Malaysians Share Tips On How They Saved Their First RM10,000
Striving for financial goals can be a difficult and sacrificial journey
There may be times where you will need to give up a "certain" lifestyle in order to achieve financial stability or save a specific amount you've been wanting.
Though more often than not, for many, it's easier said than done.
We decided to speak with several Malaysian millennials to gain some insight into how they managed to save their first RM10,000:
"I started teaching music part-time — it wasn't much, but a few hundred ringgit each month reallyyy helped"
"My first few years of work, I was barely saving any money; some months, I actually spent more than I earned. But once I started my second job, I was able to start saving between RM200 and RM500, depending on the month. That's also when I started teaching music part-time — it wasn't much, but a few hundred ringgit each month reallyyy helped."
"Nevertheless, because of unforeseen bills and emergency expenses, I was only able to save around RM2,000 a year. It wasn't until I got my first bonus during my fourth year working, that I managed to inch closer to the RM10,000 goal. In conclusion, find a job that pays bonus, work hard to get your bonus, then save it!" — Jeremy, 28
"On pay days, I would pay off all that needed to be paid and then see how much I could put aside that month"
"I kept a list of things I needed to pay for every month. So on pay days, I would pay off all that needed to be paid and then see how much I could put aside that month. Usually I tried to save at least RM200 a month and then promise myself not to touch that money at all."
"Sometimes it wasn't possible to save RM200 a month because of things like car service or special occasions like birthdays/anniversary. I lived with my parents so I saved on rent. Now I'm living with my mum-in-law, so I'm still saving on rent." — Lina, 30
"Only when I felt a little bit fancier, I would get a chicken chop for a day but eat chicken rice for the rest of the month"
"I tried to save 70% to 80% of my pay every time. On days when I had to spend more then I'll make sure it gets covered back, sometimes with like birthday money or Chinese New Year angpau. So that was the practice. Food was my biggest [expenditure] at the time, so I would eat at hawker stalls, and have mixed rice or Malay mixed rice. Only when I felt a little bit fancier, I would get a chicken chop for a day but eat chicken rice for the rest of the month."
"Saving money in a different bank other than where your pay is directed to is the way to go. Just have the discipline to store the 70% to 80% of your pay in the other bank every time payday comes and then keep it out of sight and out of mind. Get a bank which doesn't have ATMs all around so that you're not tempted to withdraw from it." — Dylan, 28
"I spent a lot of time joining online contests at a time when a lot of companies were doing social media giveaways"
"I started joining contests during my uni days when I had a lot of spare time. I didn't do part-time jobs but instead I spent a lot of time joining online contests at a time when a lot of companies were joining the social media space — so there were a lot of giveaways going on. Also, I made earnings off of my previous blog." — Tang, 29
"Never tie yourself into a financial commitment that would set you back financially for a few years. You don't need that fancy car. Myvi will do."
"When I first started working, it was very easy to save money as I had no commitments. So the best way I would say to save money is to never tie yourself into a financial commitment that would set you back financially for a few years. You don't need that fancy car. Myvi will do."
"Relying on your 9 to 5 job is also not enough. I've grown a lot through my freelance jobs on top of my day job. Freelance projects tend to pay better than your day job in hourly terms. So sell your skills to small businesses! There were some months that my freelance jobs paid me more than the salary of my day job." — Wan Xiang, 29
"Uninstall Shopee. Haha."
"Uninstall Shopee. Haha. I collected RM5 notes for a year and saved about RM3,000 initially. First, set goals. Second, stop buying unimportant stuff and reduce some expenses like eating out or buying fancy coffee. Third, sacrifice your time for entertainment, like going out drinking, karaoke, or movies. Lastly, cut alcohol intake. If you can, drink at home to avoid unnecessary spending on extra booze just because the girl at the bar said you look cute. — Dave, 30
"I managed to save up NZD13K+ (RM36,700+)... by applying for a Working Holiday visa in New Zealand"
"Every year, Malaysia allocates 1,150 visas for Working Holiday in New Zealand, I was extremely lucky to secure a seat! I was there working in agriculture for eight months without much entertainment to distract me. A typical day would be eat, work, sleep, and repeat. Occasionally travelled around the island on budget. I managed to save up NZD13K+ (RM36,700+)." — Shin Ling, 30
"I set my account to automatically deposit a certain amount to my savings at the start of every month"
"I stay with my parents so I save more. And I set my account to automatically deposit a certain amount to my savings at the start of every month. That way, I didn't have to worry about whether I was saving enough or not. Out of sight, out of mind. Lastly, any balance from my expenses went to savings, of course!" — Timothy, 24
"I put RM1,000 in the bank every time I got my pay"
"When I first started working, I immediately put RM1,000 in the bank every time I got my pay. Sometimes RM500. Then I lived off mamak food." — Colin, 33
"I had small side gigs to help me achieve my goal"
"I got my first RM10,000 within three to four months of starting my first job. At the time, I didn't have many expenses to cover, and it was during the MCO, so I told myself I wouldn't spend unnecessarily until I hit my target savings of RM10,000."
"I also had small side gigs on top of that to help me achieve my goal. I felt very accomplished when I transferred my first RM10k into my ASB account because I was so proud of myself for being able to earn my own money without depending on my parents." — Sarah, 26
Previously, we asked Malaysians to share their experiences with finding love and who should pay on the first date. Here's what they said: