Photo credits to Fabian Blank
If you’ve read my New Year, New Money Goals post, you would know that I didn’t set a lot of personal finance goals in the beginning of this year. My two main goal was to:
Write down my monthly expenses breakdown
Reduce expenses to RM30k in 2019
So how’s the result so far?
Goal: Write down my monthly expenses breakdown
The first goal was a piece of cake. I managed to write a post of my expenses breakdown each month without procrastinating. It’s something that I started to do only this year even though I have been tracking my expenses since mid-2017.
I used to blog since more than 10 years ago and as time goes by, with the rise of social media, blogging just wasn’t the same for me anymore until I found this new thing called personal finance. Two years ago, I thought that blogging was dead, but I didn’t want to give up on it because I’ve been doing it for so long. Turns out, all I had to do was find other ways to make it interesting for me.
Goal: Reduce expenses to RM30k in 2019
I laughed at this.
That’s because I’ve already spent around RM31k halfway through 2019. Therefore, you could say that I didn’t ‘achieve’ this goal. Almost half of that amount was spent on my ‘new’ car a few months ago.
The reason why I wanted to reduce it to RM30k was because I spent RM40k in 2018 and I figured that I should challenge myself to save more instead of spend more. I pondered and thought ‘Did I set an unrealistic goal? Was it too low?’. RM30,000 a year equals to RM2,500 a month. It’s not a lot, but this is actually the reality of a lot of people. At that time, I thought ‘If they can do it, why can’t I?’. I was wrong lol. Again, the lifestyle creep was why my expenses kept increasing every year.
When I started this personal finance journey, it was all about being frugal and reducing my expenses. But as I dug deeper and read more articles, I started to focus on my earnings, savings and investments. I even made spreadsheets for it. Sometimes I wish I was writing these blog posts anonymously so that I can talk about it in detail. But I don’t want to give out such detailed information to avoid scammers. For all they know, I could have RM10 in my savings.
I do, however, want to talk a little bit about it since I am so excited about my progress.
So I started an income and savings spreadsheet about 2 months ago and my mind is blown. I feel like I’ve solved my saving problem. Because you see, I love to SPEND SPEND SPEND (did your brain think WIN WIN WIN when you read that? lol). A lot of time I had to force myself to stay home and not go out to shop. Unfortunately, when I DO go out, I would spend much more than anticipated. Now, since I have the spreadsheet, I can actually put in my savings goal and every time I hit a goal, it feels amazing. Currently, I have a few savings categories, which are:
Fuck You (FU) Fund
These are the things I want to save for..I wanna save for my first property, for emergency funds, retirement funds and also save for my business fund. It’s a lot of things to keep track and doing it in a spreadsheet makes it easier to look at the big picture.
My House Savings goes into ASB while my FU Fund goes into ASB2 so that I can grow me some dividends. For my FU Fund, I plan to save about 6 months’ worth of expenses. Some say that 3 months of expenses is enough, and some say that you need 2 years’ worth of expenses and so on. For me, I’m okay with my goal and only when I’ve hit that goal, I will strive for a year’s worth of expenses as my FU Fund. You know..just in case one day, I don’t have any source of income anymore. For my Emergency Cash, I simply want to save RM1k this year. This is so that I don’t go digging into my House Savings or FU Fund.
Now, lets talk about retirement. This is actually something that I constantly worry about. In my mind, even RM1Million won’t be enough to retire with at 55 years old in the future and das scary. What if my minimum expenses become RM5k a month in the future? Because of inflation and shit? That is RM60k a year. At most, I can cover my expenses for 16 years, provided that that my expenses maintain the same and that I don’t have any unexpected expenses. That’s like...70 years old. And you know how women tend to live longer than men? What if I live till 90? OMG, I think I need prepare for assisted dying in the future.
Can you see that I’m an overthinker?
Anyway, moving on..I have two channels to save for my retirement which is the mandatory EPF contribution as well as the PRS contribution, which is more flexible compared to EPF. I will try to put in a minimum of RM3k each year to take advantage of the tax relief. Unfortunately, this tax relief incentive is only up to 2021 *sad*
The last category is under ‘Mimirello’. This savings will act as my cash for my little enterprise. I have a little e-commerce store in this website and also on an Instagram page so the money will go towards building my brand..not just for the e-commerce store but the website and social media channels as well. I have yet to sit down and properly draw up a plan for this (I've been procrastinating) but at least I have money for this.
Moving on to Income, I did the same thing as my Savings spreadsheet and I’m excited for the end of the year when I can see my total earnings as well as the breakdown of each earning. I’m not going into the specifics but I just feel blessed being able to earn enough to actually save money and not eating just porridge at the end of the month.
That’s about it for my mid-year review. It’s actually quite a lot. I feel like a personal finance analyst :P
Read abut my fixed expenses here.
If you haven't read my monthly breakdown posts yet, here is a list:
Have you signed up for BigPay yet? Here is my 1 Month Review.