Yesterday I accompanied my best friend to go shopping. She likes H&M, Cotton On, and the likes. I like factory outlets and RM5 (USD1 ish) tops at small stores.
I mean, I still like to browse, and there were a couple of items which I really, really liked. The problem is, most times I can’t bring myself to pay full price or I’ll just tell myself to look it up online to see if there’s additional discounts/coupons. I also like the wait-and-see approach - if I still think about it for months to come, THEN I’ll get it.
As a result, I just got incredibly bored for the whole 4 hours ish we were there. I can’t even bring myself to buy ONE item, or at least a cheap trinket to be in solidarity with her shopping. I simply didn’t ‘need’ anything.
Weird. I’m not broke. I have my (fully paid) credit cards with me. I tried on a maxi skirt and got excited with its pockets (maxi skirt with pockets!!) and held it around in the shop before automatically and diligently put it back on the shelves.
Messedupfinances asked me on my recent post - what business is my girlfriend in?
I wrote a proper reply which got lost in a blackhole - computer hanged and the data got lost. Grr technology!
Anyhoo, gf registered her business to provide sales, support, and services for slacklining in Malaysia. She has gigs lined up, especially in international schools - they’re good in new sports like that. It will pay relatively well!
I’m very happy for her, it took her 9 months to get this far. She prefers freelancing while I prefer a stable, monthly income. Its also her passion as well, so good all around :)
Romantic Cameron Highlands 3 days 2 nights trip budget breakdown!
Accommodation = RM180 for 2 nights
Petrol = Estimated RM100
Toll = Estimated RM40
Food = RM10 each for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 days = RM90 each or RM180
Strawberry picking - RM30
Shopping/Admission tickets = Budgeting RM100 max for this.
Total for me= RM630
I did a lot of research on the accommodation since Cameron is a very popular tourist area and good places get fully booked really fast. I missed out on a couple of great places already, despite looking to book 2 weeks in advance.
Originally I planned to ‘kidnap’ her without telling her where we’re going - but she found out because I accidentally left a tab open on her computer *sad* But anyhow, at least she knows she have to bring jackets and socks instead of bikinis lol.
I quite like going on tours but girlfriend doesn’t, so I guess it’s good (?) that she kinda found out my plans. It included Mossy Forest (how romantic!) but I also forgot that she hates moss! Oh well, I still have other surprises up my sleeve. I want to spoil that woman! :D
sure, money can’t buy you “happiness” but it can buy you a sense of financial security, remove the worry of not being able to feed yourself, remove the fear of losing your house, remove the discomfort of not being able to socialize because you don’t have the money to go out, and also it can buy you the new pokemon game and that’s pretty fucking close
My uncle passed away suddenly last Friday night. Within 12 hours, his body was safely buried.
That was fast, wasn’t it? He passed away at 2.30am. At 10pm, he went to the clinic as he had chest pains. He was sent home with some ointment, that’s it. By 1am, he was not able to move. My mom heard the news by 5am. I received the call at about 7am. At 9ish am I was at their house. Our family (he was my father’s younger brother) was there until about 2pm.
There’s some interesting points to note when a Malay Muslim in Malaysia passes away (don’t know if this applies to other families). My late uncle’s family tearfully asked family members and close friends to erase their worldly debts, if any. To make ‘halal’ of whatever the deceased owed. We believe that worldly debt can make the deceased suffer unnecessarily in the next world.
My sisters shared that my mother kind of broke down about two days prior to this. She is devastated about our family - with her the only one financially supporting her husband and two boys and the house. And her being tired all the time but had to settle the household chores on top of that, too. She’s the type that thinks that its her obligation to cook and clean for the family. Its not, but we can’t change her mind. My sisters do my brothers’ laundry because if not, my mom will, and it stresses her out if the laundry’s not done.
Guilt. Of course that came. I moved out because its not MY obligation to do all this shit for the men in my house. But in doing so I’m not lessening the burden, so to speak.
The dark understanding that my father and brothers are probably not going to change. Neither will my mom. Grimly, I know that the only way my mom will be released from this burden is when she passes on. She’s simply not one to kick out freeloaders, especially family. When she passes on (touchwood), they know that they’re in deep shit because my sisters are only taking care of them because of my mom. Financially and otherwise. No other reason.
Yesterday I received a call from Dad. I was not feeling well, in fact I had horrible fever and nausea, so I thought he was just checking up on me. Well, he did, he’s a loving father, but then he dropped the bomb - can I please transfer RM200 to my brother, as he have no money to give him.
I said yes, sure. I can’t imagine how hard it is for my dad to let go of his pride like that. He said thanks and will pay me back. My brother called later that night about the transfer - he complained that he needed the money now. I told him that there’s nothing I can do, I did my job - the bank processes.
