Saving money is not as easy as it looks. Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (FOMCA) Deputy President Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said a recent survey revealed that 30 to 40 percent of Malaysians do not have sufficient savings. If you are one of those who is struggling to save money, here are ways to do it the smart way:
- Participate in a money-saving challenge
Taking part in a challenge is a fun way to save money. Did you know that you can save as much as RM1378 in a year if you start with RM1 in the first week and doubling it in the ensuing weeks? You can use that money for things you have wanted to buy, like a flight ticket to a dream destination.
2. Open a high yield savings account
Saving in the bank is a low-risk type of investment. The usual savings account lets you earn around 0.25% interest per year. A high-yield saving account allows you to earn up to 0.80% per year if you made no withdrawals for months. It will encourage you to leave your funds alone while making more from it.
- Organize your finances
Tracking your expenses might mean extra work, but you will not be fully aware where your money goes unless you track it. Tracking your expenses will help you better allocate your expenses and will ensure that you get the most out of your income.
- Cut your grocery bill in half
Malaysians spend most of their salary on food. According to Finance Minister Il Johari Abdul Ghani, Malaysians spend 31.2-percent of their disposable income on food and food away from home. The cost escalation of food makes it hard to cut your grocery bills, but it is possible to save on groceries. Start by creating a meal plan. Keep a stock of goods for a week or two to avoid impulse and last-minute buys. Buying in bulk is more practical than buying items in smaller quantity.
- Learn to do things yourself
DIY comes with hidden benefits. Imagine how much money you would save by learning to do your own redecorating and painting than hiring someone else to do it. Or how you can save money on food when you cook at home instead of dining out.
There are several reasons why saving money is important. Aside from having financial security, everyone needs to save because of emergency, retirement, and the costs of education. You can also avoid getting into debt when you have enough funds on rainy days.
Almost everyone wants to earn as much interest as possible with their savings account. The amount of interest you earn on your savings much depend on a variety of factors—tax paid, interest charges, economic growth, inflation rate and so on. Although many times, when these savings are adjusted for inflation, the actual rate of return accrued by today’s savings accounts is usually negative. The average return yield by many savings account is between 0.06%-1.0% APY (annual percentage yield). This puts many people in a dilemma of having to substantiate between losing purchasing power or losing liquid and security with their savings.
How Savings Account Rates are Determined
Based on principle, banks are not supposed to provide a higher rate on their deposit accounts than they charge people on their loans. This protects the bank from losing money and allow it to compete effectively in the market. In fact, many savings account rates are typically below 1% APY because the Federal Reserve choose to give cash to banks through its discount window. Banks are also supposed to lend to each other at the interest percentage stipulated by the federal funds’ rates as well. This means, when both the discount rate and federal funds rate are set below 1%, banks shouldn’t raise this rate to get cash from its depositors.
Real Rate of Return
As a rule of thumb, it’s wise not to focus much on the actual interest rate offered on your savings account to determine its returns. Sometimes the interest rate fluctuates due to the level of inflation rate rise experienced in that same particular year. Instead, stay focused on the real rate of return to substantiate how the purchasing power of your personal savings is behaving over time. A savings account nominal rate can fluctuate anytime, hence can’t be depended upon.
In summary, it’s evident that yields acquired on savings accounts are disturbingly very low. This is because the interest earned on savings depend on several factors such as tax charges, economic growth of a country, inflation rate and so on. However, it’s still possible to get a higher interest rate than that provided in a typical savings account. Simply visit your local bank and sign up for a high yield savings account and watch your money grow big every year. If you experience any problems or have any questions, talk to your bank, and they’ll be happy to assist you with any query you may have.
Backpacking is becoming popular for millennial Malaysians. Because Malaysia’s geographical locations are close to dozens of beautiful countries and airlines are providing affordable ways of flying, traveling has become accessible. Backpacking is the preferred way of travel as it is low-cost, independent and feeds your sense of wanderlust. However, there are dozens of pitfalls to backpacking because it allows you to be so mobile in a foreign destination. Thanks to technology, backpacking has become a lot safer and convenient. Before heading off, take a look at our Malaysian Backpacker’s checklist and start preparing.
- Bring a Powerbank and Adaptor
Every place you go may not have a suitable outlet so a powerbank can juice up your mobile phone. Not every country’s electric outlets have the same size so it would be wise to bring a transformable adaptor.
- Buy Travel Insurance
A must-do before getting on a plane is to buy travel insurance online in Malaysia. Travel insurance provides medical and liability coverage and protects you from any flight-related mishaps.
