The Best Personal Finance Summaries – 9 September 2019

There are a lot of exciting things happening at MMM. From new partnerships to help break down the complexities of insurance, to us working on a project that will be able to map out your whole financial life for you.

More on that in the future!

From Us

Have you ever wondered if you are on track to reach a financial goal of yours? Well, now you can find out with the new goal app we created. Simply answer a few basic questions and you will find out if you will be able to reach your goal or not!

Try it out completely free!

New Video

Never be Taken Advantage of Again by Insurance Agents (5 Ways to Reduce Your Medical Premiums by 50%+)
As part of our goal of making personal finance easier to understand, we created a video with one of our partners to break down everything you need to know about buying a medical card.

We're proud to have over 1000 people view the video and so we'd like to share it with you as well.

What other videos would you like to see from us in the future?

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Money in Daily Life

11 Reasons Why It Benefits You To Have a Personal Financial Plan

One newspaper reported:
“…. an astounding 90% of rural households do not have any savings at all. For urban families, 86% have zero savings! “
A survey conducted by Bank Negara Malaysia shows that many Malaysians still cannot make responsible financial decisions for their -well-being.

Planning and managing financial resources should be prioritised when we talk about money. Here are 11 key reasons why you should do so.

1. Achieve financial independence sooner

A well-designed and properly executed financial plan could assist one to attain financial objectives. Always keep track of your goals could propel you achieve what you want faster.

2. Promote and speed up your level of financial literacy

The best approach to understand something is to do it. Partake personally in your financial plan planning. Figure out what you want – then, follow the gap when compared to current reality.

3. Financially ready for unexpected events/ emergencies

Financial planning involves “expecting the unexpected”. It is best to be prepared than to regret. Allocate a sum equivalent to 3 – 6 months living costs as your emergency fund.

4. Care for your dependents’ well-being

As the breadwinner for your loved one, proper insurance coverage could protect them financially when the unfortunate occurred.

5. Budget better to improve your cash flow

Track your expenditure habits. Allocate a budget and stick to it.

6. Better Risk Management (Managing the possibility of a financial loss)

Risks are integral in our life, but there are methods to defend against them. Proper financial planning could allow you to recognise the optimum insurance coverage. Thus, you don’t have to underpay or overpay.

More: #7 to #11

Other reasons for you to have a financial plan include; secure your retirement plans, anticipate effects of inflation, reveal financial mistakes you have been making, visualise the future and improve your return on investment (ROI). After all, creating a financial plan will assist you in making a thorough yet comprehensive assessment of your financial resources management plan!

Check out the original article from the link above to know the remaining tips!

6 Ways to Avoid the Temptation to Eat Out

Probably the most common piece of personal finance advice out there is to save money by avoiding restaurants.

Here are some suggestions that can help you if you find it difficult to avoid the temptation to eat out.

1. Think about why you like to go out to eat.

Ask yourself why you would prefer to eat out. Is it due to the taste, convenience, peer pressure or are you just merely feeling lazy? Know what your needs are is the first step.

2. Try thinking about the little negatives that come with going out to eat the next time you are tempted to stop in and grab a bite.

Sometimes, restaurants can be noisy. The parking is not the easiest to find. Restaurants cost a lot of money too. Think of any reasons to stop you from going out to eat. Also, a decision is more comfortable to be made based on short term effects rather than the long term ones.

3. Be creative in finding a way to eat home-cooked food that works with your schedule, preferences and habits, not against it.

Plan your menu! Leverage meal planning apps or websites to assist you no matter if you prefer cooking or simply assembling. Eating at home is healthier too.

4. Find the right balance in your life.

First things, first, you should make sure that your body has adequate nutrition. Other than that, if you don’t have the time or prefer eating at a restaurant, you should follow your heart. However, the burden of making a home-cooked meal should not fall on you solely; ask your partner or children to help you.

5. Take care of yourself.

Although you should make choices that are good for your wallet, you should prioritise your health. Eating in a restaurant can be a small treat for yourself for braving hectic responsibilities sometimes.

6. Remember that it’s still okay to go to restaurants.

It is okay to go to restaurants, just not that frequently. It is undeniable that restaurants can offer you novel and memorable experiences. The bottom line is, don’t settle for eating over-priced reheated food at mediocre restaurants.

