How Much Would These ‘Basic’ New Year Resolutions Cost You?
First things first: Where did 2018 go?
December has ended – which means it’s time to welcome a new year whether you are ready or not. It’s time for 2019.
A new year also usually means a new you. It’s that time of the year when you’re busy making new year’s resolutions and pledges to commit to a better you.
It’s common knowledge that most new year resolutions don’t make it past February. However, it is possible to make realistic resolutions.
But before that, let’s take a look at some of the ‘basic’, popular, and overused resolutions to see how much they would cost.
1. Exercise more
Just speak to a few friends or colleagues and you’ll hear people wanting to get rid of their muffin tops, beer bellys, and flabby arms. So what do you do? You hop on the bandwagon and get a gym membership.
The average price for a gym membership in the Klang Valley is about RM200, but that’s not all. You’ll still need to get new clothes and shoes exercise in.
|RM2,850 a year|
Don’t forget that a lot of gyms are set up to automatically bill your credit card each month. Regardless of whether you actually use the facilities or not.
Some gyms are offering memberships without a monthly commitment, so perhaps you can take advantage of that. However, getting monthly passes can be more expensive than going for the 12-month contract and that is something to consider.
When it comes to fitness, luckily it’s not that difficult to save money.
Use the gym facility in your condo of workplace. You’re already paying for it anyway. If you don’t have access to that, you can join KL meet up or Facebook groups where people meet at a public venue every week to workout.
You could also start slow by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Research shows that seven minutes of stairs-climbing everyday can reduce the risk of heart attack by 50 percent. After all, it’s better to ease into your new healthier lifestyle.
2. Learn a new language
It’s fairly easy to pick up foreign languages if you binge watch shows from a particular country. Notice how many people have begun picking up Korean or Japanese these days?
That said, it’s best to take a class if you want to speak the language fluently.
Based on the price list provided by the LMF International Language Academy, here’s how much it would cost for you to learn a new language:
|Group Class||Private Class|
|Course Fee||RM750||RM1,500 (10 hours)
RM3,000 (24 hours)
|Books and Materials||RM150||RM150|
*price above is for Korean classes
Some language centers charge up to RM2,000 per level if you really want to go all in, take exams, and get certification.
Cut the cost!
If you’re not really looking to become a professional language expert but simply want to understand what’s going on in your favourite K-drama, then you can opt for cheaper alternatives.
For example, YMCA offers 11 language classes up to five levels, all below RM400 per level. The Intercultural Language School offers nine languages starting at RM405 per level, and you can choose from three different locations in Kuala Lumpur, Subang, or Damansara.
Is there a way to do it for free? Yes, there is. One of the most popular language app at the moment is Duolingo, which offers over 30 languages – including High Valyrian and Klingon! Other good apps for learning new languages are Basuu and Babbel.
Apps are not good replacements for having a dedicated teacher, but they do the job if you can’t afford the fees or find the time to attend classes.
3. Clear your credit card debt
If anything, this is the one resolution that you should not give up on. Moving forward into a new year, you want to start with a clean slate and reduce your debt. You’re tired of your monthly commitments taking a huge chunk out of your paycheck.
Don’t miss your payments!
One way to clear you credit card debt is by opting for a balance transfer. Yes, we know you don’t really want to get another credit card with your outstanding debts – but this will slash your monthly repayments rates and reduce your burden.
If you have maxed out several credit cards and cannot deal with too many monthly repayments, then perhaps getting a personal loan is your next best option. You can consolidate your debt, pay them off with a lump sum, then focus on just one payment every month.
|Debts/Loans||Interest rate||Repayment||Total interest|
|Credit Card A - RM10,000||15% p.a.||RM500||RM1,579|
|Credit Card B - RM5,000||15% p.a.||RM250||RM790|
|Personal Loan - RM50,000||13.09% p.a.||RM1,140||RM45,760|
Debt Consolidation with Personal Loan
|Total debt||Interest rate||Repayment||Duration||Total interest|
|RM65,000||9% p.a.||RM1,098||4 years (48 months)||RM12,641.33|
*The calculation of the existing debts assume you pay RM1,890.00 per month until paid off
As per the table above, we can see the debt consolidation will save you up to RM273 a month, and you will also be paying a much lower total interest at the end of 48 months. There’s really no downside here.
