Let Me Show You My Smart Money Moves

Its over! The carefree days of being a student and living off study loans or Pa & Ma "scholarships" are gone. You now officially have to be an adult - work the daily 9-to-5 grind and wake up to the reality that you need to count every single penny of your money that doesn’t grow on trees!

The cliché advice of building savings and being thrifty suddenly holds enormous weight, but how do you transform these “adulting” concepts into tangible actions?

Breaking Free from the Joli Expense Trap

Trimming unnecessary expenses, especially those driven by social media trends, is a smart move to cultivate better financial habits. Many of us get easily caught up by expensive social media trends, like “instagrammable” café hopping and splurging on luxury fashion brands. No, we are not trying to squeeze joy out of your life. Yes, have fun! But don't let your entire existence revolve around fleeting fads and what’s trending. The key is to find a balance between enjoying the moment and being true to your own values and interests.

Exploring new cafes, keeping up with the latest fashions, and indulging in pricey hobbies can take a substantial toll on your finances than you realise. To rein in these "joli" expenses and avoid unnecessary financial strain, take a moment to sit down, crunch the numbers, and reflect on the true cost of diving into these trends.


Feeling the FOMO? Not everything on social media is  as picture-perfect in reality. Those viral cafes may not live up to the culinary hype, and the latest trendy movies at local cinemas might not be as fantastic as they seem. Some influencer lifestyles are often just too good to be true, with edited photos and staged moments creating an illusion of perfection. By putting things into perspective, you may realise you are not just saving money but also reclaiming your precious time. Redirecting your resources toward more productive and meaningful activities can bring greater fulfilment.

Don't feel compelled to follow every trend; embrace your unique path and do what truly resonates with you. You Do You!
Be Your Own Fashion Stylist with Mix and Match Mastery


Don't worry about looking messy or unkempt just to save money on clothes. You can still rock great looks without breaking the bank. Check out trendy thrift shops and flea markets where you can score second-hand clothes for as low as RM 10 each. It takes a bit of fashion sense and effort to find hidden gems in the piles, but it's way cheaper than spending a fortune on grooming or buying high-end brands. Plus, it's a win for both your style and the environment – you get cool clothes while helping reduce the pile of unused ones. Double win!

Planning your meals - Cook for dinner, buy for lunch or vice versa

Realistically speaking, when living single, life tends to be simpler. Expecting working adults to cook every meal isn't very practical. We are all either too busy or tired at some point. The least you could do to minimise food expenses is by planning your daily meals wisely to save time and money.

 While food delivery is convenient for city living, but it comes with a price - you are now responsible for your own finances, so strike a balance between ordering out or cooking at home. Consider including cooking into your routine, even if just one meal a day. A simple meal such as rice, fried omelette and mixed vegetables have all the healthy nutrients needed for our body. Let’s say one whole meal costs you around RM 20 per meal for daily dinner if you purchase or order outside your home that could cost you RM600 per month or RM7,200 yearly. Redirecting this money actually could help you pay back your student loans for two semesters! If you prep yourself, it might only take up to RM 10 or so for all the ingredients, which can be used for a few more meals. While cooking, you could also opt for cheaper and lesser-known brands for the ingredients. Cheaper price, but same quality and taste.

Live Near Public Transport  

When you're just starting to work, it's smart to consider housing options beyond fancy condos. Look for places near a MRT or LRT station so you can get to work without spending too much on commuting. It's even better if the station is within walking distance from your office.

And here's a tip: hold off on getting a car if you're not ready for the expenses. Some folks think it's cheaper to have a car because it cuts down on public transport costs. But, you've got to think ahead about other expenses. Perhaps, you can consider relying on public transport for the first 2 to 3 years and wait until you are financially ready to “invest” in a car – it’s not only the car down payment you need to account for, but also added expenses like car insurance, maintenance, and unexpected accidents and repairs.

How will you know if you are financially stable and could add another commitment to your monthly expenses? One way to gauge how your monthly expenses stack up against your income is by using the SPK Calculator. Developed by PIDM, this tool is easy to use, and gives you a clear sense of how you can manage your commitments better and help you understand your financial situation. You can even learn how much you should be saving to prepare for those unexpected situations and emergencies. Learn more here.  

From Roadmap to Reality: Realising Your Money Plan with Smart Spending  

Adulting is a test of resilience not only financially, but emotionally and physically. You can choose whether to stick with poor spending habits or to chart your path now for a successful financial journey. Embarking on this journey may seem daunting, but remember, building your financial stability is a gradual process. By translating your thoughts into intentional actions, you'll not only survive but thrive!

A word of advice – don’t let your parents down and become a living example of a poor return on investment for any trust fund they’ve entrusted to you. Take charge of your financial destiny and make choices that lead to a secure and responsible future. Stay disciplined, make informed choices, and remain resilient in the face of financial challenges to achieve your savings goals.

Speaking of informed choices, do you know that money in your bank account is protected by PIDM? PIDM is a government authority that protects bank deposits in case any PIDM member bank goes bust. That’s one less thing you have to worry about now! Check this out www.pidm.gov.my

Share to