Tackling Debt reports that the total U.S. consumer debt is at $13.51 trillion.

With a number like this, the question is, why are we racking up debt like there is no tomorrow?

Before answering the million-dollar question, it is essential to note that there are 5 types of borrowers. The table below summarises them to give you an idea who they are.

Types of Borrowers Characteristics
Wishers Too optimistic. Too lenient in handling debts – did not consider the interest rates.
Wasters Low self-esteem. Use money as an escape – to feel better or relieve stress. Easily pile up debts which might lead to bankruptcy.
Wanters Low self-discipline. Often succumb to their desire and favour immediate gratification.
Whiners Might be knowledgeable – instead of taking action, they spend time focused on the negative. Often complain about the system, but do not work on a solution at all.
Winners Know how to leverage the credit to their advantage. Self-education and awareness are the keys.

Thus, it is crucial to know how to get out of bad debt; and use good debt to your advantage. Read the article yourself to know more about it!

How Ready Are You to Retire?

One of my readers that I met up with some time ago asked me these 2 more profound questions about retirement:

What amount of principal will you feel comfortable to quit the job & collect investment dividends, with a not-too-spendthrift lifestyle?

How much to “reserve” for medical costs?

Another informative article by Kyith explored the things to be considered by one to gauge his/ her readiness to retire.

To know whether you are ready for retirement, there are 3 crucial pillars you should be aware of.

1. Your True Financial Situation

You need to know the exact lifestyle you want for your retirement life, your expenses change, unexpected expenditures and the actual state of your financial capabilities. Once you understand all of those truly, the retirement mathematics will work out for you.

2. The Non-monetary Aspects

The non-monetary aspects include your professional identity, societal status and your connections. Extra attention is needed to examine these items so that you can enjoy your retirement with peace of mind.

3. Your Experience with Wealth Management

You will have to know whether your current investment strategy fits your retirement planning. You should be comfortable to allocate your wealth with an acceptable return as well as cash flow.

There is a different degree of comfort living in retirement. But, having considered these 3 aspects, you will eventually become comfortable.

So to answer the first question:
What amount of principal will you feel comfortable to quit the job & collect investment dividends, with a not-too-spendthrift lifestyle?

The writer offered a rough, fast walkthrough which includes:

  • Appreciate your lifestyle and expenses.
  • Categorise your expenses into categories (whether they are recurring or essential).
  • Create a few lifestyle schemes.
  • Deduct the liabilities from your portfolio.
  • Calculate the initial withdrawal rate from the net wealth.

For the second question:
How much to “reserve” for medical costs?

The writer admitted that it was a tough one. To answer this particular question, the author brought in several new case studies to calculate the required lump sum in handling medical expenses.

Throughout the article, Kyith shared exciting opinions as well as offered some handy bits of advice. Be sure to check them out from the link above.

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Cool Opportunities

BigPay – The Best Travel Credit Card for Malaysians?
If you ever travel out of Malaysia and use your credit card, then this is BIG (pun intended). AirAsia has released BigPay, a prepaid mastercard that you can easily top up through the BigPay app and be able to use instantly.

But more importantly, BigPay charges you at the real exchange rate (which means they charge no fees). This is something you won’t get if you were to go to your bank or some exchange counter.

In fact, I've already saved over RM 10,000 using this card (you can read about it in our BigPay Review)

Anyway, if you don’t have one yet, you can sign up for free and get RM10 free when you use referral code B7D3YNZPGO.

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!

Building a financial roadmap
For those who are lost when it comes to tracking your net worth and using it as a way to create the ideal life, this is something you should check out.

We have worked with a financial advisor to lead you through building your own financial roadmap by yourself online.

And if you want them to do it for you (at a huge discount), you can make the request as well.

Check it out here!

Talking to an Independent Financial Adviser
A big issue when you work with someone who calls themself a financial advisor is you do not know if they really have your best interest at heart. That’s one of the main reasons why I never work with any (the other one is that most of them get trained to say what the company wants and thus, do not know of all the other cool opportunities out there).

However, I’ve been talking to an independent financial adviser the last few months and I do believe that not only is she knowledgeable, but also super open to sharing her knowledge.

If you’re interested in talking to her, join our facebook group and ask your questions. She will definitely find time to pop by and answer them.