Photo by Jason Leung
Have you ever heard your friends complain about not having money? Or maybe you didn't have enough money for a proper meal, so you had to survive on instant noodles for a week? This is just one of the aspects of not managing expenses well. Based on the report of the survey covered by FMT, 46.6% of self-employed lost their jobs during Malaysia's MCO period. In comparison, 35.5% of those who are still working have their incomes reduced by over 90% during this time as well. With the lessons this pandemic has taught us, it is crucial to know how you can better manage your finances.
First and foremost, think twice before spending. You must be able to differentiate your wants from your needs. If you know you don't have a lot of money, then only buy what is absolutely necessary. What you need are items that will benefit your life as a whole. Whereas purchases you want, are things that satisfy immediate desires like new clothes and accessories. Thus, before you buy something, ask yourself what the importance of it is.
On top of that, jot down your income and expenses. This can serve as a reminder so that you can check if you're spending too much money. I'd suggest having your own notebook or notepad to jot down your income and expenses. If that doesn't suit you, there are countless financial apps online like Spendee, Wally and Mint, to make tracking expenses easier! With these helpers, you can refer to it when you want to know the history of previous purchases or keep track when somebody owes you. Therefore, jotting down your finances can benefit you greatly.
Also, it's best to use an e-wallet as a tool to only use the money you set aside, which will be a great way to record your expenses as well! Some e-wallets even remind you when you spend too much in a day which is great to know once you've gone over budget. Examples of these in Malaysia are in Touch 'n Go's e-wallet, GrabPay and Boost to name a few. Another advantage of this is that you don't have to worry about carrying cash with you and it also lowers chances of money being stolen from you. All in all, an e-wallet can help you manage your funds better and help you stay on the right track of your budget.
Apart from saving money, you can also earn some income by taking on a part-time job. Not only will this help you gain a little extra but you can fluff up your résumé with additional skills, experiences and talents that you learnt along the way. It can also be beneficial to take on a job that corresponds to what you are studying or what you're interested in. For example, suppose you're interested in fashion. In that case, working in a retail jewellery store could be a nifty way to learn more about the industry and what's trending in the market.
Managing your finances well is essential to living a comfortable lifestyle. But, that can be tough at times. With all the terminologies and numbers that take part in it, it can be a little overwhelming. But don't think of it as a burdening drag in life. Think of it as insurance for your future—an umbrella during a rainy day. Money is vital in our world, so with these few tips in mind, do your best to manage it wisely!
By Yap Jing Wei