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A Recipe to Save RM5k in a Year (For RM2.5k Net Income)

BY Nisya Aziz

Updated 07 Jan 2021

Let’s start with a cliche: Saving money has been on everyone’s (okay, nearly) New Year Resolution's list, for, like, almost every year. But, do we actually do it? Well, not really - very hangat-hangat tahi ayam, or in other words, the enthusiasm just fizzles out very quickly.

We understand that saving money isn’t easy especially in 2020 when you’re not earning that much coupled with the rising cost of living in the city. Not to mention, the unstable economy and ongoing global pandemic. Some of us even got laid off - the struggle is real. And, it’s even harder when you’re not funded by the PA&MA Corporation.

Having said that, it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE lah. How? Here’s the recipe to help you whip up a sumptuous savings of RM5,230 within 12 months (for RM2,500 net income). 

What's covered in this article?



  • A calendar
  • A marker
  • Bottles/containers filled with RM1 notes and coins
  • A small cut of the net income
  • Sprinkles of love
  • 365 spoonful of self-discipline
  • 12 pint of patience


1. The most boring step of all is to make sure you create a budget and TRACK your expenses.

You can use a notebook for this or a budgeting app of your choice. If you don’t do this, then you’re going start making excuses of not having enough to save money and give up halfway. We want you to able to reach this goal, so let’s go through this tedious process to win with money. You can read more about budgeting here.


2. Then, make sure that your calendar is visible.

It can be on your make up desk, or at the front door or whatever lah - up to you. As long as you can see it and be reminded that you have a goal to reach. 


3. Prepare a bottle/container or two (depending on the size) for the RM1 notes and coins.

Image source: SAYS

What you’ll need to do is to put RM2 worth of money in that bottle/container EVERY SINGLE DAY. And, every time you put money in it, you tick the calendar. Think of it as a game.

You'll somewhat feel satisfied with the number of ticks there are on the calendar, wei. And, you’d also somehow feel bad or disappointed with yourself when there are not many ticks on it. Our advice is to accept that failure with some sprinkles of love (and maybe give yourself a semi-hard smack as a signal to get your shish together).

So, how much money you’ll be getting by the end of this journey? 

RM2 X 365 days = RM730

TIP: It’s best to transfer the money in your bank account every month because you know lah, sometimes when you see available money sitting there, you can get a bit itchy to spend them. You can avoid this by taking a spoonful of self-discipline every day. 


4. Next, what you need is a cut from your net income - specifically 15% monthly.

Most financial gurus would suggest 20% for savings, but we discount sikit lah. If you want, you can still keep that 5% for your emergency fund because you’re not allowed to touch this 15% for anything else until the end of month 12. Die-die, CANNOT k!

So, RM2,500 x 15% = RM375

If you do this for 12 months, RELIGIOUSLY, you’ll get a lip-smacking sum of RM4,500

TIP: It would be even better if you can do the automatic transfer setting because let’s be honest here, you already have this thought, “RM375 ah? That’s a lot!”, in your mind, right? Seriously, this will only hamper your plan because you’ll start getting ideas about all of the things you can buy or pay with that money.


5. In any day of the month, when you’re feeling like giving up or just demotivated, just chug a pint of patience to restore your drive.

Also (this is optional), you can watch videos from Gary Vaynerchuk to feed that fire inside of you or to simply adjust your mindset so that you can reach this goal. Disclaimer: He can be a bit vulgar, but he has a point.


6. At the end of month 12, you put these 2 different batches of moolah (the money from the bottles/containers and 15% monthly cut) together and mix them well.

Let it sit for a while and VOILA! Altogether, you’ll have a savings of...

RM730 + RM4,500 = RM5230

We call it the sweet fruit of success.

SIDE NOTE: For Bumiputeras, if you put your monthly savings in an ASB account then you can get a little bit more from the dividend. To those who aren’t Bumiputera, we suggest you park your money in HelloGold. You can make a little money there because you're saving in gold. But, take note of the fluctuations in gold prices. If you don't monitor carefully, you can end up losing more than you save.

ALSO READ: HelloGold Is Better Than Public Gold? Well, Maybe

But remember, this recipe isn't really about how much you’ll be saving (that's a bonus), it's about consistency and discipline instead.

If you follow, and most importantly, stick to it, CONLANFIRM, can get one! And yes, you can spice up the figure by taking up some side jobs - if you've got the time and energy. 

Other than that, you could also swap to using credit cards/e-wallets/debit cards for payments on transactions to squeeze out additional cashback savings; depending on the promo, around 0.2% to 5% of your total monthly spend in savings. For example, if your total monthly spend is... say RM700. If you use credit card/e-wallets/debit cards to pay, you could stand to save additional RM1.40 to RM35. However, this only works if you don't increase your tendency to spend. It isn't cash, but digital cash is still cash.

Anyway, this is a very goal-oriented saving method and it can help you take charge of your finances. You can use this money to travel, as a top-up for a home downpayment, to buy a car, renovate the house, anything you feel like lah - just be specific and realistic about it. You can still apply the same concept if you’re earning more or lesser than what has been suggested. Just tweak them accordingly.

To those who don't want to spend it and want it to grow, what you can do is to put the money in a savings vehicle like fixed deposits (FD) which is a guaranteed saving. Check out these FD promos.

So, there you have it. Let this year be the year you actually implement your new year’s resolution. 

Ready to start?


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About the Author

Nisya Aziz

A storyteller at Finology, who drinks coffee like its water, Nisya enjoy bringing valuable, educational and entertaining content to others. When not busy crafting content, you’ll find her in the boulder gym or on stage, performing theatre shows.


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