The Best Personal Finance Summaries – 18 November 2019

It's almost the end of the year, and to celebrate it with you, we would like to hold a giveaway full of great prizes.

That said, we're not rich. Besides giving hard cash, what would you like us to offer in the giveaway? Would it be hotels for staycations? A spa package? Or some giftcard to places you frequently visit so that you won't have to pay for it yourself?

Reply to this email and let us know so we can see what we can do!

From Us

[VIDEO] Book Summary: Total Money Makeover (part 2)
Here's the second (and final part) for the book summary: The Total Money Makeover. Do you know someone who's in debt and can't seem to get out of it? If so, this video will really help.

Reply to this email to let us know what you think or what you would like us to summarise in the future!

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Money in Daily Life

Vacation Finance: Choosing a Travel Destination on a Budget

Even though we’re excited that this is our first real vacation and that we have newfound autonomy over our travel decisions, we’re also a little concerned. We hope that in our excitement we won’t overspend and break all of our usual frugal habits …

A recent article published on MoneyNing by Michelle, one of the website contributors, detailed how she and her boyfriend choose their travel destination within an acceptable budget. In this post, she shared how she chose the location for the trip.

She started by making a shortlist of locations and narrowed it down. There were 3 choices, namely Michigan, California and New York. Michelle outlined the possible activities which could be carried out in the location without spending a fortune. By doing so, she had a better idea about the likely expenditure and potential enjoyment.

As for Michelle, she wanted to experience something new and exciting, which would justify the extra expenses incurred. She also quoted the saying by David in his book of frugal travel tips, the travel experience should be your priority over extreme frugality.

Therefore, at last, Michelle chose California as her travel destination. Before she ended the article, she also shared various exciting plans she would be having during her trip!

Be sure to check out the article from the link above.

Financial Implications of Having a Baby Later in Life

Do you plan to have a child when you’re over 35? If you are, let’s explore the financial ramifications.

Nowadays, many people become parents only at an older age. While there are many reasons behind this phenomenon, having a child when you are older has financial consequences.

1. Career: More time on building your career & earning power

Raising a child takes time and care – it might hinder career progression. However, at an older age, you may have already established in your career and earning a sizable income. Therefore, the financial aspect will not be an issue.

2. Savings: Set up a “Baby Fund”

Generally, savings should cover expenses from pregnancy to the baby one-year-old birthday. By having sufficient savings, a stress-free pregnancy can be guaranteed money-wise.

3. Medical cost: High-risk pregnancy will cost you more

Women over the age of 35 have a higher risk of pregnancy complications and fertility problems. Extra treatment, specialised care and the medical procedure can translate into a hefty sum.

4. Housing: The need for a bigger house

To house another person, you will need a bigger space – which means debt for the next 20 years. At an older age, your options for bank loans become limited. It will be challenging for your retirement planning.

5. Cutting retirement savings for childcare costs

Raising a child is expensive. It might affect your monetary commitment towards your retirement fund.

6. Sandwich generation: Taking care of both children and ageing parents at the expense of retirement fund

“Sandwich generation” is termed for people who need to take care of both their young children and ageing parents. Both generations rely on you for financial support. This could affect your retirement savings. Understand your parents’ financial capability can ease your financial stress.

7. Costs of education are expensive: Plan for it

Costs for a decent education is not cheap. It would help if you planned for your children's education fund as soon as possible.

8. Risk management: Buy insurance

Insurance costs more as you progress in life, regardless of the coverage amount. If you have dependents, get life insurance to protect them financially. During pregnancy, it is suggested to purchase insurance to cover prenatal and your unborn baby too.

9. Budget: Create a new family budget

Create a new household budget that includes your child. This can better prepare you to embrace the change of lifestyle and understand the monetary requirement.


Having a baby and starting a family is a personal choice. You can’t depend solely on dollars and cents as the measuring stick to decide for you. Plan for it, and you will be alright. Just bring it on and embrace it.

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Grow Your Wealth

10 Types of Islamic Investments in Malaysia (that Everyone Can Get)

Throughout the years, I’ve made my notes when it comes to Islamic investment options in Malaysia. It’s far from comprehensive, but it’s time to share it with you. Hopefully, it’ll help.

Suraya from Ringgit Oh Ringgit in her recent post compiled 10 types of Islamic investments one could get into in Malaysia.

Before she started, she made several notes:

  • Muslims can make non-Syariah compliant investments, and non-Muslims can get Islamic investments.
  • Syariah is the same as Shariah.
  • While Islam is perfect for believers, Muslims are not. There might be conflicting views about “Islamic-ness” even in Islamic investments.

All of the available Islamic investment options are best summarised as below:

Islamic Investments Details
Mutual Funds/ Unit Trusts/ ETFs All mutual funds under Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB) are Syariah-compliant. Tabung Haji as well. One general rule-of-thumb is that Syariah-compliant funds have the words ‘Shariah’, ‘Islamic’ or ‘Sukuk’. As for ETFs, one could check the Syariah-compliant status easily from the brokerage platform as well as Bursa Malaysia.
Fixed Deposits Fixed deposit name ends with ‘-i’ is Syariah-compliant.
Property/ Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) For properties, they are all halal in theory. As for REITs, only 4 out of 18 (Al-‘Aqar Healthcare REIT, Al-Salam Real Estate Investment Trust, Axis-REIT and KLCC Property & REIT – Stapled Securities) are Syariah-compliant.
Stocks Refer to List of Shariah-Compliant Securities by SC’s Shariah Advisory Council page for the most updated list as changes occur frequently.
Gold Physical gold is halal as long as it is bought with clean money. For e-gold, one should do their due diligence to find out as scams happen fairly often.
Digital Assets Excessive risk-taking – borderline gambling to speculate the value of digital assets is haram. Therefore, buy within your risk level.
P2P Lending Only Ethis Capital is Syariah-compliant amongst 11 registered P2P lending platforms in Malaysia.
Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) Among 10 registered ECF platforms in Malaysia, only Ethis Ventures is Syariah-compliant.
Art/ Antiques/ Jewellery Similar to gold, it is halal with clean money.
Fiat Currencies The clean money rule applies as well.

Cool Opportunities

A way for females to get free insurance
We were talking to our super humble financial advisor friend one day and she started talking about some insurance product for females that provides coverage for all these female related illnesses. But more importantly, the contract also states that all the premiums will be returned at the end of the contract.

Seriously something for all females to consider!