3 simple ways to manage your budget

I have a little money to spend each month after I pay off those regular expenses such as the mortgage,  internet plan, study loan, and etc. How do I manage to survive without overspending? Below are my current practices to make sure everything is within my budget.

1   Save first, spend later

budget spreadsheet
my household monthly budget in 2018

If you read my previous post regarding on how to budget, I am having a personal financial crisis now where I don’t have enough saving and also lack of emergency fund.

One of the ways I handle the stress of my financial status is to save the money which is based on my estimation at the beginning of the month. Whenever leftover money in the previous month, it will be included in the saving also. This will prevent myself from making the assumption that “I have extra money from the previous month and I can spend more now”. Thus, this becomes my habit to save whatever I have at the beginning of the month and it makes me feel secure.

2   Put the same amount of money in the wallet every day/week

Although you can’t save from those fix expenditure, you can spend less for buying the groceries and eating out! Therefore, I put some amount of money in my wallet weekly to avoid from buying unnecessary things in the week. In addition, at the end of the week, I will take out the remains and put it in a container and leave it there. At the end of the month, I still can save some money!

3   Eat healthier, save more

One of my dinner (ingredient: minced pork meat, cabbage, brown rice, white pepper powder and soy sauce)

Get your kitchenware and starting cooking! Spend some time to search for cheaper and healthier recipes, get the fresh ingredient and learn the way to maintain its freshness, and make your own healthy dishes. You will spend more if you choose to eat out, the petrol, the services tax, and parking fee. Most of the time, the outside food contains a lot of coloring, preservative, and MSG to make the food looks tasty and fresh. But this will slowly affect your health! Learn how to make some simple and delicious dishes is a good way to save the money, at the same time restore our body fitness.

From time to time, I realize that I can actually save a lot through this simple step. Though it might be tough to stick with these habits at first, eventually I get used to it and happy to see my saving is growing. I also prepare a coin saving container for my husband and I am very happy to say that, my husband is willing to save the coins and these are for the BABY! I believe in one day, we will out of stress from handling our finance and be ready for FINANCIAL FREEDOM in the next few years.

If you have the better idea on how to manage the spending, please do not hesitate to leave the suggestion below.


Another money making online survey site

(Updated May 2018)

If you read my post on Money I made doing online surveys, I earn some extra incomes from one of the legitimate survey site which is Global Test Market. I hope you also benefit from this survey site by signing up and start doing the surveys sent to your email.

Now, I would like to introduce another legitimate survey site suggested by my friends which is YouGov. Before I give it a try, I usually go through a lot of the review sites to make sure the site I planned to join is truly legit.

YouGov Malaysia homepage

YouGov is a Singapore based company. This site conducts surveys or polls about politics, public affairs, products, brands and other topics of general interest. The site also mentions that the data will be used by news media, public affairs groups, institutions, companies and marketing agencies. Anyone for the world age 16 and above is free to join. You can sign up by selecting your own region (mine is Malaysia). In addition, if you are the AirAsia or BIG Shot member, you can get 250 BIG Points upon sign up and complete the welcome survey!

You will receive an email when they have the suitable survey for you. You can access the survey straight from your email. Most of the time, the surveys are short and only take about 10 minutes to complete. The longest survey I took is about 20 minutes because it is having more complex questions.

Once you complete the surveys, you will earn certain points and can later be redeemed for cash or other rewards including CASH by deposit to your PayPal account.

I joined YouGov on May 2, 2018 and have received my first survey on May 11,2018. from my previous experience in Global Test Market, it takes time to receive the survey regularly when you are new. But it soon will get better if you consistently taking part in the survey and complete it honestly.

My account history since the time I joined the YouGov.

This is my current point. I still need more points to redeem any rewards. When you have spare time, why not just complete some simple surveys and earn some rewards instead of sitting there and do nothing?

My current points in YouGov.

Last but not least, for every person that joins YouGov via your referral link and completes 6 surveys, you will also receive 200 points!

I only recommend the legitimate earning sites I trust to my friends and you. Soon I will update you on this post again once I redeem and receive the rewards from YouGov, just like what I did in my previous post.

