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
- International money transfers/payments
- Budgeting app
- Other accounts with money inside it
Just to maintain some sort of neutrality, this article itself is free of referral links, but related articles and embedded social media posts may include links.
Primary bank: Maybank. I have 3 savings account in there: one for daily use, one for work/business-related transactions, and one which I’m too lazy to close down. I might repurpose the last one and earmark it for travel savings or something, let’s see.
Secondary bank: CIMB. Only one account. I only add money to this account if I need to pay off my CIMB credit card.
IMPORTANT: I did not open accounts at both banks by choice. My parents opened up a Maybank Yippee account for me when I was in primary school – that’s how I ended up with Maybank. My university required me to have a CIMB bank account to receive PTPTN money – that’s how I got that one. I like using Maybank WAY MORE than CIMB, but keep my CIMB account active just in case.
Credit card #1: Maybank2 Gold Card Amex card. Only for personal use.
Credit card #2: Maybank2 Gold Card Mastercard. Only for business-related expenses. Credit card #1 and #2 came together as a set.
Credit card #3: CIMB Cash Rebate Platinum Mastercard. Backup credit card.
I think 3 credit cards is enough credit cards, so I’ll stick with the personal-business-backup system for now.
Debit card #1: Maybank Visa debit card.
Debit card #2: CIMB Mastercard debit card.
Only use them for ATM withdrawals. I withdraw ~RM500 in cash every so often just to be safe. We’re not quite cashless society yet.
Pre-loaded / Loyalty cards
For public transportation: Touch N Go card. Like many of you, I have a few TnG cards until I lost them all. The one I use now is the MyNews-branded one. No RM0.50 charge for topups.
I dug out the Twitter thread about the time I lost my TnG card. Thanks everyone who advised ways to recover the lost amount (hint: keep the receipts, register the serial number)
Have you registered your details on TnG website? I lost mine also before. Called them to block the card & transfer remaining balance to my bank account.
— P&C FTT (@NadeadelaVega) July 14, 2018
For Genting Highlands: Genting Rewards Card. Got it during Good Vibes Festival 2018. They had attendants offering free drinks in exchange for signups AND we got discounts for purchases made at Resorts World. Not bad for a free card. No wonder Genting stocks do well – they’re good at giving positive experiences so you keep coming back.
For bubble tea: Tealive BInfinite Card. See my instagram post below:
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I’ve had my BInfinite @tealiveasia card for years and can say it has paid for itself a long time ago. Membership will cost you a one-off RM10.60 but you get to redeem a RM6.50 drink straightaway. You also get a free birthday drink every year, and I heard if you use @myboostapp to pay you get a free upsize too??! . (Obligatory boost referral code – ‘sur8oko’) . Tealive is practically everywhere so it’s a good waiting / hanging out spot (I’m waiting for someone at Sunway Pyramid atm). It’s better to buy a drink than walk around aimlessly in a mall and make impulse purchases correct not hahaha . Trying out their new coffee brew. Sedap. Pekat. How do you save money at your usual hangout spot? . #tealive #loyaltycard #boostapp #tealivemalaysia #personalfinancemalaysia #sunwaypyramid #discountmalaysia #binfinite
For food and entertainment: Boost, Fave and GrabPay
For e-hailing: GrabPay
Not the biggest fan but I’ll use it if there are discounts or special perks: Touch N Go, MCash, RazerPay, Maybank’s MAE
International money transfers/payments
To receive money: Paypal and Payoneer. The former is practical (it’s integrated everywhere) but the latter is the better deal to receive payments – they have lower withdrawal fees.
(I’m going to keep this section short and sweet. Instead of justifying each of them, here’s what you can invest in Malaysia with RM1000, here’s what sucks about each of them, and here’s the investments I want to do but haven’t yet)
My safe investments:
Unit trust: ASB. Took RM50k loan when I was 23. 17 years to go.
Gold: HelloGold (primary; digital), Maybank Gold Investment Account (secondary; digital) and gold jewellery (not considered investment, but rather sentimental pieces; physical).
- How to Buy Gold in Malaysia, as an Investment
- 5 Common Questions About Gold Investment, Answered
- What You Should Know About Gold Prices In 2008-2018
- 20+ Interesting Gold Coin and Gold Bar Designs
My riskier investments:
Crypto: Bitcoin, Ether, and a few more. Divided in a bunch of accounts, including cold wallet and multiple exchange and P2P platforms.
- FAQ: Everything You Should Know about Bitcoin in Malaysia, as a Newbie
- FAQ: How to Invest in Cryptocurrencies in Malaysia (Aside from Bitcoin)
- A 2-Year Review on My Bitcoin Investment
P2P Financing: Funding Societies. Easily my favourite investment now. 12.75% ROI, baby. (edit: if you’re interested to explore this option, use my referral link. Click the article below to find it. You get RM50 instead of the standard RM30 through my link)
Unit trust: EPF/KWSP. I have a small amount, earned back when I was employed. Fundsupermart – For my PRS (Private Retirement Scheme)
Medical card: AIA Public Takaful. It’s a stand-alone medical card, without investment link. I heard my particular medical card was discontinued but they will still honour existing policy holders so don’t ask me where to get it.
Personal accident: EZCover Takaful by MAA Takaful. Found and applied for it online.
Related: 44 Thoughts While Buying Myself Insurance in Malaysia (MUST READ IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR INSURANCE. Read the comments section – lots of useful info from readers!)
Wasiat: Still searching!
Accounting software: Financio (I mainly use this to generate invoices; probably under-using my account tbh) and Google Sheets to record Business Income and Expenses.
Expense-tracking: Money Lover. The graphs in my monthly budget updates all came from this app 🙂
Random accounts with money inside it
Here I’m talking about all the accounts that I have money / points that can be converted to money
Cashback: Shopback. Pretty much never buy online without checking here first.
- SiteGround. The hosting company I use for Ringgit Oh Ringgit. Related: How to Create a Blog that Doesn’t Suck & Generates Income
- Ezoic. The account I use for advertising in RoR. You need at least 10k monthly traffic but it pays higher than Adsense. Message me if you’re interested to implement Ezoic for your website.
Mobile phone: Yoodo. RM70 per month for 30GB data, 2000 minutes and NO SMS plan. You can see my reviews on this phone plan by googling ‘ringgitohringgit yoodo’.
Random places I earn referrals from include 8Coin, AirBnB, Fiverr and a few more that I’ve forgotten. They don’t make me much money but I appreciate they have the affiliates system in place anyhow.
That was a long list, wasn’t it? I’m tired, but glad that I wrote all of that down.
A few things that are immediately clear:
- Wow I use a lot of different companies for different things. Not surprising – different companies specialise in different things. Thank goodness I use a password manager to keep track of all my passwords, or I’d be overwhelmed and paranoid over security! Related: How to Digitally Protect Your Money
- These are not the only financial products and services I’ve tried. I have abandoned some which didn’t impress during the experimentation process. If I include those, this list would easily be at least twice as long!
What I want to know now is – how is your money management like, as a Malaysian? Is it similar to mine? How is it different from my money management? What other financial tools do you use? Share in the comments, I’m really curious to find out!