Millennials financial woes have been quite a controversial topic with some group of people accusing that we are simply ignorant about our spending, while a handful of others insist that we are the victims of high cost of living.
According to New Straits Times, former Deputy Economic Affairs Minister, Dr Radzi Jidin, who graduated from Australia as an accountant 21 years ago, he was paid around RM2,000 a month. Yes, nothing much has changed for today’s average salary while prices of housing and food continues to spike like crazy.
However, there is no denying that we live in a world of instant gratification thus the idea of saving up or investments for the long run are not so popular while installment plans for yet another gadget seems like a great idea.
There is only so little that we can control especially with regards to low wages, high cost of living and economic collapse. So, that’s why we need to pay extra attention into things that we have full control of.
Here are just some of the little things that you may have mis-looked in your journey to save up for the rainy days!
#1 Limit the amount of money in your pocket
Yes, this may sound trivial but the more money you have in your pocket, you will be prone to spend more aimlessly. Try limiting to RM150 at a time or even lower if you can. Besides, when you have lesser cash on hand, you might think twice about your purchases as you need to head to the ATM. The idea is to create more obstacles between you and the purchase.
#2 Set a limit on your debit card
This is one of the more recent issues that we face. The utter convenience of not carrying cash and the nightmare it brings to your bank account. Remember when we said you need to create obstacles? This is the same case. Set a limit on your debit card as low as you can go or if you have the discipline of a veteran army, cancel the whole thing, and rely solely on cash. You will see a significant decrease in your spending.
#3 Wash and dry your laundries at home
We know this hits home for many of you and you are oblivious at the amount of money that goes down the drain when you can easily do it for free at home. Although we understand that some of you may not have the time to do so or when you manage to set aside a time, the weather is not in your favor. You can opt to wash at home and pay for the amount to dry only at the self-service laundry. And be sure to do your research, drive around a little to see which self-service laundry offers the cheapest price around your housing area.
#4 Buy lauk, BUT cook rice at home
Nope, we’re not going to ask you to pack home cooked food to the office because we understand, you simply don’t have the energy to cook after a long day at work. So instead, make smaller changes. Rice does not take much time to prepare, so cook that instead. So once you’re at work, your purchase for lunch will be for your lauk only. Plus, if you’re still living with your family, make it a habit to set aside some of your dinner into a tupperware for you to reheat at work the following day.
#5 Skip that gym subscription
Especially if you’re only there to flex your muscles for social media. If you’re not subscribed to a package with a gym instructor, then you’re not at loss if you swap the gym to jog at the park or do dumbell lifts at home. Another benefit of working out at home is not having to leave your house and use up your petrol and time. There are many Instagram or Youtube videos that offers fitness video tutorials or if you want to go social, follow fitness accounts on Instagram and join in on their Instagram live fitness sessions.
#6 Eat before you go for grocery shopping
Have you ever just wait around for the cashier to finish scanning your groceries and end up with your jaw drop on the floor at the grand total? No need to terkejut so much. It’s your fault for picking up snacks along the way. Before leaving the house for groceries make sure to eat, because an empty stomach will trick you into buying more and make unnecessary food items look increasingly tempting and delicious. Be sure to also prepare a grocery list of things you really need and follow that religiously. We mean it. RELIGIOUSLY.
#7 Switch off your data when not in use
If you’re eating, switch off your data. Right before you sleep, switch off your data. Watching a movie at home? Switch off your data. Yes switch it off whenever you can. If you have WiFi at home, connect your devices to that instead. You don’t want to be replenishing your data every so often and cry at your phone bill later. Plus, be an opportunist and use your office’s WiFi to download large files or even your Netflix movies. (Only if your boss is not so stringent about it, you have been warned).
#8 Fix your leaky pipes
We mean it, FIX THEM. Set aside some money to get the fix as soon as you can. They might just sound like some tiny droplets drumming a tune on your floor or sinks, but ignoring it for a month can really show on your bill like an aching pain in the ass. While you’re doing that, remember to turn off your pipe or shower when you’re brushing your teeth or while doing your two step facial wash routine.
#9 The 30 day rule
You have your eyes locked for this new and rather pricey sneakers. You literally have stars in your eyes just admiring the design. The ambassador? Exo and Blackpink combined. You’ve lost all senses, the world is spinning. STOP!
Do you really need it?? There’s nothing wrong in splurging once in a while but you need to put your craving to a test. Wait for at least 30 days before making the purchase and see if your enthusiasm remains. Best case scenario, you might just totally have forgotten about it (fingers crossed). It’s all about curbing that raging monster that is out to deprive you of a stable financial future.
#10 Thrift shopping / Pre-loved Items
This final point is one we would like to highlight mainly for two things. One, you can save a lot of money as a pair of jeans at the Kedai Bundle may only cause you RM20 - RM30 instead of wasting your money at a retail outlet that sells them for a whopping RM200 and besides, if you care about the brand, surprisingly many thrift stores carry branded items, it’s just a matter of a little digging. Second, you are doing your planet a huge service as using hand-me-downs clothes can reduce the number of clothes in landfills.
These are just some basic guidelines you can follow to avoid overspending because sometimes, little things can pile up into a huge mess...
More on financial literacy, watch this episode of Hello I have Issues with financial consultant; Puan Hajah Rohani and she’ll be giving you excellent tips and tricks on saving up!