Welcome to the What’s In My Bag: Malaysia Personal Finance Content Creators Edition!
For International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020, I thought it would be fun to play around with the theme, #EachforEqual, and ask my fellow personal finance content creators about something that enables their personal and work lives: the contents of their bags.
To put simply, what do we carry around with us to get. shit. done?
Enjoy this peek into our bags, and by extension, our lives. This list is in no particular order.
What’s in my bag:
- Wallet : ID, Debit Cards, Cash, receipts
- Coin purse
- House keys
- Car keys
- Work phone
- Personal phone
- Organza bag: includes earphones, highlighters, black ball point pen, mints, mouth freshener, fragrance, lipbalm, eyedrops
- To do list book
- Book for ideas
- Water Bottle
Why is it in my bag?
I am highly dependent and addicted to most of what’s in this bag.
First off, water. I NEED to have a bottle of water near me at all times because I’m always thirsty and it’s also a great way to save money by not needing to make a purchase to quench my thirst. Got this trusty thermos from the Luno launch in their goodie bag.
The next needs are my house keys and car keys for obvious reasons. My wallet and coin purse are pretty helpful in housing my financial needs, they were gifts from my boyfriend 6 years and 4 years ago respectively.
I have two phones as I work in sales and I made a conscious choice of separating my phone lines. I wanted to be able to be intentional with my time spent on texts, emails and calls for work versus for leisure and so far, I’m happy to say it’s been a dream! I bought my iPhone 8 and the other is my dad’s old phone.
I have earphones (came with iPhone 8 purchase) handy to listen to an audiobook on my phone or videos on YouTube.
I carry a notebook, a pen and highlighters to jot down ideas and brainstorm new videos for my YouTube channel and my To-Do-List planner helps me stay on track of all things urgent, important and nice to complete.
The other miscellaneous items like lip balm, mouth freshener, eyedrops, mints and 10ml fragrance come in handy throughout my day. I keep them in this organza bag that I bought from Kaison, this makes them so easy to find!
Lastly, my Kindle helps me carry around books without fretting about creasing their spines and pages. I love pulling it out to get some reading in whenever I have some precious time to utilise.
Aisha Preece ditched her corporate job in search of a career that allowed her to work remotely. She now LOVES Mondays and is passionate about helping others make and save more money, so they can live life on their terms.
- Memorial card
- Coin pouch
- Zafigo X Pen
- Business cards
- Lip plumper
Why is it in my bag?
I carry this memorial card of my best friend everywhere with me. She died within 12 hours last October and I never got the chance to say goodbye. She was my biggest cheerleader and having her with me all the time gives me strength, especially as I navigate through the online business world.
I acquired a coin pouch from Morocco after intense bartering- it’s pure leather. I like resilient quality items that last me long as I don’t like spending lots of money on shopping (I am saving for a house!)
My business cards represent the different countries I have visited. That’s the great thing about working for yourself, you can design whatever business card you want, and no one can tell you it isn’t ‘corporate’ enough.
The Zafigo X pen was from a conference I presented at last year, a proud moment and I’m holding on to it as long as I can!
The gum is useful because no one has time for funky breath.
The Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumper from Soap and Glory allows me to pretend I have pouty lips. It contains this tingly ingredient that activates your lip cells to make them appear plumper. This is great when I am rushing for meetings and have no time to put lots of make-up on, but not so great when I get it up my nostrils and feel a tingly sensation in my nose mid-meeting.
The wallet reminds me of home (I am half-British) and my granny loved the Royal family.
Finally, the notepad is for when I need to scribble down stuff. I often write positive notes to myself as I believe it’s so important to seek validation and love from within. You need to cheer yourself on and celebrate the small successes. Like having a cute butt 🙂
Nicole used to work in the financial services industry where she gained knowledge on finance, investing and money management. In her blog, she documents her journey navigating career advancement, personal finance, self-development and adulthood.
What’s in my bag:
- A book to read on my commute – currently Superfreakonomics
- My Bullet Journal
- Foldable grocery bag in its own pouch
- Matte lipstick
- A pen
- A pencil
- Headphone jack adapter for iPhone
- Pouch that acts as a wallet for cash and cards
I think my two most important items are my journal and the book I’m reading currently.
My journal has my entire life in it. From my ideas down to my grocery list. I whip it out when I have something to jot down or if I’ve forgotten something I can refer to it immediately. I tried using phone apps or reminders but they weren’t as effective as the journal.
With the book, I have a goal this year to read 20 books and it helps to carry one around in case I find myself in a situation where I’m waiting around idly like on the train heading somewhere.
Concealer and lipstick is the BARE minimum emergency make up kit in case I need to look presentable on the go.
I’m not someone who buys luxury goods. I was lucky enough that this bag was given to me by my dear ex-colleagues as a going away gift 3 years ago and I’ve been using it ever since.
One good thing I’ll say about luxury brands, if you buy good, high quality items, then they last much longer so you might want to consider buying one as an investment since the cost per use will become much lower over time.
This work bag has accompanied me across 2 countries over 6 years. The handles are worn out but the bag is pristine. The cute scarves were added as reinforcement.
It’s a large tote because size matters. My minimum requirement for a bag: Can it fit an umbrella?
- Wallet: I love e-wallets but cash is king.
- Phone: For work, payments, e-hailing, entertainment and disturbing my better half.
- Charger and cable: Life-savers in many precarious moments. Imagine the horror of getting into a fix and not being able to SOS for help.
- Pen: A gift from my aunt in 2001. Perfect for filling in forms, signing documents and taking notes.
- Sharpie: Writing reminders and doodling.
- Post-it: For VERY important reminders. Once, I’ve pasted it on 4 sides of a stranger’s car window because his/her car was parked in the wrong spot for weeks! I got my point across without damaging the car.