Hold on a second. I texted my dad this morning - why should he pay, when my brother is using the money? My dad sent me back some long, sad texts. He’s aware that my brothers (two of them, in fact, one’s 26 and one’s 24) are bumming, and are not looking for jobs. He’s aware that they shamelessly ask my mom for money. He’s aware that its his girls that work, and buy groceries, pay the bills, and fills up the gas.
My dad told me that he’s aware of all of this, yet he can’t do much. The boys are too spoilt, too used to having a free ride in life.
Update: In a rage, I called my brother. I told him that I’m pretty angry and told him to meet me tomorrow so we can talk about his job prospects. Minor victory is that he agreed. Lets see how it goes.
“People say I love you all the time - when they say, ‘take an umbrella, it’s raining,’ or ‘hurry back,’ or even ‘watch out, you’ll break your neck.’ There are hundreds of ways of wording it - you just have to listen for it, my dear.”—The Curious Savage (John Patrick)
For someone who has a substantial amount of money stashed away in savings, I sure like to live on the edge.
I have RM178 in my bank account now. And a little bit of cash. I’m due for another bill of RM150 soon. My salary comes in next week, and I refuse, refuse, REFUSE to steal from the savings account (even though it’s so tempting).
Oh hey! I found out that my car insurance + road tax was only RM300ish, not RM600 as my dad claimed I have to give him. I can’t take the difference, I don’t have the heart to. He’s even broker than me. Except he spent his savings already, at the ripe old age of 58. Whoops.
I’m not going to be that person. I’m going to be disciplined, I’m going to scrimp, save, do whatever I can in order to not burden anyone with my bills.
I’m settling really well at new work. As of yesterday, I have worked there for 1 full month. Not trying to jinx anything, but I really hope this will finally be the job I will stick around for years. Some thoughts:
My position is junior, even though I have a Masters, but they have confirmed that they hired me with the intention to train and promote me. Now, they *may* say that because they have a shortage of staff (they only hire highly, highly qualified people, and half the staff are International women - South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Mongolia, etc..), but I like to think that if they kept my CV for 9 months before calling me when there was an opening, I must be something.
They have a great annual increment scheme for salaries. No bonuses, though. Amazing traveling opportunities - I already have 2 events (in Malaysia) in November and December. During the month, my colleagues have been to Timor Leste, Geneva, and Jamaica. My time will come :)
I try to bring lunch everyday. Sometimes, though, I’m still tempted by the sheer amount of food in the office (bags of free chocolate + goodies my colleagues like to bring in to share). And there’s so much amazing food sold around the office as well..
Oh, the other day, I was introduced to a Board Member. I told her my name, and she sort of barked “Yes, I know thousands of [my name]. Who are YOU? What makes you special?? You can’t just tell me your name and expect me to know, unless you’re Ghandi” and I sort of went, “Well, that’s the plan”. I didn’t think much of this encounter, thought she’s just a tough critic, but the Executive Director told me a day later that the Board Member found me impressive.
Oh. Two colleagues told me I look Mongolian. Cool.
I bought train passes to go to work for RM100 a month. Assuming there’s 22 days in a month, that’s an average of RM4.50 a day for transport. BUT sometimes my girlfriend takes and picks me up from work. If she does that for more than 6 times a month, calculations say that I’m better of with a reloadable card. Let’s see.
I sweat every time I use the train. I consider it my daily workout now.
Honestly, why I am torturing myself over this? Browsing Groupon websites brings turmoil to my emotions like no other *firstworldproblems*
So far, I want:
Ticket to the KLCC Aquarium (RM22)
4 slimming sessions (RM48)
BB Cream (RM19.80)
RM40 pizza voucher for RM20
Dim Sum Buffet (RM25?)
Swedish Massage (RM48), or facial (RM39)
I want all of these, but the emphasis is ‘want’. And I hate/love it. I hate it because I know that they are good deals and I will enjoy them very much. I love it because I feel a sense of control - by denying my wants, I feel good, and disciplined. It’s a very complex emotion.
Out of all of them, I want the slimming sessions the most. I feel fat. I hate that I gained a kilo last week, and weighted 2 kilos less during fasting month. I’m a beautiful girl, no doubt, self love and all that but dammit, I just want to walk without sweating and be able to buy jeans and trousers easily. I want to be desired and I want my exes to regret ever losing me and I want my past crushes to take notice of me. I DON’T want to sprain my ankle when I jog or hurt my knee when I do anything remotely cardio.
I’m denying myself dinner tonight. I literally just talked myself into starving myself. This feeling will pass, don’t worry, I know it comes and goes.
Next month, one of my housemates are moving out. I’m quite confident we can get another renter in, but we’re quite choosy (gotta save my bisexual, pot smoking ass).
As of today, I have about RM650 in the bank. I owe about RM350 in credit card bills. Housemate A owes me RM160 he asked me to purchase online. Housemate B owes me RM500 for next month’s rent. Girlfriend owes me about RM315. So I have RM1275.