- Create Travel Soundtrack
No trip is complete with a suitable soundtrack to create a mood of wanderlust.
- Download Essential Applications
Technology has contributed to the popularity of backpacking. Download apps like Google Maps and Uber for navigation and transportation, as well as, language applications for communication.
- Handy a Padlock
Security is an essential when traveling. With no permanent home base, purchase a sturdy lock to keep your material belongings safe and secure while you slumber.
- Make Online Copies of Travel Documentation
Passports, credit cards, and visas are crucial documents when traveling. With all these items squished in your backpack, there’s a chance they could go missing. You should scan these documents and upload them to Google Drive or any Cloud service to assure you have them at all times.
- Make Yourself Traceable
It’s easy to get lost when exploring a foreign land. In case you go missing, have a loved one back home trace your mobile’s GPS signal, so you’ll always be on the map
- Pack Medicine
While sickness does not cross your mind when planning a trip, it’s important to be prepared for fever, stomach viruses among other illnesses in a foreign land.
- Pack a Foldable Rain Jacket and Bag Cover
Weather can make or break a vacation. Always pack a foldable and space-saving rain jacket and cover for your backpack for a rainy situation.
- Prepare Backup Service
Photos are an essential takeaway. Get a backup service for photos snapped on your phone or Wi-Fi-enabled camera like Dropbox where your photos are automatically stored.
Before heading on your backpacking excursion, make sure to accomplish these ten tasks to have a comfortable, safe and adventurous trip. Come back to Malaysia yearning to go backpacking once again.
Wealth is a financial measure that is not easily attained by many. The path to financial freedom is often rooted in perseverance, determination, tenacity, and hard work. Self-made billionaires and industry leaders often embody these traits and the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group; Jack Ma is one of them. Having recorded the largest IPO in US history, Jack Ma is now synonymous to the title ‘the richest man in China.’ Today, his advice have turned into philosophies that are adopted by people who want to create value in private financing and wealth management in Malaysia and abroad. Over the years, Jack Ma has taught many lessons on money management and here are some of them.
- With great luxury comes greater responsibility
Almost everyone is imbued with a false perception that having billions in your bank account equates to luxury and glamor. ‘When you have more than one billion dollars or a hundred million dollars, that’s a responsibility you have—it’s the trust of people on you because people believe you can spend money better than the others’ Jack Ma once said. Do your part in your society by investing on goodwill projects, corporate social responsibility, and research development.
- Seize every opportunity that knocks on your door
In the realm of business, no opportunities are too small or too big. Jack Ma is a man who believes in seizing and investing on ventures that guarantee profitable turnover and bright future. If there’s a business prospect that resonates with your passion and ideas, don’t be afraid to take it up and push it to its fullest potential.
- Capitalize on your youth
‘If you’re still poor at 35, it’s your fault!’ That has become the wake-up statement that shakes up every entrepreneur and business like minds to the core. Your decade of youth is the best time to capitalize on your imagination, ambition, and vigor. Make mistakes and learn from them. Sprint ahead and chase your dream. Then, reap the rewards that you sow when you turn 35.
- Never price your worth as free
In this day and age, free lunches are non-existent, and Jack Ma agrees when he said ‘free is the most expensive word.’ Every tasks and project on your table require your precious time and valuable effort. Instead of promoting your business with the promise of free things, acknowledge your worth and earn your followings by pricing them right. By building your reputation this way, you will gain respect and loyal following in return.
Managing your wealth successfully in Malaysia requires an altered perspective about money and finances. Founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma is an example that anyone can take on the path to success. To mirror his achievements into your personal wealth management, embrace Jack Ma’s advice at heart such as capitalizing on your youth and seizing every opportunity that knocks on your door.
Turn on the news, and you’re bound to hear plenty of different stories about people getting hurt, injured, or worse through a multitude of different ways. No doubt, it’s easy to see that our world has become dangerous now more than ever, and that’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right kind of protection to keep you and your family safe and secure no matter what the tides might bring. For many in Malaysia, the answer lies in getting covered with a comprehensive personal insurance that will compensate them or their family. If you’re still on the fence about whether you should get a personal insurance in Malaysia, these 6 reasons will tell you why getting covered is the smartest move you can make.