- Foldable bag: For environmental reasons.
- Essential oil: My go-to scent is Lavender. It smells pleasant, calms the jitters and is a very effective first aid for bites, burns and zits.
- Lotion: Somehow it never finishes because I keep forgetting to use it.
- Sweets / snacks: I’m a human hamster.
- Reusable water bottle: Water-on-the-go, less plastic waste, save money.
- Umbrella: I bought it during my Japan trip in 2013. It has travelled across many countries with me. Sure, it adds weight to my bag, but one can never be too prepared.
There were times when the umbrella has sheltered another stranger without one. Similarly, I’ve encountered strangers who shared theirs with me.
When it comes to our finances, building our emergency fund and having insurance are like umbrellas for a rainy day.
Nurul has always been passionate about personal finance and would love to teach more people to feel financially empowered.
What’s in my bag:
- Hand phone
- Wet Tissue
- Extra sets of kids clothes
- Snacks at least 2 kinds
- Water bottles
Why is it in my bag?
My basics stuff that I need all the time are of course my wallet and phone can’t go anywhere without them. Always need my money and sometimes I started using my phone to pay for stuffs too! My phone is very important for emergencies, work and whenever I’m out with my husband and kids we’ll always lose each other in the grocery.
The wet tissue is very important to me because I will use it all the time, to clean my hands, toilet, before having a meal in a restaurant and having toddlers it’s very important to make sure they’re hands and whatever they touch are clean.
Extra set of clothes for my 2 kids because kids are unpredictable. One would spill a drink or a toilet accident. Snacks and drinks because my kids would be cranky when they’re hungry or dehydrated.
My bag changed totally after having kids and I love that I am always prepared with things whenever my kids need something. I feel like a pocket Doremon with my bag. Being a mom makes me think ahead and I am always prepared, before I could just walk out the door with no plans.
Now I must be prepared ahead on where we are planning to go, make sure there are clean toilets and when we travel make sure it’s before nap time so they can take their naps in the car. So much things to consider before making our trip out. My mom bag.
#6 – Sara Khong / Jewelpie >>> Jewelpie Website | Instagram | Facebook <<<
Sara Khong is the owner of JewelPie, a personal finance & lifestyle blog AND the owner of a small cooking school: New Malaysian Kitchen. JewelPie is about enjoying the simple luxuries of life while being financially intelligent.
- Homemade Hand Sanitiser
- Reusable bag
I’m a minimalist so I have very little things in my bag, and I like my things to be useful and have dual purpose if possible. Things that I have should also support my values and goals.
MY iPHONE – The most important thing in my bag! This phone is used to for many things. But specifically for my financial-freedom journey, it:
accept bookings and payment from my Cooking Class at New Malaysian Kitchenaway from the computer) via email, booking platforms, banking apps, and Paypal
track my spending/income via MoneyLover App
video call/phone call for online business meetings
take great food photos which I use for my work for my social media
WALLET – I have this well-made leather wallet maybe for 8 years now. I enjoy quality and beautifully made things which last. While it may cost a lot, the cost per wear is low.
This is not just where I keep my money, but important documents like my medical card, blood type card, and AIA Vitality card for 10% off when shopping for fruits and vegetables. This wallet contains things that make me healthier and may save my life in an emergency!
HEADPHONE(S) – I listen to a language podcast to learn Japanese while I commute or exercise in the gym. These headphones makes it possible to make good use of my time to enhance my knowledge while I enhance my physical health.
REUSABLE BAG – I need to go to the market/supermarket very often to get ingredients for my cooking class. This foldable bag is so useful; I don’t pay money for plastic bags.
- Canvas tote bag
- Wet tissue
- Glasses case with glasses and aviators (and a cleaner wipe)
- Pouch as medicine kit
- Lipstick kit
- Lip balm
- 4-colour pen
- Water bottle
- Scented card
- House keys
- (not pictured – phone)
- (depending on the day, I might fit in my laptop + charger, a book and an umbrella in there too)
Why is it in my bag?
It’s kind of a lot. I love feeling prepared and everything in my bag makes me feel prepared. Sure it can get heavy, but meh, I guess they count as free weights = free exercise too.
Many of the items are self-explanatory: the wallet, canvas tote, watch, glasses/sunglasses, tissue, wetwipes, earphones, lipbalm, powerbank, water bottle, gum and housekeys are there for practical reasons.
My notebook, also my money journal, has everything in it. My life motto is, if it doesn’t get written, it doesn’t get remembered. I believe in the science of writing things down. The 4-colour pen (from Mr DIY je) is one of my life hacks, too – so easy to colour-code my notes without carrying too many stationaries. I keep a stack of post-its in the back page of the notebook which most of the time becomes bookmarks (keep losing them).
The pretty pouch is a gift from a friend, and I use it to keep medicine. I have a variety at all times: paracetamols, band-aids, charcoal pills, Clarinese, Gaviscon and for good measure, a couple of tampons. Last year I can think of at least 4 occasions where I needed one of those things urgently, so I like having them with me.
The superglue is there because one of my shoes is on its last legs, and might fall apart at any moment. Just a preventative measure lol.
The lipstick kit contains 6 – SIX – colours. The whole lip-colour-matching-the-mood thing, it’s true. (But I only use one colour most of the time, hmm)
And lastly, the scented card is a souvenier I picked up for myself in Estonia, from a brand called Max Benjamin. The Ocean Islands: Mauritius one smells so good, I love it. Perks me up every single time.
Worth mentioning: I’ve since realised that the bulkier my housekeys, the less likely I am to lose them. The lanyard is from a WordPress event and the pass card cover is from the Japanese brand snidel, which I found for RM1 while thrifting!