money saving hacks in malaysia
Saving Money

Malaysians Share Their Ultimate Money Saving Hacks (What’s Yours?)

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Are you looking for money saving hacks to get you through a temporary setback? You’ve come to the right place. Sometime back, I asked Malaysians for their money saving hacks and they did not disappoint.

In this article, I have compiled various money-saving hacks, including some truly original and creative ones. Thank you to those who gave consent to have your answers published here!

#1 – Save first, spend the rest

First are the ones that fall under the category of ‘save first, spend the rest’.

This sounds obvious, but many people save money the other way around – they ‘spend first, save the rest’.

You could either immediately transfer a percentage of your salary to another account, like what @alimfrm does:

(I) put aside 40% from salary to bank account for savings. Then automatically I’m broke, I spend what I have only.

For me this method really works. It let me spend less on unnecessary things. I still can enjoy and (give myself) self reward, but in a moderate way, like once a month I buy things that I admire, or go for sushi (my fav!).

If I don’t follow this method, I might be spending vigorously without hesitation, and in the end I’m the one will regret for having no or less savings.

Or you can set up automatic deduction via financial apps, like so:

#2 – Save coins or bank notes

Another money-saving hack is to save physical cash. I know, I know, how original, but I love seeing how creative people can get!

For example, some of you might already be familiar with the #KumpulHijau method – save all of your green RM5 notes. (Obv you can switch this to any colour you want – blue, red, yellow, purple, whatever)

One of the more creative ideas must be this one – use your idol obsession as motivation to save money! @sabrynaryyna shared:

I’m a huge fan of rm from BTS so everytime he posted a picture, I will keep rm2 in tabung or in TH account at the end of the month.

Btw the amount doesn’t have to be RM2. You can put any amount that you want because the concept is “savings”. The higher the better, but please consider your budget too!

#3 – Maximise points and cashback collections (and stack with vouchers)

The next money-saving hack is subsidise part of your lifestyle via points collections and cashback. You could collect points and cashback from many places, including:

  • Ewallets
  • Credit cards
  • Cashback platforms
  • F&B (Nando’s, Boost, etc)
  • And more

It is quite common nowadays for people to utilise multiple platforms to maximise savings and points. @adlisyahril shared:

(I) always use ShopBack or MilkADeal to earn some money back from my spending. For ePayment, I use Boost a lot and redeem stars to pay bills. Most of the time, I transfer credit card rewards to Miles so I can fly for free!

Aside from points and cashback, you can make the cost of your purchase even lower by using vouchers. Find voucher codes on the merchant’s social media, or you could step up your voucher-hunting game by using the advanced-level tips below:

Did you know you can also turn your points into gold? Yes, you can!

*Note: Grab have since revised their points system and gold price changes all the time, so numbers may vary

Reminder: Be careful of points collection and cashback

I think it’s fine to take advantage of all these points and cashback but be careful not to be carried away. You should know that users of cashback platforms spend more AND make more orders.

#4 – Shop the Clearance section

This is one of my favourite money-saving hacks because I LOVE grocery shopping, especially as boujie grocery places like Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer and Ben’s Grocer which can get a little expensive.

So, I make use of their clearance section. Success is not guaranteed, but sometimes you can score some pretty good stuff on steep discounts.

@withlovehanis pointed out the most important thing about shopping at the clearance section – you must check the best before/expiry date.

Bila beli groceries, tengok dekat clearance section especially barang segar if we’re going to cook them very soon. Cheaper and tak rosak lagi teruk sebab kita tak simpan lama. Also if wanna buy juices for example, note when the expiry date would be and when the supermarket will tag for clearance. We could get RM30 fresh orange juice for just RM9.

Same goes to Family Mart. They have a discount on items that nearly expired. Just check the tags and the promo banner. If you want to eat immediately, then it should be fine.

Don’t forget to compare weight and price

On the subject of grocery shopping, it’s also a good idea to be mindful of product pricing. You’d think the bigger package is always cheaper but sometimes, it is more expensive.

Related article: Learn more ways to save money on healthy food in Malaysia.

#5 – Reduce eating out cost

However, not everyone can buy groceries – either lack time, space and/or cooking equipment – and must depend on outside food.

In this case, one of the best ways to reduce eating out costs is to simply order plain water with your meal.

Don’t knock this tip. Assuming you eat out twice a day, and RM2 saved per meal, that is at least RM120 saved per month. And not to mention health-related savings from not drinking sugary beverages.

I would add here my own money-saving hack: be familiar with shops that give big portions. Then, you can either have a big meal and skip the next meal, or tapao half of the meal for later.

#6 – Lead a group purchase

The next time your friends and family want to make a big purchase, offer to pay first and collect payment later. This way, you can collect even more points and cashback.

Even more awesome is if you can negotiate for cheaper price for your friends and family, and manage to get discounted or even free item for yourself. Win-win!

Thanks again to everyone who shared your money-saving hacks in Malaysia. How about you? What money-saving hacks do you use? Share your best hacks in the comments section below, so everyone can learn 🙂

You can find more money-saving hacks I’ve tried in the 49 Ways I’ve Tried to Save Money in Malaysia, From Easy to Impossible article.

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