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 electric breast pump

There are many electric breast pumps on the market which are branded and expensive such as Phillips AVENT, Autumnz, Medela, Spectra and etc. If you go to the review or comparison sites on the electric breast pumps, they will most likely recommend you to use those well-known branded breast pumps which will cost you more than RM200 and above. For example, one of the Medela electric breast pumps, Swing cost about RM599 and this is the price at one of the online store.

Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump
The price of one of the Medela electric breast pump (price is listed on 14th June 2018)

At first, I was shilly-shallied about buying an electric breast pump because it will be going to exceed my budget for preparing the baby items. Besides, it will only be used for maybe half of the year or one. Then, will you give the expensive electric breast pump to your ready-to-be mum’s friend as a present just like you are giving out the used baby shirts??

I think this was the blessing from the GOD. I found one electric breast pump at one of my favorite online stores, Shopee and it is the CHEAPEST among those branded one. I thought it was a scam because of the incredibly low price makes me feel that it is not reliable, and also it looks like one of the China brand, Real Bubee (I thought both are the same, maybe this company copies the China’s idea? Hmm…). I then scrolled down and see those rating with photos. Many mummies tried it out and the feedback was NOT BAD!

Double Electric Breast Pump
Cheaper option of the electric breast pump

Thinking THREE…TWO…ONE…OKAY! I am ON! I gave it a try and place my order to get this electric breast pump. The parcel was shipped to my place within one week. Fast delivery and nice packaging made by the seller.

My cheap electric breast pump
Testing my electric breast pump. The small pink color object is the pump…look like a mouse!

This electric breast pump is very convenient to use because it uses USB power supply so it can save up the space of electric plug by using laptop or power bank to turn the pump on. The size of the pump just fit on my palm. To check whether it is working fine before I need it for one month later, this is the result: (because my site is not a premium plan, no money…so I can only convert my video to the audio file so you can get some idea on how this pump works!)

It sounds too good for me to have this cheap and workable electric breast pump. I will write a review on its performance once I try it out. I really hope it will work well and this will really save lots of my money, and other mummies’ money too.

If anyone of you tried this before, please tell me how it goes with you.

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.

baby stories

First-time mom essential baby shopping list

Being a first-time mom, that’s a lot of things I worry about what is coming next. My parents, relatives, and friends give a lot of advice on what I need, what I don’t really need, how much I need to prepare and etc. I am quite frustrated and panicked for the non-stop different recommendation from those exciting people.

Newborn essentials & needs
Newborn essentials & needs

Shopping for baby can be rather overwhelming as there is so much attractive baby equipment to choose from. Therefore, I do my own researches through the web on the first-time mom essential baby items and create my own shopping list that suits my lifestyle and is within my budget.

Link: The essential items for baby from 0 to 3 months old (updated June 2018)

I will update the money I spent and the information once I purchase the items I planned to buy. Maybe I can get some free stuff from my supportive ones? Who knows…….

If you have any suggestion or recommendation on the important basic items for the newborn especially those mummies who have experiences dealing with the baby (you know more than me ^.^), please do not hesitate to leave the comments below. Your bits of help is truly appreciated.