blogging

My personal experience: A comprehensive budget wedding plan in Malaysia

My Big Day
My Big Day

I had my wedding in December 2017. It was a memorable event but also a stressful moment in my life. Weddings are an expensive event nowadays especially Chinese wedding, where it can end up with a costly amount depending on the demand from the bride and the groom’s families. If you are in the process of wedding planning and are planning for a budget wedding for your big day, I have done mine and this can be your references.

  1. Registry of marriage (R.O.M) = RM24.00
  2. Wedding flower = RM150.00
  3. Bride’s chaperone (Dai Kam Jie) = RM600.00
  4. Wedding photography and makeup = RM1388.00
  5. Wedding decorative items (room & red packets) = RM220.00
  6. Wedding rings = RM2270.00
  7. Wedding biscuits & fruits = RM280.00
  8. Groom’s families grand gift = RM3288.00
  9. Bride & groom’s dressing and accessories (include R.O.M) = RM1800.00

The TOTAL amount of my wedding event from R.O.M until the big day is around RM10,000 (not include the flight ticket, RM2316.04 to Sarawak as my broom’s families are Sarawakian). I was having quite a typical Chinese traditional wedding as my parents did not agree with us to travel after the R.O.M and skip the traditional wedding ceremonies. We didn’t plan the budget for the grand wedding dinner initially, thus my parents spent on it and in the end, we gave back all the Ang Paos received from the guests to them on that day. If let’s say you will going to spend on the grand wedding dinner, you will definitely need to budget more than RM10,000.

You can make your wedding as simple as you wish, but the first thing is you need to negotiate with your own and the groom’s families. Like my case, our plan was not working and end up with paying more for our wedding. I felt sad and stress about it and luckily my husband took it positively and calmed me down over our marriage matters.

I will update my wedding stories starting with our R.O.M until the official ending of my wedding events (I need to figure out where I put all my pictures…).

baby stories, blogging, money

My first baby feeding bottles

While it has been a long time for me to do my research on the differences between the types of feeding bottles in the market. I saw this comparison chart when I did my window shopping at one of the local shopping malls and finally, my husband and I decided to buy the GLASS feeding bottles.

Types of feeding bottles and their differences
Types of feeding bottles and their differences (Note: based on Pigeon’s product)

Although glass feeding bottle is far more expensive than the plastic one, we still choose it as the best for our baby due to these advantages of glass feeding bottle:

  1. No chemicals (it is glass…)

  2. Easier to clean (this is the second most important!)

  3. Heat resistance

  4. Compatible with the breast pump (most of the time)

My husband and I went through some physical stores and online stores over the weekends. We found that most of the time the prices of glass bottles for those well-known brands such as Philips AVENT, Pigeon and Tommee Tippee at the physical stores are more expensive than the online stores.

Thus, we searched the glass feeding bottle on several leading online stores in Malaysia such as Lazada, Shopee, and 11street. In the end, we found the most affordable Pigeon glass feeding bottle on Shopee. We bought two 120ml Pigeon Slim-Neck Nursing Glass Bottle with RM82.39 (~20USD) with the promotion code applied.

120ml Pigeon Slim-Neck Nursing Glass Bottle
Pigeon Slim-Neck Nursing Glass Bottle, 120ml

Thanks to the seller, we received our order within 5 days with a really good packaging. We first worried where the bottles will break during the delivery but they are new and are in good condition.

We plan to buy five more glass feeding bottles in the coming month to store the breast milk in case I go to work after my confinement. Hopefully, the price won’t change a lot after a month. We still need to keep an eye on our monthly budget…as you may refer to my previous post on how to budget our money month by month.

If you have any better suggestion on how to save money buying baby stuff, please leave a comment below. Your recommendation will be much appreciated.

money

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

porridge
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.

money

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.

money

Latest: Preparing for individual income tax relief in the year 2019

Individual tax-filing season in Malaysia has finished recently. Most of the time, people keep forgetting to keep the claimable receipts for tax relief and consequently, end up with paying more tax to the government. Thus, the task of trying to save as much as we can while filing our taxes becomes a giant of an undertaking.

Nowadays, it is very for my husband and me to file the tax through online. It is a learning process from not knowing which category when filing online, to missing out on claiming for rebates on tax-relief items and getting the updates of tax-relief-qualified items each year. There are so many things to consider when filing for taxes.

To prepare for filing our individual income tax in the year 2019, I’ve come up with the list of updated tax-relief items to help you, as a Malaysian to save a little bit of money.

Those who have monthly income RM3100 or more in the year 2018 need to file the individual income tax.

individual income tax Malaysia
2019 useful individual tax-relief items

Above lists are those items which are common to most of the employees and you need to keep these receipts and invoices for tax-filing in the year 2019. There are still a lot of tax-relief items where you can refer to the LHDN official portal.

Every single cent counts. It may be a tiresome task to know where you can save on taxes, the amount you could potentially accumulate at the end of the day could ultimately worth the effort.