sadness, you put back the sleek leather biker jacket that costs RM299. You ain’t a biker, girl. Put it back, good girl.

8. You’re also incredibly honest about your likelihood of using a product. That air fryer is great, sure, yup reduced calories are awesome. But you don’t really cook fried stuff that often so why even bother considering it?

You look elsewhere. Oh look a noodle maker. Sure, I guess making your own noodles can be a bragging point at parties. But you remember that time you almost choked on noodles once, and who are we kidding the person who brings the desserts get the spotlight anyway not the person who bring the noodles.

You walk away.

9. Most things in your wardrobe match each other. You tell yourself that your favourite colour is red, but the evidence shows otherwise.

Related: Save Money on Fashion: 5 Steps I Use to Optimise My Clothing Budget

10. Your shoes are all or mostly black. What’s not to love? They match everything in your wardrobe, and they don’t stain easily.

11. Your bags tend to be in neutral colours: white, grey, khaki, navy, brown, black, black, black.

12. You have a big ‘going out’ bag. You stuff a lot of things in there, to avoid having to buy them for emergencies. This includes, but not limited to: water, wet wipes, paracetamol, band-aids, umbrella, pens, etc.

13. You might have a collection – DVDs, figurines, games, jewellery, perfume, whatever – but you stopped actively collecting them. You hope your friends and family will help you grow your collection when it’s birthday season. Or, you know, if you happen to find an insanely good deal.

14. You’re impressed by a person’s personality, and not what they own. You are confused by phrases like, ‘Dia bawak BMW siot’ or ‘Perggh beg Hermes tu’. You are quite aware that actual rich people don’t actually look rich.

15. Likewise, you’re impressed by what people learn on their travels rather than where they went. ‘I went to London for holiday’. ‘OK’. ‘There was this part in the tour where they explained how Protestant Anglican Church came about. Apparently the King wanted a divorce way back then but the Pope was like nope cannot so he created a new branch of Christianity lol’. ‘OMG really tell me more!’


16. When you travel, you really like to visit… grocery stores. Like, going to Tesco in Thailand was downright joyful. You get to see what locals like to buy, in real-time! It’s the best!

17. You are weirdly affectionate to your rice cooker. Matilda can do many things, she’s indispensable <3

18. Having the same meal for two, three days in a row doesn’t bother you, but it does bother Jason your colleague. “I can’t, I must have different things,” he said haughtily as you showed him the fried rice you packed for lunch.

You considered telling him that this version of fried rice is different – you added soy sauce and a vegetable side dish. You know its hella delicious, but you also know Jason doesn’t care, so you shrug and tuck in anyway. Jason sucks. 

19. That feeling of happiness when you get an item you needed anyway at a great price… sigh…. it makes you feel warm inside for weeks.

20. You time your purchases based on cashback. Extra 5% cashback for petrol on weekends, and fuel running low? Better drive without aircon on Friday. 

21. You don’t understand why people don’t get phone cases with front covers or at least put screen covers. Are they in denial or something? It falls down a lot, and screen replacements are expensive yo.

22. You make do with a lot of things before replacing them. That torn pair of jeans… eh can still sit down strategically, it’ll be fine.

23. Your underwear have holes in them. They can survive one more wear, you tell yourself for the umpteenth time.

24. Sometimes, you find yourself wanting something that is strictly a ‘want’, not a ‘need’. You hold it and try to talk yourself out of it. The shop assistant finds you annoying because you keep coming back week after week just to look at it.

It’s worth the wait though because hey now it’s on sale. You only get the things that fit into your ‘entertainment’ budget for the month.

25. You have tried various money-saving hacks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That time you tried the ‘no-poo’ movement – wash hair with just baking powder and apple cider vinegar – still haunts you. You still don’t like the smell of vinegar after that little experiment.

Related: 50 Ways to Save Money in Malaysia, From Easy to Impossible

26. Sometimes you wish you’re the kind of person who change hair colour and styles based on whim. But those require a lot of money to maintain, so you always dismiss the idea. You still like looking at them on Instagram though.

27. You used to wear contacts until you came to term with glasses. Eh at least I look smarter, you said.

28. You have a personal best in ‘how many days can I go without spending money in strictly unnecessary things’.

29. You downright LOVE throwing away an empty case after you used up all the product in it. Ah, the feeling of money well-spent, right to the last drop…

30. Regardless of your age and gender, you have an Asian auntie’s soul. You have a plastic bag full of plastic bags. You reuse food tupperware.

31. You like those cute notebooks but you never buy them. Why buy if conferences and events always give out notebooks for free?

32. Ditto pens.

33. Opening your online bank accounts doesn’t fill you with dread. You feel proud of the number. There’s a slight flash of ‘omg what can I buy with this eh’, which disappears as quick as it comes. It became natural for you to ignore that feeling.

34. You regularly transfer a portion of that money to your investment account, feeling proud and shit. 

35. You generally feel proud of yourself for adulting right 🙂

Which of the above do you relate to? 😉

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  1. ‘There was this part in the tour where they explained how Protestant Church came about. Apparently the King wanted a divorce way back then but the Pope was like nope cannot so he created a new branch of Christianity lol’.

    That’s the history of the Anglican church. History of the Protestant church is that a monk actually read the Bible and got pissed off that nobody in the Church was actually doing what Jesus said, so he posted a big rant on social media (he nailed a scroll on a door: and then hundred of thousands of people died in the resulting flame wars over the next few centuries.

    1. ‘so he posted a big rant on social media (he nailed a scroll on a door’


      ‘and then hundred of thousands of people died in the resulting flame wars over the next few centuries.’

      oh. not lol.

  2. Point 6 is definite extreme! wish i could think of that way ahead so that i can ensure my stuff is always appropriate with my earnings. I think you should write another article of “kiamsiap things you do to save money”. Would be funny and aspring. You never know what can one do. I personally has couple of kiamsiap plans to do once I move out from my parents house.

    1. Lol is it extreme? It’s pretty common among personal finance folks. You do buy products with your time what :p Now the question is, is the product worth the time you spent working for it.

      Re: kiamsap article – that’s an angle! I’ll have a think about it, thanks for the suggestion Amalina!

  3. Extension of no.33.
    Instead of thinking of spending when you see the number on your bank account, you think of “ok if I can just add another rmxxx to this amount next month then…” and it repeats every month

  4. Great read, had me giggling!
    The value of money can be explained to my son through the cost of a pizza a school – well if we get that it will cost 10 pizza’s! LOL

  5. I accidentally read…

    ‘…You stuff a lot of things in there, to avoid having to buy them for emergencies. This includes, but not limited to: water, water pipes…’ Hmm, makes sense, wait what – 😂

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