Forgive the shortened summary this week. It was my birthday yesterday so the time I normally spent on getting this ready for you was cut by half. But that also means the newsletter next week will be slightly longer.

Question of the week

Do you get travel insurance when you travel? I've just purchased an annual plan because the plan for this year is to be out of Malaysia for about 4 months.

Let us know in the Facebook group

From Our Own Site

We’ve released the first video this week! You can find it on out Youtube channel and on on Facebook Page!

This is the first time we're doing it so any advice on how we can improve the information would be awesome 🙂

Or is there a personal insurance related question you'd like advice on? Leave a message here!

Money in Daily Life

7 ways to buy back your time

When we talk about buying back your time, what we’re really talking about is convenience. These are purchases that make your day-to-day more convenient — thereby saving money.

This is by far the best thing that money can buy. Instead of doing the thing that doesn't really give you any satisfaction, why not use money to take care of it and use your time in a way that gives you more satisfaction?

Anyway, here's the list from the blog:

  • Laundry – are there any services that either allow you to drop off dirty clothes or will actually go to your home and pick it up?
  • Housecleaning – this is the one I use monthly for a deep clean
  • Transportation
  • Home improvement – I have renovated my own home before and I enjoyed parts of it. And then there were parts that I dreaded. I would totally outsource the dreaded parts next time!
  • Cooking – It can take a lot of time to make a proper meal. But if you can find some sort of food delivery program then that's hours back each day!
  • Groceries – stop strolling the isles and instead buy online!
  • Dog walking – this one I don't really believe in. I would assume that if you got a dog, you would enjoy its company and should go on a walk yourself.

How do you plan on buying back your time? Let us know in the Facebook group

Paying down debt should be a priority for low income workers, but it’s still important to save, experts say

Investment planning can often be seen as a luxury for the financially stable but advisers say that it’s especially important for those who are starting out in their careers or are struggling with debt.

Many people think that you must put all your money into paying off your debt, it may not be the ideal solution (depending on your situation). Take for example if you also owned a car and that car's past its prime time (meaning that it does start breaking down). If you had put all your money into paying off your student loan, and then your car breaks down, you would have to take out new debt (and in this case, it'd be credit card) which has a higher interest rate than the student loan.

There are many other examples like this that can be slowing you down even though you think you're doing the right thing. Which is why we have partnered up a financial planning company – to help give you a foundation of what you need to know and suggestions of what you should do.

Four Myths That Could Be Holding You Back Financially
This blog post is specific to budgeting. The 4 myths are:

  • Myth 1 – I Don’t Have Enough Money
  • Myth 2 – I Don’t Have Enough Time
  • Myth 3 – Budgeting Is Too Restrictive
  • Myth 4 – I’m Doing Fine Without a Budget

My thoughts? If you've never gone through the budgeting process, I would recommend you to. It will suck. However, you will discover a lot about the way you spend. After doing this religiously for 6 months, you will naturally know approximately how much was spent over a week. That's when you're ready to move on from the basics of budgeting and onto the next level…

8 Money Tips For Chinese New Year

  • Travel smart during Chinese New Year
  • Buy your tickets in advance
  • Look out for dining deals
  • Go easy on the snacks
  • Shop online (if you must)
  • Teach your family new money tricks
  • Manage your ‘ang pows’
  • Don’t push your luck when it comes to gambling

I got burnt on that last one before. Luckily it was just among friends so I did get a free dinner out of it haha.

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Grow Your Wealth

How to Get Started Investing With $100 or Less

Out of the main pillars of financial wellness—earn, save, spend, invest, and protect—investing can oftentimes feel like the scary, unknown thing lurking in the closet. Being frugal, creating a spending plan, and buying insurance seem to operate within the warm, fuzzy confines of familiarity and safety.

There are a few different ideas suggested by this blog. Though they are based in the US, I'll try to incorporate the Malaysian equivalent here.

  • Consider a micro-investing platform
    Unfortunately, there are no micro-investing platforms in Malaysia (that I know of). If I'm wrong, please let me know so everyone else can benefit from that platform!
  • Invest through a robo-advisor
    Malaysia's first robo-advisor was released last year. It's called StashAway. Although I have no experience with it, it can be a good option for those who want a more hands off approach.
  • Make contributions through a workplace retirement plan
    In the US, this is known as a 401k. Here in Malaysia, it would be the EPF. If you haven't maxed out your contribution, this could be a great place to leave your money (especially if your company will still match a set amount!)

Another platform that they didn't mention would be peer to peer lending (also known as P2P lending). There are a few different peer lending platforms in Malaysia, but the largest one is Funding Societies.

And another overlooked way to invest is to simply put your money into a higher interest savings account. The one I personally like is OCBC 360 where you can get up to 4.10%. That's probably 4000% more than what you're currently getting at your local bank.

FYI

Chinese New Year Ang Pow – What does it mean?

In the simplest way to describe it: Ang pow, literally translated to red packet, is a form of blessing that is very prevalent in Chinese culture. It is a gift that is commonly given during social and family events such as weddings by the elderly and married couples – not necessarily Chinese New Year only. Inside an ang pow is usually money in any value.

If you're interested in learning some myths around Chinese New Year, here you go!

Cool Opportunities

I have decided to show these opportunities to you because I believe that they are some of the best ones out there and in many cases, are ones that I am personally involved with or am looking to get involved with.

Accelerate your money goals by joining accountability groups
Did you know that studies have shown that more than 70 percent of people who have accountability buddies / groups reported completely accomplishing their goals or being more than halfway there compared to 35 percent of those who kept goals to themselves and didn’t even write them down.

That said, we are looking to create accountability groups for you to find people who are in a similar walk of life or have similar money goals so that you can increase the chances that you are successful with your goals. If you’re interested, click here to tell us what you’re interested in!

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 plan on only using this when I go to Toronto in December.

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

Talking to an Independent Financial Adviser
A big issue when you work with someone who calls themselves 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.