Marion’s 2019 Spendings / Expenses Analysis


I’m a month late but I’m finally done with my 2019 spendings / expenses analysis!

To make it more fun, I decided to compare my 2019 expenses side by side with 2018. You must be wondering why I highlighted some numbers in green and some in red. Well, green means I reduced my expenses and red means I increased my expenses for 2019. I’ve organized my expenses into 5 parts -- Home, Bills, Transportation, Food and Others -- so I hope that it makes this analysis easier to digest. Honestly, since this is my first time doing this..looking at the table like this shocked me like ‘Dafuq I spent RM17k on transport??? RM7k on food??’.

HOME - RM16,108.24

Well lookie here..looks like my Home expenses increased by RM340.07 in 2019 compared to 2018. It might not be much but this is a good example of the lifestyle creep. This is how it creeps up on you and in this case - me. The increase was due to my utilities usage and Netflix / Amazon subscription. If you’re a follower, you would know that I got into pet sitting in April 2019 (I also like to post up cute cat Insta Stories and Highlights), and this is the reason why my utility bills increased. When I have cats in the house, I usually leave one of the fans on for them (ventilation purposes) and when I’m around and it’s a particularly hot day, I would turn on the air conditioning. I don’t mind spoiling them because I’m so grateful that their parents trust me to take care of them and I simply want to do a good job. Anyway, since pet sitting is considered a ‘gig’ for me, I wonder if there is a logical (idk how to say it) way for me to categorize this additional utilities amount as a business expense. Hm. I mean, it would be nice to see the total expenses for pet sitting. My rental is quite expensive but I am mostly paying for safety and this gig helps me to offset my rent by almost half (on average). Btw, you can check out my 2019 fixed expenses post here if you want to learn more about my home expenses. It needs to be updated though so stay tuned for my 2020 post.

Moving on to Netflix / Amazon subscription, I decided to subscribe to Amazon Prime video a few months ago because I wanted to watch The Boys. It’s a great show..I don’t regret subscribing to Amazon because they also have all the really nice older shows like The Nanny, Seinfeld, The Office etc. Plus, since I was using LG TV, I was able to get a discounted price for 6 months at RM12.23/month. On the downside...I am spending RM500+ PER YEAR on mindless TV consumption. I do want to phase this out from my life at some point so I can make better use of my time. Who can force me to do this? lol

BILLS - RM4,727.17

Bills. You can’t run away from it. These are just the other bills that aren’t house related.

Since most of these bills are fixed, you can read about it in my 2019 fixed expenses post which I have already linked. The only good thing in 2019 was that I was able to reduce my Maxis expenses by RM133 but that’s it. Another thing - just letting you know early that my expenses for Adobe will increase in 2020 because they increased the price from RM133/month to RM140/month. Ugh!!!!!! When I first subscribed to it 3-4 years ago, I was only paying RM88/month. Another ugh!!!!! But I will categorize Adobe as my business expenses 2020 onwards because I am finally earning revenue from Youtube now (a post about this will be coming soon as well..I’ve just been procrastinating) so you won’t see it in my personal expenses anymore.


Transportation was a HUGE expense for me in 2019 because I got a secondhand car (Kelisa FTW!). I have been staying here for a few years now and it was about time for me to get one. I also didn’t really have good access to Grab at my new workplace so that actually sealed the deal. I like how unsuspecting the car is, how cheap the petrol is and how in my mind - it is so vintage. If I wanna drive nicer cars, I can always rent a SOCAR. Here’s a funny story - my first driving experience here literally got me SHAKING because it is just so different from KK. I also saw an accident happen in front of my eyes after only a few months of driving (thankfully there were no victims) so I still feel scared when I even think about driving to new places, especially crowded ones so I would usually just use Grab or public transport instead. When I am back in KK, I rent a car (damn expensive but what to do). Anyway, I hope that my little baby Kelisa can last me a few years before I have to upgrade to another Kelisa (yes, you read that right). Moving on..Touch & Go expenses increased due to some parking and tolls but at RM117 per year, it’s not much. Thankfully, I don’t pass through tolls on the way to work. Yays. Most of my flights in 2018 (mostly to KK) was for business so I didn’t include it in my previous personal expenses (even though I spent lots of personal time since its home lol) but I can’t use the same excuse for 2019 anymore so all RM2062.06 spent on flights (also to KK) have to be included in this 2019 expenses. For 2020, I hope to only spend RM5,000 on transportation..including flights. That means, I have to buy my Christmas tickets early. DON’T DO LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS ANYMORE MARION.

FOOD - RM7,024.08

At RM7,024.08, I spent an average of RM585.34 each month on food (eating out & groceries). Here is an interesting analysis..I managed to reduce my food expenses in 2019 by RM729.83 compared to 2018 and if you look closely at the table above, you can see that the majority was from eating out. I think the main reason why is because most of my lunch now is spent eating the meals I prepped instead of eating out with my colleagues. I also think another reason why I spent less on eating out was because I socialized less in 2019 so I didn’t have a chance to treat people as much as I did in the year before.

Even with all the cooking, I STILL spent less on groceries in 2019. My #mealprep game must be strong. Here is another plus point: I totally maintained my weight at my new job. It doesn't have food perks like free lunch or a stocked up pantry, but at least I don't have any temptations! I am grateful.