What are you waiting for? Let’s join YouGov and earn points now!


Top 3 reasons not to get a credit card

Budgeting and saving my money have become an essential task for me this year. I decided to stop using the credit card although it can be a key financial tool for me if used responsibly. There are some reasons for me to stop using it.

credit card
stop using the credit card!

1   Blowing my budget

The biggest problem of having a credit card is that it encourages me to spend money that I don’t have. Most of the time, it does not require me to pay off my balance each month, so I will easily overspend without staying on my budget.

2   High-interest rates 

Credit card company will charge an enormous amount of interest if you are not able to pay off the money you spent at the end of each month. In other words, if I carry a balance at the end of each month, all my purchases will end up costing me a little more.

3   Credit card fraud

The credit card is the common target for scammers. Sometimes you might not know your credit card number has been stolen until you receive your monthly statement. Therefore, I need to always keep those receipts and review the monthly bill to confirm that it accurately reflects my purchases. It is adding stress to me and it is time-consuming too.

Credit cards can make my life easier and be a great tool, but it can become a huge financial burden to me if I do not use it wisely.

Since the debit card nowadays is very convenient will it allows me to spend money by drawing on the only funds that I deposited with the card provider, I can stay within my budget. Same as the credit card, I don’t have to carry a lot of money with me wherever I go.

Do you have any experiences with a credit card? Feel free to share with me under the comment below.


5 signs you’re not saving enough money

save money

Several incidents in my life made me realize that I have saved little or nothing at all in my little piggy bank and the saving account. I know I need to change my spending habits to get on track, at least to have enough money to cover any emergency.

Through my self-evaluation, A journey to freedom rounded up 5 warning signs that could indicate you need to start saving more.

1   I don’t have an emergency fund

Life doesn’t always go as planned.

Before I write this post, one of my family members had a medical emergency and needed immediate surgical intervention. This private operation costs more than RM50k (about USD13k). Luckily, my parents have enough saving and were able to pay for it. However, if this happens to me, I can’t. I don’t have even RM3k in my total saving.

The idea is that, if an emergency or unexpected big cost arises, for example, my car breaking down, I would have to go into more debt or not able to pay for it.

Thus, it is important for me and you to start to build our safety net.

fisherman, safety net
build yourself a safety net

2  I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck

If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and can barely pay your bills each month just like me, it is nearly impossible to build up substantial savings.

When I’m staring at my little piggy coin bank, I decided to find several ways to increase my income or spend less. I would like to start a side hustle or establish the passive income to boost my earning potential.

don’t depend on your monthly paycheck

3   I have no idea how much I spend

I have a good idea of how much money is coming each month because it’s kind of fixed. But how much is flowing out, toward expenditures like food, movie, hang out and etc.? I have no idea. A few years back, I actually write down my expenses in a notebook to track my family’s expenses. However, I a bit lazy and can’t maintain this habit until I stopped recording my spending in the end.

I think you and I should start it again to find ways to cut back our spending.

track your spending consistently

4   I don’t have saving goals

I used to have saving goals and wrote on a fake cheque. I lost it when I move into my new house. That goal is a rough idea of how much I would like to have in X year. It is not precise because I don’t know exactly what I want my future to look like.

Now, it is time for you and me to come up a saving goal, and start setting aside a certain amount each week or month.

set your saving goals

5  I don’t have sufficient cash on hand

After paying my study loans, housing loans, mobile data subscription and etc. using my salary, I have less money leftover in my bank. After setting aside some amount for saving purpose, I have even less money now. Although I have quite a lot in my EPF (Employee Provident Fund), I can’t simply withdraw any from EPF before I reach the age 50 [In fact, this EPF withdrawal T&C is good for you and me to secure my retirement].

Now, I left less than RM2000 each month. If any costly emergency arises, the only thing I can do is, ASK FOR HELP. I don’t want this to become REAL!

Last but not least, throughout the journey to freedom, I will be going to record and share how I am going to make my life FREE. The first thing I must do is,

cash on hand


What do you think about saving money? Share your thoughts in the comments below!