financial to-do list

9 Things in My Financial To-Do List (That I Keep Putting Off..)

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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..

#1 – Find out if I have unclaimed money somewhere

It started with a viral Facebook post sometime in July 2017.

Basically, Ms Idah here shared how she managed to claim back money that she forgot she put in various accounts in the past. She collected a cool RM14,000. 

That sounds like a lot, until I found out the total amount of unclaimed money. According to this The Star article in October 2017, there are around RM5.779 BILLION just laying around???

Is it possible I may have money sitting around somewhere under my name that I’ve forgotten about? I don’t know, but I should find out! Cilisos did a nice article explaining how to do it also. Important: if a company claim it can do it for you, that’s probably a scam!

What’s stopping me? Lazy to make the physical visit to the branch.. I wish I can just check it online but last I checked, no such database exist.

EDIT: Coincidentally, I went to check on the same day this article was published. There is no unclaimed money under my name. Well, at least I can tick off this from my financial to-do list.

EDIT EDIT: You can now check online if you have unclaimed money! Go to

#2 – Do wasiat and pre-hibah

I love my family, and don’t want them to go through a long process to claim my assets if anything happens to me.

So why do I keep putting this off? 🙁 I don’t know… maybe emotionally I just don’t like thinking of my own death so I keep postponing?

Anyhow, I’ve decided on the wasiat and pre-hibah combo because:

  • Hibah (gifting) means giving my assets WHILE I’m still alive. Uh, I kinda still need them now. Pre-hibah, on the other hand, will only gift those assets upon my passing or TPD (total and permanent disability) (someone correct me if I’m wrong)
  • I want to make sure my female relatives get at least the same amount as my male relatives. This is currently not possible under Malaysia’s faraid/inheritance laws – men usually get much more than women. Note: I’m not debating faraid law, I am pointing out how it is used to significantly reduce women’s inheritance, therefore making it more likely for women to be economically vulnerable and dependent.
  • I want to give away some money to NGOs I support too

Together, both wasiat and pre-hibah documents will probably set me back around RM2.5k. A cool chunk, but unavoidable.

EDIT: I have done Hibah Amanah ASNB! I also have an article on Islamic estate planning

#3 – Turn my investment portfolio from high-risk to moderate-risk

Here are all the investments I have:

  • ASB
  • Unit trust (PRS)
  • Gold
  • P2P Lending (very new; as I’m writing this article, I’m maybe like 1-week in)
  • Crypto (around 10 or so different ones)

Last time, my safe investments – the first three in the list – was bigger than my crypto investments. I got into crypto around the end of 2015, and steadily collected them all throughout 2016 and 2017.

Crypto prices increased by A LOT since then, and now my portfolio is definitely considered high-risk because value-wise, crypto took over!

Rationally I know I have to reduce my risk level, so I can sleep better at night. I *have* been selling off some of my crypto holdings and channelled that towards other safe investments.

So why am I not doing what I’m *supposed* to do? I think I’m putting it off because I keep waiting for crypto to moon again. Yes, I know I conveniently forget that there’s no guarantee of that happening!

I admit I’m greedy and just to sell my crypto at the highest price possible. This is called timing the market, and it is a stupid, classic investor/trader noOb behaviour.

Out of everything in the list, this takes the highest priority. I MUST rebalance my investment portfolio ASAP!

#4 – Cancel one of my credit cards (and get a new one)

I have three credit cards – two MasterCards and one Amex.

I want to cancel one of those MasterCards and get a Visa card instead.

Last time, that MasterCard was my favourite card. It gave me 5% cashback on all online spending! But one fine day in 2017, the bank (which I will not name) decided to revise the T&C, and now only give a mere 0.1% cashback.

Wtf, right? Not worth it!

On wanting a Visa, it’s only because I thought it might be a good idea to have all three trio – Visa, MasterCard and American Express. For all the different deals each of them can offer.

Anyone know a good Visa credit card to suggest? I like cashback and no annual fees.

#5 – Update information on banks, insurance providers and investments

Some of the banks I use still list my old addresses -_- I thought I got that done but apparently some not updated in the system. So annoying!

This is important to sort out because I know they sometimes send pre-approved credit cards to you, I’ve personally received these cards before. Kind of scary knowing somewhere out there, there may be cards in my name that may be in the wrong hands.

Aside from updating addresses, I also need to find out if the beneficiaries in my existing insurances and investments are named to the right people. Just need to dig out all the information, contact them and check.

I know why I’m putting this chore off. Not looking forward to the long holds they put you on during calls…

#6 – Get my business accounting in order

For my business, I have a Google Sheets document listing all incomes and expenses. The thing is, I’m not very good at updating them! Especially on the expenses!

I remember when I was filing my taxes in early 2018 for 2017 income, I was scrambling around to find all business-related receipts which I could deduct as business expenses. KNOWING that it was a pain, I STILL don’t do this consistently enough!

