Saving money can be a real challenge for Malaysians, particularly if you’re a young adult building your career and still mapping out your financial future. After paying off rent, utilities, transport and study loans, you suddenly find yourself left with barely enough to get by.
The numbers are grim: a 2016 iMoney survey on Malaysian millennials found that a shocking 49% of respondents had not started saving for retirement, while the Asian Institute of Finance in 2015 said that 40% of Generation Y Malaysians spend more than they can afford.
Knowing how tough it can be to put aside money for a rainy day, here’s how you can begin building up your savings.
- Get The Most Out Of Your Bank If, like most Malaysians, you put your extra money aside in a bank savings account, you should find out what your bank pays you on your savings.
Simply choosing a savings account with high interest rate can be a very good first step towards building up a healthy balance of Ringgit. Most banks in Malaysia offer interest rates starting from 0.1% in a personal savings account, but some will give additional interest based on customer loyalty.
Some banks will reward you monthly for activities that you already do anyway, such as depositing cash, paying bills and using your credit card. Essentially, using a saving account like this as your one-stop banking solution can earn you as much as 4.1% interest per annum.
- Use A Budgeting App Ever wondered how you managed to spend your entire salary in two weeks without realizing it? Budgeting may seem like a tedious chore for many, but thankfully, nowadays you only need a simple budgeting app to help you keep track of expenses.
A good app should allow you to categorize your expenses, save or organize your receipts, and help schedule your bill payments. This way, you can foresee recurring expenses and track receipts to see if prices have gone up or down. Perhaps seeing that you spend RM 200 a month on lattes can spur you to limit your coffee budget and put the savings away!
- Shop From The Cheapest Places Using The Best Deals You’re bound to shop every month, whether for impromptu needs like a new smartphone or birthday gift, or for basic needs like groceries for your home and family.
With the SmartShopper Malaysia app, you no longer have to check each hypermart or store to find out which is selling the cheapest for your monthly essentials. This app tracks all the major retailers in Malaysia, giving you an independent comparison of prices on almost every product you can think of.
You can even save a list of custom items or create alerts to let you know when a store is offering a good deal on your favorite products. As revealed in the 2017 Budget, Malaysians spend a third of their income on food so even small discounts will add up to significant savings.
The most important thing to realize is that wanting to save and changing your mindset towards saving is already half of the effort. Hopefully, these tips will help you on your way towards a money-saving lifestyle.