In a recent survey conducted by iMoney, 87% of 1,200 Malaysian millennials cited the high cost of living as their major financial concern. Food, shelter, transport, clothes, education and everything else besides breathing and sleeping cost money – and it is escalating. So, before you are kicked to the kerb because of your poor spending habits, here are 4 quick and easy tips for you to flex some money-muscle and be financially fit in 2017.
#1 – Get Educated!
If you have some extra money from part-time gigs, it’s always a good idea to invest it before it’s all gone. If terms such as ‘bonds’, ‘REITs’ or ‘compounded interest’ leaves you baffled, then it is time to hit the books. It is important to understand what the different types of investments available are before you lock-in a chunk of your hard-earned money.
#2 – Pay more to save more
Start clearing off your student loans and debts the instant you come into some money upon graduation. Most people use the “minimum payment” term as an excuse to take their time to clear off that outstanding bill. However, if you pay more than the minimum, you will be able to clear your debt quicker and save more money by avoiding the interest charged. Most of us have outstanding PTPTN loans breathing down our necks the moment we step out of university. But, the good news is that under the 2017 budget, graduates get up to 15% discount to settle their payments. You can even opt to make monthly repayments through salary deductions or direct debit.
#3 – Part-time job
Malaysians will still deal with the rising cost of living as they enter 2017 and this means you gotta keep filling up the jar to beat the leak – if you get where we’re going with this. One way to beat the cash drain is by getting a part-time job. Never short of options and among the easiest side-hustles is ride-sharing. By just working six trips and four hours a day, you can earn between RM2,248 and RM2,373 through GrabCar or UberX. That sounds like pretty good money to us!
#4 – Establish a no-spend week (or weekend)
Incorporating a spending freeze into your budget is healthy on your finances. Do this by challenging yourself to a no-spend week or start small with a weekend once a month. You will be surprised at how much you can save if you do not dine out or shop on a weekend. Some things that can be done to reduce spending:
- Have clear-the-fridge-day and spend the day eating up leftovers or simply whip up a meal with whatever is already in your pantry.
- Instead of hanging out at cafes and malls that charge you for parking by the hour, go to the park, a public beach or even a free art gallery or exhibition instead.
- Spring clean your closet and we bet you’ll discover a pile of clothes you wouldn’t be caught dead in (again). Selling your pre-loved goodies online not only clears up closet space but also helps put some money back into your bank.