Step 1: Know Yourself
Use an expense tracking app or a simple journal to record all your expenses
There are many mobile applications available to track your spending habits, and you should choose one that suits your needs. Spendee is an example of a tracking app that is both functional and easy to use.
Try it out for a week or, even better, for a month. You’ll be amazed to learn where your money is going.
Have a look at your monthly income and expenses
Now that you have all your spending information, use our worksheet to asses where your money is going.
Don’t be afraid of what you think you might see.
|Rent||If your rental agreement is ending soon, try to negotiate a lower rent for the next rental period, or shop around for a cheaper place to rent.|
|Utility bills||Save on your utility bills by using energy efficient bulbs, setting your air conditioner to a higher temperature (e.g. 25°C), and having shorter showers.|
|Food||Eat out less often to save on your food expenses. Do you really need to eat out for lunch every day or can you sometimes bring lunch from home?|
|High-interest debt repayment
(Debt with high interest rates e.g. credit cards, hire purchase loans, personal loans)
|Pay off high-interest debts (e.g. credit cards, hire purchase loans, personal loans) promptly to avoid late payment penalties and keep your debt under control.
Paying off high interest debt saves you about 18% of interest annually, so every ringgit you pay off is like a guaranteed high-return investment!
|Other loan repayments
(E.g. home loans, car loans)
|Pay your loans (e.g. home loans, car loans) on time to avoid late payment penalties.|
(Fuel, parking, toll)
|Use public transportation. If you must drive, leave early to avoid traffic and save on fuel.|
|Phone & internet||Are you using the right phone & internet package to match your needs? A prepaid phone plan might be cheaper than a postpaid one. Always keep an eye out for special offers as well.|
(e.g. service fees for apartments, home repairs, etc.)
|Try fixing the simple home-repair problems on your own or seek the help of family and friends, instead of hiring someone to do it for you.|
|Clothing||Always shop around for the best deals and buy items on sale whenever possible.|
(E.g. insurance, gym membership, courses, etc.)
|Certain activities like exercising and learning new skills can be done for free, e.g. by watching videos and reading articles online.|
|Taxes on other income||If you have any side income on top of your salary, make sure to declare this income and pay your taxes in full each year to avoid penalties in future years.|