Salary will come in, I should receive about RM2800, at least. So that’s RM4075 to last me until next month.
Lets earmark the necessities:
RM1400 for rent
RM100 for train pass
RM400 for bank loan
RM200 for groceries
RM50 for petrol
RM150 for internet
RM250 for water, electric, and gas bills
RM25 for donation
RM50 for toll, parking, and for minor medical emergencies
According to this, I should have RM1450 left over. Cool. Now lets earmark it some more, for fun stuff:
RM150 for dates
RM100 for tobacco and food (snacks)
RM100 for whatever else strikes my fancy
I should haaave… RM1100. Phew. I was actually quite worried over this. Yay, I have monies :D
I am the equivalent to being ‘white’ in my country. In Malaysia, being Malay (and automatically Muslims) somehow entitles you to ‘special privileges’, all fully endorsed and backed up by the government.
I was born with fair skin, something that I noticed which somehow elevated my social status and class. I don’t look typically ‘Malay’. I guess I loosely identify with the Malay culture, as I grew up in it, but I never really felt like I belong it in. I’m just sort of Malay by default. My mother tongue is Malay, but nowadays I’m more fluent in English.
I admit that I also grew up knowingly or unknowingly enjoying these privileges. I grew up in an upper middle class family. Where did the money come from? My father enjoyed big contracts from the government, and I’m very sure that his race helped him to secure those contracts. My mother is a high school principal for a government high school. She got really good perks, too.
I like to think that the reason why I do well is because of my own efforts. It’s true to a certain extent. If I were born in a different race in Malaysia, would I even accomplish half of what I did today? Sometimes, though, I even wonder if the reason why I accomplished a lot is *because* I’m Malay. The odds are just in my favor.
I don’t know. I really what to say that everyone can be whatever the hell they want. And certain privileges can really help with that. I just hope that I’m strong and self-sufficient enough that I won’t depend on having privileges alone to make it.
I’m very distinctly pear-shaped. I have a large bum, so my standard wardrobe is nice top+basic black jeans or long black skirt. It helps to, uh, create the illusion of better.. proportions.
The other day I went to look for more black skirts. I tried on a few. I’m telling you, sometimes the universe can be a bitch, but sometimes it can also be an utter sweetheart.
Looking for bottoms for my curvy backside is always a chore, but on that day I found a RM49 black skirt that fits me like a dream and hides all the lumps. It was a good price, but when I flipped the tag, turns out it also comes with a 50% discount!
When you suddenly developed an allergy to metal, causing rashes to break out. Pay for cream to heal it = extra unaccounted expenses.
Found a cobbler who can fix up my shoes. I don’t have to pay for new ones, but I do have to pay for the repairs = extra unaccounted expenses.
When girlfriend offers to drop/pick me up to/from work. Did not have to use my rail pass = no new expenses (since I took a monthly pass), but also did not fully utilize the shit out of the monthly pass.
Bruxism is teeth grinding at night. When you sleep. It’s unusually loud. Most people don’t notice they have it, until someone tell them. I recall my sister told me that I was grinding my teeth at night since I was a teenager. My girlfriend also told me I have it, but she doesn’t tell me everyday, as she’s used to it. But periodically she’ll tell me, especially if I had a particularly loud/tense grind. On these days I’d wake up with pretty sore jaw.
The night before, I grinded my teeth so loudly that I wake myself up. Can you imagine that?
I have to get a teeth guard, to wear while I sleep. It doesn’t stop it (it’s caused by stress), but it does help to reduce damage on the teeth.
A professional, custom fitted one would cost RM400+. I know the price, because interestingly, my girlfriend also has bruxism. She also takes muscle relaxants at night to help her jaw relax.
I admit it, I’m cheap. No way I’m paying Rm400+ for a teeth guard. I went online and bought myself a RM20 pair of sports teeth guard. I researched youtube and there are people teaching you how to make your own custom-fitted teeth guard with just hot water.
God damn internet. You just saved me at least RM380!
Update on washing hair with baking soda and conditioning it with vinegar
I regret to say that I switched back to normal shampoo and conditioner. I lasted 3 months + with the routine.
My hair was falling out too much and it freaked me out. I even scared myself into almost believing that I might have developed a disease or something. I did a medical test a couple weeks ago and I still haven’t collected the result. My reasoning is, if there ARE something horribly wrong with me, the hospital would have called, right?
I’m not sure if it’s correlated, the hair falling and the baking soda+vinegar. Maybe it is. It’s likely. Most blogs speaking nothing but praises for the combo. It’s not sure if its my hair, or…
So yeah. I tried. It was fun while it lasted. This is one frugal tip I won’t try again.
Today, folks, 5th September 2013, is my last day of work. I shall start my new one next Monday.