OTHERS - RM18,498.27

There's just 4 things that I wanna highlight in the ‘Others’ category which are - clothes, beauty, gifts & donations and miscellaneous.

Clothes (RM2,455.46)

I saved a lot on clothes this year. Now look at the table above. Did you see how much I spent JUST on clothes in 2018? A whopping RM6k+ and I managed to reduce it by a third in 2019. Whoop whoop. I’m proud of myself for that. Other than food, I use shopping to deal with my stress. As much as I want to reduce this expense in 2020, I think this amount is the lowest I will go since I am predicting a lot of stress this year. But I will try my best anyway, okay?

Beauty (RM2,511.73)

What do I usually spend in this beauty category? There's eyelash extensions, manicure, hair wash & blow, facial, makeup stuff from Sephora, Watsons or Guardian. This girl needs a lot of stuff to look and feel her best. I am not going to lie, feeling good makes me motivated to get up from bed every day and actually hustle. Otherwise, I’ll just lay in bed the whole day in the dark for days on end.

As much as I love my Beauty stuff, 2020 is the year of savings for me and since I am not reducing my Clothes shopping expenses, I plan to reduce my Beauty expenses in 2020 by RM1k. How do I plan to do this? Mostly by reducing my eyelash extensions. I will go back to using fake eyelashes instead, as of now I found these really nice lashes by More Lashes x Fashionvalet at RM36 per set and I think that's good enough. I’m gonna significantly reduce my manicures and saloon appointments and buy mostly drugstore makeup. I’m grateful to have the chance to work with some really awesome beauty brands so sometimes I do get awesome stuff.

Gifts & Donation (RM7,635.24)

I’ve increased my gifts and donations by 1,099% in 2019 compared to 2018 and that is A LOT. If you’ve been reading my blogs, you would know that I’ve started giving RM1k to my family every month since July 2019. I’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities last year so I’m lucky to be able to give back but it is still STRESSFUL for me because I don’t how long these opportunities will last. I want to save as much as I can now. Once it’s gone, I don’t know how I will be able to contribute that amount anymore..not to mention I am working super fucking hard, coming back from my day job and then working again till midnight, weekends AND public holidays.

Miscellaneous (RM5046.44)

Miscellaneous stuff consists of things like my license renewal, new hair curler, bridesmaid stuff, hotel bookings, poslaju expenses, cat litter and food for my pet sitting gig, massages...oh, I also bought myself a DJI Osmo Pocket. I also included all my car servicing and fixing here even though its supposed to be in transportation. But I’m just too lazy to re-do my excel sheet. Mental note: I have to include a car servicing subcategory in Transportation for 2020.

This is what my 2019 spendings / expenses looks like on a month to month basis. As you can see, my expenses during January, February and March were pretty consistent. After that, there was a HUGE spike due to me getting my car in April and naturally I spent the lowest during May because well..I was broke. It spiked up again during July because I had some engine problems on the car (paid RM1.2k to HS Auto Centre in Dengkil but they failed to fix it..what a scam), started helping out with the family (and haven’t stopped since) and also bought my DJI Osmo Pocket, which I had already saved up for a months before (I kept changing my mind about it but finally decided I wanted it). I had my birthday in October and I also had maid-of-honor duties out of state the same month as well as in November. In December, I went back to KK for Christmas (which cost a lot financially). After July, I wasn’t able to keep my expenses as low as the first 3 months of the year anymore and that makes me a little sad. I was hoping for more savings because I wanted to take advantage of all the compound interest. Nothing ever goes according to plan smh.

But life is full of ups and downs, and it is rarely consistent. Things are always happening and changing and this chart is proof of that. If you watched my Money Goals 2020 video, you would know that I will be saving up for Christmas in anticipation of the expenses so I can look forward to something without stressing myself out. I also wanna save up for climbing Mt Kinabalu, for a drone (so I can create better vlogs), 1st year of Lasek surgery (working as much as I do is affecting my eyesight), and travelling to Taiwan. I am quite hesitant to travel this year due to the recent coronavirus situation but we shall see how it goes after a few months. I still haven’t asked my brother when is the best time to visit.

Final Thoughts

Last year, I thought that reducing my expenses was going to be a piece of cake. I even said that I was going to reduce it to RM40k per year LOL. But I was wrong. Not only have I not navigated away from lifestyle inflation, but my responsibilities seem to be increasing each year. It seems that negative thoughts seem to be increasing as well. I need to remind myself to be grateful for simple things like a roof over my head, healthy body, family, food to eat, a job I like and more. I need to tell myself to enjoy this journey of life and to be strong when the tough gets going. Take it one step at a time.

Hope you enjoy my long long long post. See you in my next one! What can you expect from me for the next few posts? My Youtube journey. My 2020 fixed expenses. And my January 2020 expenses breakdown.

Read more here:

Monthly Fixed Expenses Breakdown 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: January 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: February 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: March 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: April 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: May 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: June 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: July 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: August 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: September 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: October 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: November 2019

Monthly Expenses Breakdown: December 2019

My Mid Year Personal Finance Review

Have you signed up for BigPay yet? Here is my 1 Month Review