Save Almost RM10,000 In A Year, Painlessly

save money

Earning a decent salary to sustain the urban lifestyle can be tough, but putting aside savings every month can be even more excruciating. We are bound to splurge on luxurious items once in a while, some may be even totally unnecessary — but we are human.

There is no harm indulging yourself with your favourite cup of Starbucks once in a while, but when the expenses outweigh income financial problems will arise.

To avoid being stuck in the rut of personal debts, it is crucial to know what you spend on at all times. And if these are the things you spend on, do your bank account a favour and stop.

1. Fuel

petrol final

Cars are huge expenses that takes up a big portion of our savings. It is nearly impossible to own a car without having a steady income or have a ready stash of money in the bank.

Do yourself a favour and don’t spend more that you really need to. If you are driving an average car (read: not a performance turbo charged car), opt for the cheaper RON95 fuel.

A Honda City with fuel capacity of 40 litre can actually save RM8 for every full tank with RON95. May not seem a lot but if you use a full tank a week, that’s almost RM400 in a year!

Saving: RM400

2. Cigarettes

Cigarette butt isolated on white

According to a survey conducted in 2012, 40% of Malaysian men smoke. Personal habits like these are can impact your wallet (not to mention your health) negatively without you realising it.

A pack of cigarettes now cost about RM13.50, and if you are a one-pack every two days type of smoker, you are wasting RM2,463.75 a year. That’s if the cigarette price remains the same for the rest of the year.

Stop, and you’ll find yourself saving that RM2,463.75!

3. Entertainment


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and yadda, yadda, yadda. We understand the importance of entertainment.

The point is not to refrain from spending on entertainment, but to be smarter in how you spend.

For avid movie-goers, here are some of the factors that will drive up your ticket price:

  • Location – Watching a movie in Pavilion can cost you RM2 more than watching it in a neighbourhood mall like Paradigm Mall.
  • How new the movie is – A newly released movie can cost at least RM1 more than an older movie.
  • Types of ticket – A Gold Class ticket cost a whopping RM40, while a D-Box ticket can cost you RM16.

To save even more, consider watching on weekdays. Here are the differences in how much you spend if you watch two movies every month:

save rm10k table

Comparing the cheapest to the most expensive, you can actually save RM696 a year, or at the very least RM24 a year!

4. Dining at mamaks


Most people are led to believe that eating at the mamak is cheap, but they are sadly mistaken. Your mee goreng may cost more than you think.

You may think you are doing your wallet a favour by eating at the mamak. You ordered a plate of chicken fried rice and an iced Milo, and you paid RM10.

However, if you go to a coffee shop, a plate of chicken rice and a glass of herbal tea will only cost you RM7.50.

If you are able to save RM2.50 for every lunch and dinner, you will be saving RM1,325 a year!

5. Parking tickets


This is something that we can avoid, but somehow, we find ourselves under the scrutiny of the law. From speeding to double parking, almost every Malaysian has done it before.

However, getting too many of those parking tickets can set you back financially.

In Malaysia, parking tickets by MBPJ and DBKL cost from RM30 to RM100. Summonses from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and traffic police will have different rates for different offences.

If you get on average four parking summons a year, you could be incurring about RM400. Avoid parking illegally and save that money!

6. Drinking water

drinking water

Unlike certain countries, it’s not advisable to consume the tap water in Malaysia, and water fountain is not easily found in public places, like LRT station or even shopping malls.

To keep ourselves hydrated, we are forced to buy overpriced drinking water from cafes, and if we are lucky, at convenience store like 7-Eleven.

It is not justcostly to buy drinking water, it is not environmentally friendly Instead, opt to bring your own water or drinks in a thermal flask or a water bottle to save yourself some money in the long run.

If you buy a bottle of water at RM1.50 every weekend you go shopping, you would have incurred RM156 in a year. That could have been nice in your bank account.

7. Mobile plan subscription


According to a survey conducted by Experian Marketing Services, 77% of adult millennials own a smartphone and the average owner spends 14.5 hours a week using his or her smartphone texting, talking and on social media. We already spend so much on our gadgets and smartphones, it doesn’t make sense to overpay on our mobile plan too.

Understand your smartphone usage, compare all the mobile plans available and choose the one that suits your need. To pay more than you need.

If you are planning to get an iPhone 6 at RM2,399 and also sign up for a mobile plan with 1GB data at RM78 a month. You would have spent RM3,335 in a year for the phone and your phone bill.

However, if you buy the phone together with a mobile plan contract, it’s only RM2,849!

Savings: RM486

8. Bank charges

balance transfer credit card

Credit cards are best tools to keep track of your finances and also to earn huge cash back and reward points from the bank. Despite all the benefits, it will not be useful to own a credit card if you are unable to keep up with the payment.

All the cash back and reward points would have meant nothing if you have to pay 15% interest charges on your snowballing credit card debt.

Even when the debt amount seems unmanageable, you can always consider balance transfer to avoid paying interest charges. Find out how much you save with balance transfer with this tool.

If you have a balance of RM5,000, paying the minimum payment at 15% interest rate will cost you RM1,491, and it will take you five years and five months to pay it off.

9. Hipster coffee


Coffee is coffee, is coffee. Many may beg to differ, but really, is it worth spending at least RM10 for a cuppa?

In the age where Instagram and Facebook are necessities, cafe hopping is an upcoming trend that youngsters stand by. They post pictures of the places they visit and the customised coffee design offered by the baristas.

Some go to the extent of visiting different coffee places every other day and posting them on social media merely to gain a following. However, we may not realise how much we are wasting on overpriced drinks.

Opt for cheaper options like good old local coffee from Old Town White Coffee, which cost less than RM5. One cup a day at Starbucks or most hipster cafes is about RM3,650 a year. If you choose a RM5 coffee, you will save RM1,825!

10. TV subscriptions


Most people have no idea what they have subscribed, and they just continue to pay the exorbitant amount every month.

With the advent of Internet, you may not even spend as much time as you used to watching television. Subscriptions in Malaysia by Astro allows you to choose packages according to what you want to watch.

Some people ended up subscribing to everything but only watching 10% of the channels. A Family Pack only cost RM39.95, while a package that includes every channel available will burn a RM569-sized hole in your pocket every month.

Savings: RM529

The list above is non-exhaustive but they are easily some of the most common things that me and you have wasting our money on. Once we tackle these 10 things in our expenditure, we can save about RM9,421.75 in a year!

That’s a lot of money. If this money is put into a high yield investment, you could have seen a handsome return at the end of the year.

What other things can you cut down to keep your balance account in check? Share with us in the comment section below.

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