- Flexible – Insurance providers understand that different people have different needs. The risks and dangers that are present in the life of a construction worker living in the city, for example, differ greatly from an office worker who goes home to the suburbs. That said, it’s possible to have a policy tailored just for you so that you only pay for coverage that you really need. This allows you to maximize your budget by availing of different features that you’re sure to be able to benefit from in the future.
- Comprehensive – You might think that the coverage you get at work is more than enough to keep you aptly protected, but any insurance provided by an employer is a generalized policy that doesn’t really cover you against a lot of threats. Often, the insurance provided by your employer will only provide protections against a few minor dangers like illness and injury. But in the case of death, you shouldn’t expect to get anything to compensate your family. That’s why it’s ideal to avail of your own individual personal insurance to have all the different aspects of your life properly protected.
- Affordable – Many hear the word ‘premium’, and they automatically think they need to pay thousands just to keep their coverage. But that’s not actually the case. Insurance coverage isn’t as expensive as you think. Depending on the kind of policy you get, you can enjoy lower premiums. If you go out of your way to reduce the risk in your life, your insurance provider might even slash off some of the cost as a result of the reduced danger.
- Convenient – If you thought you could only make a claim if you get injured, get sick, or die, then you thought wrong. Depending on the kind of policy you’ve purchased, you can get a cash out when your coverage matures, which can span anywhere from 5, 10, or 15 years. If the policy holder is alive when the coverage reaches its maturity, you are entitled to a hefty sum of money which can be used to pay for education, housing, or any other personal expenses you may have lined up.
- For Everyone – When you buy personal insurance even just for yourself, members of your family will be included in your coverage as well. Aside from the fact that they will be the main beneficiary in case of death, they also get their own coverage as an extended feature of your own policy. If you want to beef up their plan, you have the option to do so at your own discretion.
- Discounts – If you’re already paying for health insurance, property insurance, and auto insurance, getting personal insurance from the same provider will grant you access to attractive discounts that will significantly reduce your monthly premiums. This way, you won’t only enjoy comprehensive coverage for all the aspects of your life, you’ll also get to experience the benefits of protection at a reduced cost . Personal insurance shouldn’t be optional, so be sure to get covered today. Step out of your fears, live without worry, and keep your loved ones protected by getting a comprehensive personal insurance policy and investing in the right kind of security.
There are over 8 million credit cards in circulation in Malaysia to date and each one comes with its own rewards and rebate scheme. Unfortunately, millions of ringgit in rebates and benefits go unclaimed each year, simply because majority of card holders don’t actually know that they have these perks. If you’re looking for ways to maximize the way you spend with your credit card, and you want to get the best out of every swipe you make, be sure to take note of these 5 tips for making the most of your credit card rebates and rewards.
- Check Restrictions – There are lots of different kinds of credit cards available, and the best ones are those that don’t restrict when and where you should be able to redeem whatever points and rebates you’ve accumulated. If you’re using a credit card in Malaysia with cash back rebates, be sure to look into the fine print. Learn more about the redemption procedure, and by all means, skip out on cards that will restrict you from redeeming at your own convenience.
- Know When to Get a Card – Some credit cards offer attractive sign-up bonuses that you can redeem within a certain period of time. The only catch here is that to be able to get your hands on the reward, you should spend a minimum amount using your credit card within the first few months of getting it. Before you get a new credit card, be sure to choose a date when you expect to make a lot of purchases, like the holidays, so you can guarantee to reach the minimum spending requirement.
- Use More Than One – According to financial experts, it’s always better to use at least three or four different credit cards instead of sticking to just one. This way, you can choose which card to use to help you maximize the benefits of specific purchases. For instance, some credit cards offer bigger points when used for buying gas, so using that specific card for fueling up will give you more rewards compared to other options.
- Keep an Eye Out for Promotions – To encourage consumer spending, some cards provide holders with bonus offers that they can redeem for a limited time only. For example, there have been some promotional offers that will grant up to 2% more rebates on purchases made at specific stores for a certain period of time. Going on a shopping spree will then help increase rewards and grant bigger cash backs for bigger savings.
- Shop Online – Before you go shopping at your favorite online store, be sure to check your card’s website and find out if they offer special rebates for purchases made through links they provide. By making transactions through your card’s provided website or links, you can get more rebates and increase your cash back rate to reduce your overall spending. Make sure you check all your options and do some research before buying online – some websites offer better deals for credit card purchases than others.
Are you getting the most of your cash backs, rebates, and rewards? Make every credit card swipe count, and keep these tips in mind the next time you pay with plastic. Maximize your money’s worth and get the best out of your credit card with these pro tips.