I spent RM21,407 in October 2018. It sounds like a lot (it is), but almost three-quarters of that was a gift to my parents. I’m sponsoring their umrah trip.
When I was growing up, I heard how my parents – then newlyweds and financially struggling – saved a portion of their salaries every month. They told me the bottom of their car had a hole in it, and they didn’t even buy a bed until much later and simply slept on a thin mattress on the floor. They saved aggressively so my dad could afford to send his mom, my late grandmother, to hajj.
My parents have already completed the hajj, but they constantly talk about going back to Mecca so sponsoring their trip has always been in my bucket list. In October 2018, I transferred over RM15,580 so both of them could go for their umrah next year, in January 2019, under Tabung Haji. My mom was so touched, she cried. I feel happy knowing that my money can give them this kind of happiness.
What do you save up for your parents? Is there something you know for sure they’ll appreciate?
First off, I want to say that most players in the financial ecosystem are important*. Not even going to deny it. Like banks for example – they provide tons of job opportunities, safekeeping of funds, access to financial services and overall contribution to the country’s financial health.
*most are important except the Ponzi people and other scammers. I pray they will miss all the connection flights in their lifetime
But let’s go beyond the friendly, approachable image the financial industry like to portray to the world. Here are 4 things you should know about the financial ecosystem we live in.
#1 – Banks use the money you deposit to make more money
For the most part, I think I’m doing this financial thing right. I think.
And then I look at my financial to-do list, and go like, uuuggghhh Suraya why you so lazy one to get these done??
You probably have a running financial to-do list too. It may be written down somewhere, or it may be casually stored in your head. I thought it might be fun to share how mine looks like. So every time I open my own website I’ll keep being reminded of it. Hopefully that’ll pressure me to finally take action :p
Here are 9 things in my financial to-do list that I keep putting off..
When it comes to mutual funds and unit trusts, always follow this golden rule – the less fees, the better.
Those of you with mutual funds/unit trusts with 3% fees or more. You might want to check out this article. You’re losing way too much. A ridiculous amount.
I just checked my own portfolio. I have ASB (0.35% per annum management fee) and a PRS fund (1.5% per annum management fee). Both should be okay, since for the latter I got RM500 free from gomen (it’s RM1000 free now for under 30 years old) and up to RM3000 in tax rebate too.
(Out of curiosity. Those of you who took mutual funds and unit trusts by popular fund managements companies like Kenanga and Public Mutual. How much do they charge as management fee?)
EDIT: I’ve heard anecdotes that you can call them up to nego and reduce your management fees down to 2%. Worth a try if your fee now damn high and you don’t want to stop contributing there.
Confession: My bank account was dangerously low all throughout September 2018, and I almost had to dip into my savings, if not for payments from clients that arrived at the end of the month. If I ration it out properly, it should support me until the end of the year.
Now, what I really want to do with the money is invest it. I want to add more gold to my investment portfolio – the price seems great now. I saw a property in the RM500k range that looks promising as rental unit. I want to take another ASB loan to max it out.
But no action was taken yet. My excuse is that I don’t know when is my next big paycheck, so I should just leave all the money in my bank account ‘just in case’.
Isn’t that a stupid excuse for not investing? Rationally, I know I can just set aside a small amount of money every month – small but regular contributions are better than no contributions – so why do I still have this ‘go big or go home’ mentality? Why do I stop myself from investing when I can’t commit large amounts like RM3k and above in one go?
Does anyone else do this? How do you overcome the mental barrier and force yourself to invest anyway? Got advice for me?
When Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia – PIDM for short – contacted me about doing a paid collaboration, I was confused. Unlike other sponsored post inquiries I get, PIDM has no products or services to sell. If anything, their services are (1) free and (2) automatic.
Then they told me their reasons. They’re to:
Promote awareness on PIDM’s protection services so that people are assured that their deposits, takaful and insurance benefits are safe;
Inform which financial products are protected to prevent scams by unscrupulous parties, and;
Let people know what they should do IN CASE their banks, takaful and insurance companies go bankrupt (stay calm, see #3).
So apparently – and I didn’t know about this before – there are people out there who scam your family and friends because they don’t know about PIDM?? That is horrible! And this is why PIDM wants to tell the public who they are and what they do!
So I said yes, and together we created this plain-English article about what PIDM does.
Here are some types of investments that I have: mutual funds/unit trust, gold and crypto.
This article is all about investments I don’t have yet, but always been curious to try. I may or may not proceed with one or any of them in the future. It’s just to show you what I’ve done about them so far, and why I didn’t proceed with them yet.
This whole blogging thing. It wasn’t intentional. I mean, it was, the whole writing part was. But the recognition that comes with it, the knowledge that what I write and say has some form of influence… that part wasn’t intentional at all. Truthfully I’m still shocked by this blog’s success. The total number of visits crossed the one million mark recently. One million!
Here are some personal thoughts, observations and reflections on being a personal finance blogger in Malaysia.
Disclaimer: I received a test unit for the purpose of this review. The unit will be returned. All the opinion below is mine. EDIT: 1.5 months after this article was published, they offered me the phone. I accepted and currently using it.
I love Xiaomi products – I own two of their phones (using the Redmi Note 4 now), the powerbank and the earphones. I’ve written and promoted them before this, here and here.
In July, I got the opportunity to test out the Xiaomi MiA2 phone. I was particularly excited about it, because I’ve always wanted a phone with good camera, but those don’t come cheap does it? The Twitter crowd confirmed this.
Let’s face it: Malaysia is NOT a good place for LGBT individuals to freely express themselves. But no one can choose where they’re born at, can they? Discrimination is sadly common, usually justified by religion.
If you disagree with ‘the LGBT lifestyle’, I ask for your empathy. This is not a ‘guide to be gay’ article, this is a ‘what to do when you need help’ article. Know the distinction. Don’t kick people when they’re down. No religion teaches that.
This article answers the following questions (in order):
My family kicked me out after they find out I’m gay / lesbian / bisexual / trans / queer. What can I do?
I need to check my STD / HIV / AIDS status and find out where to find information about medical help, treatment and support
My colleagues at work are bullying me because of my sexual orientation / gender identity. I need the job. What can I do?
I need to talk to someone. What are my options?
My gender does not align with the sex I was born with. How can I transition and what kind of expenses can I expect?
I can no longer/do not want to stay in Malaysia. What can I do?
I am in a committed, if unrecognised relationship with my partner. If anything happens to me, how can make sure she/he can inherit my money and properties?
I don’t have immediate problems but would like to prepare myself financially, in case anything happens. What can I do?
I’m LGBT individual / ally with financial means. How can I help?