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Sunday, December 15, 2013

How2 save RM100k in 4-5 years in 'Malaysia'?

Can but tough la .. earn s0 little, expenses s0 high how to save?? I focus on 4 core items based on my observations from typical Malaysian spending habits. Food, petrol, cars & clothing. This is based from my own experience and should not be a definite guide on how to save. Certainly they are many other ways but I'll focus on the four core expenses.

Sometimes the biggest savings you can make is your choices on food. Of course you can BYOF (bring your own food) from home but I myself am not a big fan of this. I would rather eat daily lunches with my co-workers as a chance for bonding and socializing. For kopitiam, order ais kosong or don't order anything, you'll able to slash RM1.00+ per day, that's RM20/month. Try skimp on expensive extras: fried chix, fish, sotong especially mamak places which will cost you a bomb. Based on experience on average, noodles/mee hun/ kuey teow soups are cheaper than other dishes. You can also do it cheap from simple economy rice choices (vege preferably, cheaper) then flavour your rice with other dishes (curry from the fish head curry, etc). It still tastes good without looking cheap.

Fast food places/ restaurants. Again, ask for plain water. These places charge ridiculous prices just for water. So imagine what other drinks would cost you? Get set meals if possible. If go with friends, combine all your foods so you get lots more choices, a lot more satisfying. Yea you get to ninja each other's food for the excuse of (ooi ho chiak la you should try and your friend would do the same for 'paiseh' reasons). If you want to be more 'hardcore', factor in restaurant promotions and discounts. E.g Groupon deals. Savings estimated: RM5000/5years

Petrol. I can hit 475km with just RM65 of Ron95 petrol on my 7 year old 1.3cc MyVi (as of RM2.10/litre price). That's with 60% expressway, 40% city driving. Good news: Petrol prices cost the same AT EVERY PETROL STATION IN MALAYSIA. The government fixes the price. So you don't have to do the added homework of searching around for places selling cheapest petrol, like how they do it in many parts of the world (America, UK, etc). Therefore, the tips on this post are mostly common-sense tips. Don't accelerate quickly unless you have to like avoid an accident. Don't drive too fast, I usually go 2000rpm max regardless of gear. Check tyre pressure, I always top it up when I pump petrol. Dump everything out that is not essential, keep car as light as possible. Avoid rush hour traffic..go to work before 7am and go home before 430pm. And the most underrated tip, stop making circles looking for parking. Park further away and walk. 100-200m won't break your legs. Savings estimated: RM3000/5years

Cars. Malaysians value car a lot because to many it represents status. Fresh grad nak glamour, forking out 90k for Honda City on a 5 year loan. Imagine if you had bought a 2nd hand car say a MyVi for RM40k, that's effectively a RM50k savings stretch over 5 years. That's a lot of money and I mean capital A L O T. Obviously I have long finished paying for my car 2 years ago, I have no intention of changing to another unless it is again as cheap as ~RM40k. Savings estimated: RM50000/5years 

Lastly, clothes will always, ALWAYS look better on the models. Human or non-human. Fact/fakta. You will always tend to have this idea that a certain piece of fabric can turn you into this desirable hottie. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. The thing is, fashion sells image. As in, how their clothes can give you the impression that you're part of something better or greater. Wearing Nike makes you feel sporty, no matter the only running you've done all day is running after the bus. Wear Prada and suddenly you're this chic, glamorous, high maintainable girl. Never mind you're actually an ah lian. But, I can agree that whatever it is you want to achieve, you can do it cheaper & lesser. By doing so online and sniffing around a bit. There's loads of promotions, and warehouse sales and you don't have to keep buying a whole lot of them. Just do the mix and match trick. Savings estimated: RM15000/5years

What about a house? I intentionally left that out. Some argue that is cheaper to get it earlier before it gets more expensive but like all economic cycles, there will be periods of busts. While I can agree that asset prices will never go below zero, what I disagree is prices will go up infinitely. If that is wrong, you can basically discredit entire theories of modern economics or Malaysia has found the holy grail of property investing when even Wall Streets fails to figure it out. I took advantage of getting one during the subprime crisis in 2009 so there is no right or wrong, the timing & price-for-value of the purchase is more important.
From Focus Malaysia Issue 053: Dec06-12, 2013.
Still that's only RM73k. Yes and these are savings that come from spending habits. The remaining RM27k comes from your allocated 5%-10% savings per month. Assume a fresh grad earns RM3.2k/month, try saving RM450/month. Doing that you can still spend all your bonuses. Like many other things in life, saving is an endeavour that many find hard to adopt especially in the beginning. To ease yourself into your money-saving journey, you may wish to start off with a moderate amount (say 5-10% of your wages) so that it does not affect your cash flow to the extent of making you give up altogether. Over time, you can try to increase the amount as the act of saving becomes a habit. Don't say later Malaysia later is always never, you dunno meh??

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