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.
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
- Prepay cards
- International money transfers/payments
- Budgeting app
#1 – Bank Account
Primary bank: Maybank.
I have 3 savings account in there: (1) for daily use, (2) for work/business-related transactions, and (3) the 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. I ended up with Maybank because my parents opened up a Maybank Yippee account for me when I was in primary school, and ended up with CIMB because my university required me to have a CIMB bank account to receive PTPTN money.
I’d say I’m fairly happy with them, but always wondered how different the experience would be with other banks.
#2 – Credit cards
I’m a big fan of credit card as financial tool – love the cashback, points and other perks.
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’m biased, but the Maybank 2 Gold Cards mentioned above is an excellent starter credit card.
#3 – Debit cards
Debit card #1: Maybank Visa debit card.
Debit card #2: CIMB Mastercard debit card.
I withdraw ~RM500 in cash every so often just to be safe. We’re not quite a true cashless society yet.
#4 – Prepay cards
Like many of you, I use Touch N Go cards. Used to have a few of them until I lost all but one. The one I use now is the MyNews-branded one and it’s good – no RM0.50 charge for topups made at MyNews stores.
Edit: 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
I also enjoy using BigPay cards for both international travel and online shopping. It’s especially handy for signing up for recurring payment that you DON’T want to coninue paying – just freeze the card when not it use and the payments will simply not go through.
Shoutout to BigPay card for blocking a recurring payment I forgot to cancel
Shoutout to myself for remembering to freeze the card when not in use pic.twitter.com/bHqVYTSnmD
— Suraya | suraya.eth (@surayaror) November 1, 2021
#5 – E-wallets
Obviously, I have the Big Three: Grab, TnG e-wallet and Boost
I also use other e-wallets as and when it suits me. In terms of e-wallets, we’re quite spoilt for choice actually.
#6 – International money transfers/payments
(I have this because I sometimes work with international clients)
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.
Receiving money online: Payoneer vs Paypal
Current rate is USD1 = RM4.19
Payoneer’s rate USD1 = RM4.1106
Paypal’s rate USD1 = RM4.07979
Payoneer has better rates pic.twitter.com/xPtAqvLfRn
— Suraya Zainudin (@surayaror) May 29, 2019
I also use crypto wallets to receive payments in crypto. Working for crypto is how I accumulate most of my stash actually. Related: 6 Ways to Get Bitcoin for Free (for People Bullish on Bitcoin Price)
#7 – Investments
Roboadvisor/ETFs: Wahed Invest (I like that it includes US stocks; use code ‘surbin1’ to ger RM5 upon opening new account); MIDF Invest (same; got it for the exposure to US stocks market too. I got the S&P 500 Shariah).
Gold: HelloGold (primary; digital), Maybank Gold Investment Account (secondary; digital) and gold jewellery (not considered investment, but rather sentimental pieces; physical).
Crypto: Bitcoin, Ether, and a few more. Divided across a bunch of accounts, including cold wallet and multiple exchanges
- The ULTIMATE Cryptocurrency in Malaysia Guide
- Which Cryptocurrencies to Invest In? 3 Ways I Use to Decide
P2P Financing: Funding Societies. Tbh I like this investment and the profit is decent but I’m trying to phase this out as it’s my only non-Shariah compliant investment left
#8 – Retirement
Unit trust: Like many of you, I have EPF/KWSP. I also contribute to Private Retire Scheme ( via Fundsupermart). I consider these two the best investments in Malaysia and the ones you have to do before everything else.
#9 – Insurance
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.
Critical illness: Takaful Term 80 by Zurich Takaful. Recommended by my financial planner
Please note that all of my insurances is taken on my specific requirements and needs, which may be different than yours. How to get the best one for you? Well, you could (1) find insurance agents and let them recommend the best plan based on your budget, (2) hire a financial planner (best option IMHO; but need to pay), or (3) do DIY research (start with below articles)
- 4 Best Insurance in Malaysia (Especially Curated for B40 and M40)
- 9 Things You MUST Know Before Buying Insurance in Malaysia
- [SPONSORED] Learn Critical Illness Insurance in 5 Minutes
- Investment-Linked Products, As Explained By the CEO of Life Insurance Association of Malaysia
#10 – Estate-Planning
Wasiat, Hibah and Trust: Working on it! I need to do this because I’m not a big fan of faraid aka Islamic inheritance laws. It’s meant to be fair, but often not during implementation.
I also want to set up Hibah Takaful soon. Imagine only paying RM50 or so per month to leave behind 6-figures to loved ones.
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.
#12 – Budgeting app
I use Money Lover, the expense-teacking app. The graphs in my monthly budget updates all came from this app 🙂
#13 – Shopping
I pretty much never buy online without checking Shopback first.
That turned out to be a long list of financial tools..
That was a long list of financial tools, 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!
- These are not the only financial tools, 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 – which financial tools do you use? Is it similar to mine? Share in the comments, I’m really curious to find out!