Money diaries: Sep 2018

You might like to grab a cup of warm coffee or fall asleep in this extended post. It's a slow month, my life has taken a lot turns - not particularly bad, but each comes with a cost. I still track my expenses the same way, marking each spend into the phone app. It's a habit that is engraved in me, not that it helped me spend wiser - not this month anyway. I spend RM5906.70, with no sight in savings.

It begins with a heart to be obedient (and faith and conviction) to give, so I gave RM800 at the beginning of the month.

Next, I decided on an impulsive trip to Seoul.  RM1,100 goes to an air-ticket and accommodation.

Then I hit on a rock. The ending of this chapter of my life is this:

“We could have gone on longing for one another and pretending not to notice for-ever.” -  the Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society

This is me, except that I have to pretend for-ever. Because I forget that if I like someone, I have to tell the person and be there for the person. I never try to live life together.

This is where spending goes off-boundaries. I am quite stupid when I let emotions take the better of me. Things like paying for more expensive food (why did I ever pay RM2.80 for drinking water), procrastination at work. I drifted my mind, took a wrong turn for parking and paid RM50/day parking fee.

I wanted to cry, yet I stop knowing how. I wish to say it was a testimony but it's a failure, I lose the will to fight. I now recalibrate of what I want God wants in my life? Hoping I don’t break down along the way or spend too much.  There's a LOT to spend on when you allow consumerism to kick-in your life.

Payment wallet
I have tried 4 payment wallets now – FavePay, Boost, GrabPay & BigPay. There is no intention to adapt to any new form of payment. I just want to save money. Which I why don’t use bitcoins because of the transaction fee.

Boost is not as great as they promote (lack of lustre offers, not quite user-friendly). I ended up donating to Harapan fund and delete the app. What prompts me to top up GrabPay is the offer from UOB. I haven’t actually got the free dollars they promise. I sign up for BigPay when I bought an AirAsia ticket. The key selling feature is no fees, but, Hello, I get discounts on top no fees?

FavePay is the only app I am using now, in the bid to save, although I end up spending more. For example, eating pretzels from Aunty Annie's. On a usual day, I would NOT even consider getting a drink. If I get two pretzels without drinks, it’s RM8.60 instead of RM9.90, so I am paying for things I don’t usually buy.

I cancelled 3 credit cards this month as SST will now charge RM25/each/year. If RM25 means something to you, maybe you should too.

I’ll ask for a discount if I buy a display item. You can get up to 50%, but 10% is the usual. That didn't stop me from shopping. I spent RM820! - Thirteen items and two pairs of shoes. Bought things that I don't buy for the past 30 years such as leather jacket, hair clips (I already have three), lacey home wear (which is 5 times the cost of a cotton one) and kimono’s (one can sleep fine with baggy T-shirt).


My favourite hobby - to eat. Learn some new baking skills this month. Nevertheless, dining out is an issue, sushi three times a week and some fancy snack – the cash is gone.

No complaints on the RM1,338.40 spent as this includes wagyu, fresh oyster, air-flown uni, lamb rack, scallop with crispy kale and lobster - all in a month.  I had the best ever vegan mushroom tacos at Sala, a hip vegan place in Hartamas. If green food were so good, I could be a vegan today.

Celebrate friend's birthday with a 1.6kg chocolate cake from Victoria Station (from Fave) for RM38.40 ballons and poppers RM19. We sneak in one of the KL parks to picnic.

Car maintenance that cost RM500, RM700 for the usual parking fees and my stupid mistake.

Replaced my iPhone battery for RM150. Topup Umobile RM70 (Paid RM65)

RM300 for two parties and two short holidays in a month.

Finally, LHDN sent me a "saman" letter, indicating that I need to put in more pay deduction in the coming months. Why!? I thought my income is fixed and my tax record is clean.

Oct goals
 It is unlike me to budget but the past three months is a proof that I can’t survive in KL city without a budget.

Toll + Parking: RM25/day
Gas: RM50/week 
Average RM 50/day - No RM2.80 plain water.
Oct Special: Travel for 6 days
Friend wedding gift
Clothes (only if I sold something)
Fund PRS (For next 3 months)
Mobile  (with rooming)
Other wants & needs (who know what will come out)
RM 5430 ++

This budget is especially for October. Savings just have to wait - I saved a handful beginning of the year, and dividends in October would be ca-ching. I would conclude that is travelling overseas is expensive, and anyone who can fly but not pay their student loan (PTPTN) has serious priority issues.

Grow on my free time
A friend thinks I seem to be busy all the time. But the truth is, I am not busy - and life is stagnant. I don't know what I'll do precisely to grow, it will go along the line of serving wholeheartedly for God and do work that glorifies. Statistically, I still have 48 more years to live. Oh, shrug. I could certainly build something this year and next. Part of it is inviting people over and cook for them. Or ask people out and treat them a meal.