Question of the week

What was a best decision or big mistake you made with your money in the month of October? Share with us in this post!

Money in Daily Life

How to Keep Your Budget in Check this Holiday Season
These are some very practical steps for any holiday season where you end up buying a lot of stuff. Here's what they say you should do:

  • Create a Holiday Spending Plan – have a plan going into it otherwise it can get ugly
  • Reduce the Obligations – only go to the events that you enjoy
  • Side Hustle – what can you do that can make you extra money?
  • Start Your Shopping Early – by starting early, you won't get caught up in "holiday specials" where you're more like to spend more than you need
  • Get Resourceful – instead of giving gifts, what else can you give?
  • Host a Stuff Swap – get together with a few friends and see what items you can swap with them
  • Involve Your Family – instead of trying to buy everyone something, why not hold a game like white elephant or secret santa?

14 Malaysia-Based Personal Finance Instagrammers You Should Follow
If you use IG, you might enjoy this!

Lessons Learned from 6 Years Without a Car

Being car-free isn’t always easy. Little trips can be a hassle, and getting out of town for the weekend is more complex. But I’ve found it makes day-to-day life more carefree. If you’re walking, biking, or bussing around your city, you get to discover things you never would in your car, save a ton of cash, and live a little greener.

This person has noticed that once he decided to get rid of the car, not only has he ended up being able to spend more money on living in a more central location, but he has also been able to have more money left over to use.

In the Money 101 program (where you learn all the fundamentals of money for free), we also cover this fact. Did you know that your car could be costing you 20,000+ a year? That's a lot of money that could be used in other parts of your life.

Need Some Money Motivation? Try the Buddy System

The thing is, most Americans are too embarrassed to talk about money. A recent survey by LendingClub found that Americans are nearly twice as likely to talk with others about marital or relationship issues than credit card debt.

I don't know a single place where talking about money is normal. However, if you are able to find a accountability buddy or group, the chances of getting where you want actually doubles.

More than 70 percent 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, let us know if you would like to find an accountability buddy or accountability group in our personal finance group. If there's enough interest, we will find a way to make it happen!

Buy it for life: Choosing quality over price

Here's something I've learned over the past fifteen years: One way to practice financial prudence while living the good life is to buy quality products, products that are a pleasure to use, products that will last a lifetime (or at least a decade).

Have you also struggled with this question? I know I have. In fact, I still do!

However, what I've been starting to do a bit more of is I'm willing to make one more expensive, high quality purchase every month or two. That way, not only am I getting something that looks and feels nicer than normal, but I also know that I'm saving money in the long run with it.

Although this person's suggestions for high quality is focused on places in the US, some of them will ship to Malaysia. Of course it'd be more expensive, but hey, if we're talking about quality for life, that additional expense is minimal in the grand scheme of things.

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Grow Your Wealth

What to Do in a Bear Market

A typical bear market lasts about 1.5 years and prices fall on average about -40%.

This article gives you a very high level idea of what you should look for when in a bear market. The most important ones are to slowly buy into the stocks / unit trusts you want because you do not know where the bottom is and it would not be fun to buy in all at once only to see it go down an additional 20% and you run into a panic sell.

How to freelance: 5 steps to profit

Learning how to freelance is the first step toward an unlimited earning potential.

This is a really well written article with so many great tips that it won't be possible for me to properly summarise it. Below are the 5 steps but I highly suggest you read through it yourself!

  1. Find a profitable idea
    Hint: you are already full of profitable ideas
  2. Find your first client
    Look through job boards, facebook groups
  3. Pitch your talents
  4. Charge a good rate
  5. Invest in yourself

How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Faster

Credit cards typically charge 20% interest, regardless of how much debt you're holding, and that's quite a premium.

Paying off your credit card until you have no debts left is the best investment you can make. Why? Well, the chances that you will be able to get a better return than 20% is very VERY slim whereas any outstanding balance will most likely be charged a 20% interest rate. So if you pay it off, you will be keeping that 20%.

That said, in order to tackle your credit card debt, here's what the blog suggests:

  • Access your current financial picture
    It may be scary. So break it down into smaller parts. Look at what expenses are not really giving you as much long term fulfillment. Could those be the things that disappear and that money be used to pay down your debt?
  • What payment methodology would you like to use?
    There are two main types of methodology: avalanche and snowball. With the avalanche, you pay off the highest interest rate first and with the snowball, you pay off the credit card with the smallest outstanding balance.
    I would personally suggest the snowball because it gives you a win early and shows you that you're making progress.

Quick, invest in PRS before end of this year!

The PRS Youth Incentive was launched in October 2013, where a one-off RM500 would be given to those who contributed a minimum of RM1,000 into the PRS. The latest incentive (under the Budget 2017) however, has a higher incentive amount of RM1,000. This means that when you contribute a minimum of RM1,000, you’ll receive an additional (one-time only) RM1,000 into your PRS account, meaning you cannot withdraw it as cash until your retirement.

If you are between the age of 20 – 30, this if for you. If you don't know who to work with to open a PRS account, post a message in the facebook group and there will definitely be some people in here who can help.

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 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.