Money Diaries Jan 2019

by - February 02, 2019


When work was too much, and writing blog post seems impossible, I turn to IG for some pick-me-up post. Looking at how real and down to earth the personal finance IGs, my life feels surreal. There was a point that I scarp every single penny I get, but after a few years of extreme savings, I have loosened the grip.  How others save a hundred or a thousand - maybe I should press-on until I find my purpose. Because spending is only meaningful with a purpose. On the paper, it seems incredibly easy to live below RM2,800 a month. In reality, you don't go by the city center without determination and friends with the same goal (or without a credit card). Should I choose the path of living below RM2,800?

My wallet hurt less this month, and it should be on the downtrend for coming months. I've slashed most of the shopping list and invest for stay home activities.

 

Giving stands at RM580, but it's all mix sort of giving which I am not proud.

Shopping
The big year-end sale continues, and the clearance rack becomes my playground. I bought biscuits and honey from Marks & Spe for 70%.

More purchase: Got my hands on a Massimo Dutti Leather Hobo and a Mastermind Japan bag. Why would people pay $400 for a bag? Pun.

When it comes to the beauty products, I score 0 on the PF rating. I bought Benefit concealer, Origins Mega Mushroom, and some hair color at full retail price - and I still look the same. Bummer.

All things digital

Sky Net is taking over my life. There are more and more things that I depend on the AI. I don't mind paying for some non-physical goods, so long it doesn't become a big part of my spending.

First, for all the spelling and grammar mistakes I make because vocabulary is enough for me to get an A1 in SPM - I cancel the expensive Grammarly and subscribe to Whitesmoke (75% off at $24 for a year). 

Then I turn to App Store for a violin teacher. Paying $59 for a year lesson. I also subscribe to Scribd and Blinklist with dinosaur pricing.

Food

As you can see, I spend a lot on the food. But I don't remember what I ate this month, apart from a Korean barbie with my dad. So I do regret all the little extra ice-cream scoop, take-away coffee or premium lunch (RM35-50) that is all but forgotten.

Sushi RM279, eating out RM719, groceries RM347, coffee, and snack RM143, fast food RM47. Conclusion: If I have less ice-cream, I could eat more sushi. I eat a lot. I can eat two eggs, two corn on the cob, one chicken drumstick, durian and coconut for one dinner.

Investment

I am never good with investment, so take these with a big pinch of salt.

This month I sign up for two systems that most people have done n-years ago. First, I sign up with Funding Societies and then I funded Stashaway. 

I was super excited with the peer to peer lending and then the harsh reality kicks in - there's no perfect investment. To ease your mind, here's my three concern: The returns % are fixed, while the risk is not that low. The liquidity of the investment is near to nil, and there are limited notes, so you have no choice but to fund every note in the pool to diversify. Finally, I hit a little roadblock when I try to withdraw my funds, but I did receive it about a week later.

As for Stashaway, it offers a significant advantage of being able to participate in the global market with minimal cost. In Malaysia, you need about a minimum of USD10,000 to open a Vanguard account and all the high mutual fund fees. The cons is you don't get to choose to invest solely in QQQ or SPY. Here's a 50% fee discount for up to RM100,000 investment for 6 months. That will save you about RM200 (They offer the link to me, but it's not a paid affiliation).

Feb goals:
 
Complete swimming lessons.

Sign up for a language class
My cousins in SG can read, write and speak 9 languages. I think their parents are too kiasu , but I should be able to do the 4-5th one.

Reading list
Walking with God through Pain and Suffering - Tim Keller. I haven't touched the Bible for months.
 
Now back to my working life. Do find me in IG if 6 words story is your cup of tea. And happy CNY! 









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