It’s 11:18am and I’ve completed pretty much everything I have to do and even picked up a couple of extra cases to work on to pass the time. I have a lunch date with a good friend at work and a dinner date with my smoking buddies.
I said my goodbyes to the interpreters. They helped me a lot - in fact, I can’t do my work without them! I interview refugees, and 99% of the time they can’t speak English. I love the interpreters. They are refugees, too, and they are the best kind of people. Super adaptive. Imagine leaving everything - EVERYTHING - behind while you literally run to save your life! They seemed really touched when I said my thank yous.
While working here, I learnt a lot about refugee issues. I learnt about the difference between migrant workers and refugees. I learnt their daily struggles to live in a country which they don’t speak the language. Try it - go to another country with no official papers, no money, and a shit ton of communication barriers.
Privileged. I feel so fucking privileged. They made me realize that even if the odds are stacked against you, even if you are in a shit position in your life, it could be worse. Way worse.
It’s not far, but it is located in a busy area. Parking will be an issue.
I can take the bus OR train there. Location-wise, it’s good.
The thing is… I have this habit. I like to sleep until the last possible minute (In fact, I was late barely in time for work today). I would jolt up, brush my teeth, wash my face, throw something on, hug my sleeping girlfriend and wish her a good day, grab my pre-packed lunch from the fridge, and dash out.
I’d drive to work, park, and here’s the habit: I like to put my makeup in the car and chill with a cigarrette until it’s time to sign in.
If I take the train/bus, it’ll take me at least 45 minutes to reach the workplace (plus walking/waiting time) AND I have to wear my makeup from home (which means I have to wake up earlier). This option costs RM100 a month in transit pass.
If I take my car, I can get to work AND apply makeup AND smoke within 30 minutes. This option costs petrol money (estimated: RM100+ a month) and parking fees (estimated: RM110 a month).
Let’s break it down and assume that I work for 22 days a month. Let’s say that the cost difference between taking public transportation and car is about RM110. This brings it to RM5 a day, just for the 30 mins extra sleep each day.
Then again, it’s common sense that 30 minutes in the morning is equivalant to 3 hours normal time. It means so much more to have that extra time to sleep. Oh, I will probably be less sweaty to work, too.
As of right now, I’m very much aware that this is SO first-world problem. I mean, I talk about it over and over, but I know that this is a potential RM1200++ saved a year.
I’m a bit sad that this will be the last ‘full’ salary I’ll receive from this current workplace. My last day is next Thursday. I’ve already receive a few heartfelt goodbyes from co-workers. As much as I like it here, new adventure awaits.
* I don’t really talk to the other half my colleagues, though, so I’m wondering if next week’s farewell party will be awkward. It probably will, them wishing me all the best and lets keep in touch and we both know we won’t.
Money wise, I’m doing alright. Me and the GF have truly developed a taste for quality, fresh, ingredients. The other day she bought a bunch of fancy grapes for RM20! (You can get the same amount of normal grapes for like, RM5). We went shopping for fresh feta cheese and shrimps and 3 different kinds of salads and fancy ‘momotaro’ tomatoes. We eat very, very well. We enjoy cooking and love simple flavors. Except for her love for (artificial) peach tea (yech!), I’m enjoying this domestic bliss very, very much. I calculated my groceries expenses, and we’re probably eating RM2-3 a meal for both of us!
Who knew that being in a relationship is this budget friendly? :) Here’s a tip: live with your partner. Fast!
Monday is a public holiday. Monday is also our 13 months anniversary. We live together, but goodness the butterflies I still get whenever I see that face…
I was just thinking about my overall anxiousness with money. It follows a certain pattern almost every month. How it works is:
I get paid
I earmark rent money, bills money, utilities money, petrol money, groceries money, loan repayment money, etcetera. After the basic necessities, I’m usually left with about half my salary. Theoretically, I can live on half my salary, no problem.
Depending on the month, I either use a significant amount on emergencies (this year the award goes to car repairs), or on whatever that crop up (tithe, passport renewal, etc), or added into savings (quite rare nowadays).
Then I would calculate and recalculate and OBSESS about my current finances and whether or not I have to skimp until my next paycheck, where it all starts all over again.
I will also start calculating how many days I have to wait until the said paycheck. Mine should come by this week, although it might also be next Monday.
Speaking of which, this will be my last ‘full’ paycheck from my current job. I’m taking like 3 days off between the two jobs. Which SEEMED like a good idea at the time, I felt like taking a breather. BUT NO, dammit, girl, you are on a mission to save money. Vacations can wait, get your ass to work ASAP!
I’m going to email the new work place to tell them that I’m able to start sooner. I get paid about RM150 nett a day. Taking 3 days off is stupid. That’s RM450 I won’t get in salary.
Huh. Look at that. Tumblr made me sort out my thoughts again.