We’ll cut to the chase; COVID-19 is a serious issue that has disrupted so many lives, especially on everyone's income. Did you know that the Coronavirus has caused over 200 million jobs loss globally (the USA faced job loss by 231%)?
One thing that came into the light is how important having financial savings is. With bank savings, you can still pay some bills and lessen the burden on budgeting.
While it’s easy to tell you to save money, not everyone has the comfortable privilege of doing so. Also, saving money requires a huge discipline to start with.
Therefore, we gently break it down to you on the simple, fast and effective tips we have done, and how you can copycat us too.
1. Plan/Track your spending
Why: See what your spending habits are like, and cut corners from there.
Our experience: It is hard to resist spending especially for social reasons. So what we’d do is personalise an excel sheet or use an app to track all of our spendings. Many even let you categorise your spending.
Results: Disciplined ourselves for 2 to 3 months in tracking, and found out that we can cut corners even for simple needs such as food. Cut down 50% of usual spending on food.
2. Deposit your savings first!
Why: For emergencies since it can happen anytime. So save a minimum of 25% of your pay first before you use the rest after.
Our experience: This is a psychological thing. From tracking our spending habits, we list down the monthly amount to save and also for other monthly commitments (hobbies etc.). We stick to this plan and only use the leftovers.
Results: We acknowledge that we have the privilege to save easily. But we’re also surprised at how many people don’t do this. From this habit, we stabilised our spending each month, have less impulsive purchases, and even pushed ourselves to cut more from each spending categories.
3. Save small notes
Why: Alternative emergency savings to keep at home. Also potentially save hundreds of Ringgit from just RM1.
Our experience: There are many ways to approach this; you can try saving every small note you receive, save them all and use them for other expenses. We also have relatives that forces each family member to deposit RM1 for every foul word used at home (haha).
Results: One of our editors saved up to RM600 annually from just RM5 notes.
4. Shop online
Why: Physical retailers usually have marked up prices. Shopping online also means you can easily get items directly from the original supplier.
Our experience: We find this effective for monthly items such as contact lenses, coffee, cooking oil, pet food and more. There are many online retailers to compare with as well. All of these without even needing to travel out of home! Don’t use this for fresh goods though.
Results: Got to compare and try cheaper + better alternatives. Editor’s own dad even managed to find a chair selling for RM500 cheaper than usual because he bought it from direct manufacturer.
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5. Plan your “wants” carefully
Why: Stop you impulsive buying habit for things that won't impact your survivability.
Our experience: Impulsive buying certainly takes a while to control. So we set a rule for ourselves to think about it for a week (a month or more if it’s expensive). Do we really want it? Will it impact our lives for the better or for nothing? And if we want it, why not wait for sales when there’ll be discounts? Doing this buys us time to think about it carefully.
Results: There are many things we realise aren’t necessary to have once we wait and sleep on it. This way, we avoided spending on additional items such as makeup and clothing pieces.
6. Have a separate account for savings
Why: You won’t accidentally use your savings or overspend them.
Our experience: After depositing our monthly savings into another account, we leave the debit card at home. This way, we don’t blindly use the cash + it’s easier to ignore/forget that we have spare cash. We also regularly check our balance on mobile banking apps like Maybank2U App. It’s quite stable and has good UI.
Results: Our brain instinctively goes into survival mode when we see how much we have left. Nearing the end of the month, we tend to ration our money better, and also manage to save extra cash.
7. Go on cheap dates
Why: Shopping malls and movies aren’t everything. Plus, you get to have more enriching experiences together.
Our experience: Aside from movies and restaurants (stay at home during the pandemic ok), we’d visit each other’s houses, visit parks, and do other leisure activities at homes such as gaming or movie marathons. For now, webcam dates work too (you don’t have to talk to each other all the time).
Results: A little challenging so we did a list of dates that we can do. Alternatively, we have shared hobbies that equally boost our relationship and intimacy (social dancing, anyone?). Avoided needing to spend dates that exceed RM50 per outing.
8. DIY or Make Your Own
Why: Many simple things are expensive because you are paying for their skills, knowledge and for saving your time.
Our experience: This can require a bit of investment at first (tools for cooking and such), so we do this for some of our favourite things. This also applies to sew torn clothing and make decor items. We head to Youtube and Pinterest for inspirations, recipes and such.
Results: We found so many things that actually cost under RM10 per unit to make: potpourri jar (with 100% pure essential oils), dreamcatchers, hand cream, chocolate pie, almond butter (250g) and more. Tip: start with a small amount first before you go big!
9. Thrift shopping
Why: You can find many good-quality donated/secondhand items. This saves the environment and also your money. They are also likely to be durable if they can last that long.
Our experience: Why not buy second-hand clothes if you buy second-hand luxury items too? We learned that secondhand items in retail stores are always inspected before they are put on for sale. Plus, you get to see which clothing age better when being used after a while.
Results: There are so many branded clothing such as Nike, Levis, Timbaland, and many other international brands. Editor managed to score an RM15, J.Crew blouse and RM5 denim skirt from Japan that looks brand new.
10. Coupon/voucher hunting
Why: Thanks to online-shopping and Fintech (finance technology), there are many discounts and promos offered by many banks and telcos when you use their services.
Our experience: This is great if you are a fan of certain brands. Remember to surf coupon or pay-per-pass sites such as Fave and Classpass for discounts. Also, install mobile apps of shopping platforms as they often have app-exclusive vouchers to claim.
Results: We get to enjoy things like RM3 Chatime, 50% cashback Shopee/Lazada vouchers, Watsons discounts and more.
Yes, saving money requires a lot of discipline. But once you managed to save a huge chunk of it, you don’t have to worry about emergencies and such (especially for medical-related reasons, which can be emotionally tiring and painful).
So if you need more motivation...
Here’s How Maybank Can Help You Save More
Now, with the storm that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the world, we should encourage and remind everyone to save diligently more than ever. That’s why Maybank introduces this new promo which cannot be done alone.
Share & Win: Invite your friends and family to start saving at least RM3,000 in their account, and be in the running to win prizes like an iPad Pro, Huawei P30 or a GoPro as well as cash. The more participants there are, the more prizes Maybank will unlock for you!
How to participate
New Users (Account-opening online is 100% possible! #stayathome)
- Sign up and open any of the participating Maybank accounts (see below).
- Maintain at least RM3,000 in your account until the campaign ends.
- Log in to Maybank2u.
- Look for and click "Register Now" invite shown at the top of your account details.
- Complete and submit the form with your details.
- Maintain at least RM3,000 in your account until the campaign ends.
Accounts that you can sign up for this campaign:
- Kawanku Savings Account
- Basic Savings Account
- Personal Savers Account
- Maybank2u.Premier Account
- Maybank2u Savers
- Golden Savers Savings Account
- Golden Savvy Account-i
- Zest-i Account
Note: Campaign ends on 31 January 2021.
Remember, if there are more participants, Maybank unlocks a new tier whereby the final tier will give away an Apple iPad Pro to 10 lucky winners!
Pssssst: A lifehack to this is to open other types of the listed accounts that you don't have yet. So technically, you increase your chances of winning a gift (hehe).
Here's how many entry points you can gain for a higher chance of winning the gifts:
|Open any of the participating accounts listed||50X entries|
|Log in to your MayBank2U and register for the campaign||50X entries|
|Deposit into your account on top of having RM3,000||5X entries per session|