Many times, I thought of just hiring an accountant to keep track of all business expenses, someone who can also help me file my taxes efficiently. They might even save me money by helping me figure out what I could deduct as business expenses, which makes my taxes lower. Still, I don’t know where to find those accountants.

Can you help me? How much does this service even cost? How is the process like? Do you have anyone to recommend, preferably someone who is familiar with (extremely) small online-based business accounting? Someone who is familiar with communications-related incomes and expenses?

#7 – Get more gold and buy into stocks

HelloGold now have a programme called SmartSaver – it allows you to make monthly auto-investments at the best rates that time. The fancy term for this is ‘dollar-cost averaging’, and it’s generally considered a safe strategy for investment types that has fluctuating values.

I personally like HelloGold. I even invested in their ICO (just to give you full disclaimer). Get RM5 discount if you buy RM50 worth of gold via my link here (note: referral link) or insert the promo code ‘SURA024F

On stocks, I’m still researching and picking 5-6 syariah-compliant stocks to buy into. Last time I had no confidence with stocks, but DividendMagic explained it really well so I think I’ll get it!

Read the DividendMagic Taught Me How to Read Financial Statements and Buy Stocks article – we got good comments on how beginner-friendly it is!

#8 – Get life insurance

I have a medical card and a personal accident insurance – time to add a life insurance in the mix?

Right now, leaning for Great Eastern Takaful’s i-Gr8 Harapan (yep, the same one I did sponsored post for). It looks attractive, and should cost me around RM100 per month. Thoughts?

#9 – Sell off or donate unwanted items

As a konon-minimalist, I’m ashamed how cluttered my house looks at the moment. The other day, I bought something I already own *horror face*. This rarely happens, and a sign that I can no longer keep track of what I own!

Things in my financial to-do list that I *did* start (after procrastinating after goodness how long)

So far I’ve shared things in my financial to-do list that I’ve put off doing. To be fair, I did make some progress in others.

For example, these two things are very recent:

  • Taking the maximum RM200k for ASB loan. I’ve started the process, at least. Met a financial advisor and he’s helping me apply for the loan. It’ll take a few weeks to sort out.
  • Dabbling in P2P lending, the medium-high investment type where you loan money to businesses and they return it to you plus interest after an agreed amount of time. After hearing so many good feedback on this type of investment, I’ve opened an account with Funding Societies* and set up the bot to auto-invest for me (see under Settings). By doing it automatically, I don’t have to keep an eye on my inbox to get into the funding opportunity. If you want to try it, use my referral link and get RM50 (I get RM50 too). Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your investment’s performance, DYOR.

*Note: Funding Societies is not strictly Syariah. I’m closing one eye here

So yeah. My financial to-do list. Feels good to write them out like this, instead of them taking up valuable space in my head.

How about you? What’s in YOUR financial to-do list? Tell me tell me!

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  1. One on top of my list – and certainly procrastinating is buying a house. That’s just cos it sounds like an adulting thing to do but I don’t need a place to stay nor spotted any value investment. I am aware that there are lots of housing advertisements claim it’s a good investment so maybe it’s my blind sight.

    1. Hey Lyn!

      Yeah the developers and agents will say anything to sell the properties. Keep learning, researching and attending property events to learn – and share in your website! I’d love to learn how you’re navigating property buying as a beginner!

  2. Love your articles, as always (newfound fan since few month ago). Thanks for this. Something a 30+ year old can make sense of.

    For someone who sounds pretty disciplined with money, why do you still choose to get an ASB loan? I’m sticking with mine for now because I’m not very disciplined. Ive been taking the loan since almost 10 years now maybe, but I found out (through an article and later calculating it myself) 2 years back that I lose about RM2K a year compared to if I diligently put in the same amount every month for the same period of 20 years. gulp. But i chuck that to the price of non-discipline. But i am thinking I should stop and just be disciplined already!

    1. Hi Natasha,

      That’s a good question. I can’t claim ASB loan is for everyone, but here’s why I personally chose to take it: I’m uncomfortable with the idea of debt in general, but aware of the concept of leveraging (borrowing money to make money). I see ASB loan as a leverage – if ASB loan is 4.85% interest (lowest I’ve found now) and ASB is 7-8% consistently every year, then by maths alone I’ll come out on top.

      But I’m curious about the article you mentioned, the one which say you’ll lose RM2k per year via ASB loan as compared to setting it aside every month. Do you have the link?

      1. Hi Suraya,

        I’m wondering how your ASB loan turns out in 2022 out of curiosity. Last time when I was on my summer break in Malaysia, I almost sign myself to ASB loan but I realised that it didnt fit me. Any thoughts?

  3. Oh my! Same thoughts I had these past few months! Specifically, #2 / #5 – def top on the list, and why I haven’t done is also the same… uncomfortable talking about the inevitable. So silly, yet still not done. Have given myself until the end of the year. #9 too – I started all gung-ho in 2017, stopped, then started again in 2018, stopped, and now just procrastinating… need to just be done with it!

    Good luck!

  4. Some of my financial-related procrastination is somewhat like yours. Top on my to-do is to decide what to do with one of my stocks which have fallen esp post election (not that every other stock I own doesn’t, but this one is major dip). Very noob. Should I exit and bear the losses, or should I wait until the sun finally shines and it climbs back up again. But I’m just not feeling like doing it (eg: assessing into the stocks, re-read its company fundamentals again bla bla) as it doesnt seem like the most exciting thing for me to do right now.

    Other is to surrender my life insurance + medical card (with investment link) and get a new one.

    P/s: Not sure if you consider only the islamic credit card when making your choices? Coz I change credit cards quite frequently (due to avoid annual fees) and unfortunately, islamic credit cards do not have a lot of varieties as opposed to the counter banks..and the rewards are not as menarik as those offered by conventional. Ugh, there was a time when I felt that I wanted to write to one of these banks to complain haha. Since my objective is collect points (even though I do assess for cashback objective), I thought there aren’t many out there that has good cashback / or points system anyway? (as far as islamic CC goes lah). Anyway, maybe I’m wrong.

    1. Oh now I remember the ultimate first thing I have to do: secure tenants for our new condo. My cash is bleeding like crazy for instalments!!

    2. Hi Diba,

      Re: stocks. DividendMagic would say cut your losses and move on, haha. Easy to say, hard to implement, I know!

      Re: cc – I only consider Islamic ones, yes. Since so many around, I have no excuses.. My objective is cashback and I am shopping for a good cashback-focused Islamic Visa card. Wow when I write it out like that, it’s so limiting!

  5. Finally completed the visa-mc-amex last couple mths (not including too many almost never used debit cards).

    Amex for overseas purchases mostly.

    Mastercard for some promo out there like movies.

    The new Petronas Visa (finally!) because i spend loads on petrol – the 8% weekend cashback is nice, although limited to just RM50/month. With additional Mesracard treatpoints (i hope), no complaints. Plus it’s islamic. (Need to exchange my two other old cards, i think).

    With regards to p2p lending, don’t think there are any syariah-compliant ones. But who knows. Try research on those with musyarakah mutanaqisah ones.

    ASB would be my last option. Unless i have just too much cash just sitting around and i don’t know what to do with them. Try bank rakyat or some mutual funds out there instead. Hate loans.

    1. Hi Abang Nas!

      Re: Petronas Visa card – 8% is awesome! Although probably not the one for me, I don’t have a car hahaha

      Re: P2P lending – there is one, kapitalboost. But I don’t like the features, plus not many funding opportunities. Been waiting for years for them to get better, such a shame. I’m making an exception and trying out funding societies. A part of me feel guilty, but I want to learn by doing already!

      Re: ASB loan – I’m leveraging here, but aware that getting into debt for this reason doesn’t sit well with everyone.

  6. For VISA cc, I recommends Maybank Visa Barcelona Signature. Free-for-life with 10% cashback in May and August transaction (football season start and end, rm100 maximum cashback per month) and 2% cashback in other months (rm50 max)

  7. Dang! There are a few that should be in my to-do list but I haven’t write them down somewhere and just keep them mentally in my mind huhu I should stop procrastinate and start listing down ~__~’

    Thanks, Suraya for the reminder. Haha! And great post as usual 🙂

    1. Hi Nisa,

      Yes, list them down! It helps to reduce mental clutter too, which helps me to be more productive in other aspects of my money management. Thanks for the love as always 🙂

  8. Hello! Urgh I really should do this but… so lazy lah 😅
    Thanks for sharing about your portfolio, it’s great to gain insight from someone with more financial knowledge & experience.
    I’m curious though; with FD rates currently at about 4.0% – 4.4%, do you see this as a decent/worthwhile option in your portfolio? (as a low risk option)
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hey YB!

      FD is one of the safest, low-risk option out there. Just check out what kind of penalties they impose in case you need to take it out early. Someone shared an FD strategy for this – put in small amount of money in FD regularly, say every month or quarter, so you’ll always have maturing FD every so often. I thought that was a nice tip 🙂

      1. That’s a great strategy… though, it requires discipline (which I sorely lack, haha).

        The same flexibility of having FDs maturing at different points in time, also means you should have a good ‘alarm’ system in place to warn you when these are happening – and then you would need to be diligent about hunting around for the best rates at that point in time (if you are choosing to reinvest). Otherwise, the banks will roll the FD over to the board rate, which is usually pretty… meh.

        I guess that’s why I’m choosing to have maybe 2 or 3 FDs, and lump them together – easier to manage, though I’ll give up some of that flexibility/liquidity.

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