4. Travel more
Traveling is another great way to widen your horizons and challenge yourself. Going to a new place where you don’t speak the language, ordering food, trying to get directions, haggling with vendors – it’s a very enriching process.
Traveling is not cheap. Even heading up to Penang and going over to Melaka can easily take up RM300 to RM500 for flight tickets, fueling up, hotel rooms, and food.
For example: Cost of traveling to Bali for a 4-day/3-night trip
|Roundtrip tickets (KUL-KCH)||RM400|
|Food and transport||RM500|
Cost of traveling to Bali for a 4-day/3-night trip using Google flights and Traveloka
|Food and transport||RM500|
*costs are only estimates based on Google flights, Traveloka etc. and are subject to change.
Don’t be spontaneous!
We would all like to be able to go overseas on a whim, but that just isn’t practical. Instead, you need to plan like you’ve never planned before. This could take weeks or months, but it will save you a lot of money; or even allow you to go to places you never imagined you could afford.
Watch airline prices like a hawk. The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents organises the MATTA Fair and offers ridiculously low prices on fares. In fact, put 19 March 2019 on your calendar now.
You could also play the long game. Google Flights monitors airline prices in real time, and can be set to give you an alert if fares to your chosen destination drop below a certain level. It might mean that you’ll have to be flexible about your travel date, but that’s a small price to pay.
Being flexible about where you’re going might also help. You don’t have to always go to popular travel locations to get that Instagram post. Less popular cities might be better as you don’t have to fight with crowds to get that perfect shot. For instance, everyone thinks of going to Madrid or Barcelona in Spain; but Granada and Salamanca both have plenty to do and see.
Finally, don’t plan holidays during peak travel periods. You may think that this is mainly during the end of the year, or during holiday seasons here in Malaysia. That’s only true for your transportation. Instead, it also pays to plan your travels around international holiday seasons. Summer holidays in Europe raise prices dramatically around the world, while local public holidays could also affect your plans.
5. Take up a new hobby
We live only once, and we’re constantly looking for ways to enrich our lives and make the most out of it. Taking up a new hobby can help to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and give you a fulfilling experience.
There are plenty of fun things you can try in the Klang Valley. If you’ve always admired Patrick Swayze’s flair and swag in Dirty Dancing, go ahead and take up salsa dancing now. Salsa classes generally cost about RM120 to RM150 a month.
Example: Salsa class at Dance Blaze Academy in Bangsar
|Salsa lessons||RM120||RM1,440 a year|
|Salsa shoes||RM120||RM 120|
|Salsa partner||FOC (available in studio)|
|Total||RM1,560 a year|
Contact Dance Blaze Academy now to redeem your free trial class – just in time to kickstart your New Year’s resolutions!
Address: 2nd floor, 7A, Jalan Bangsar, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact number: 016-2255141
If you want something more challenging and dangerous, try out swordfighting (not fencing, but using actual swords). Indulge in your inner Jon Snow and learn how to fight a medieval duel. This swordfighting club charges only RM120 for 6 lessons.
|Swordfighting lessons||RM 120 per course |
1 course= 6 lessons
|RM840 (7 courses a year)|
|Nylon Training Sword |
|Heavy gloves |
|Fencing partner||Provided during training|
|RM2,660 a year|
Contact Number: 018-323 7599
For some intellectual stimulation, start playing more board games. We don’t recommend buying them because they can cost up to a few hundred ringgit each and you’ll probably only play them once or twice. Instead, head on over to a boardgame cafe.
Board games cafes usually charge by the hour. For instance, Meeples costs RM18 for two hours of game time.
Address: 64, 1, Jalan SS 15/4d, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Contact number: 03-5633 8033
It’s okay to make new year’s resolutions, but the trick is to have specific, attainable goals. We hope this year you will be one step closer to picking up that new language or mastering that new dance. Good luck!