Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Post experiment review: Living on Minimum Wage in Malaysia experiment

After completing the experiment on living on minimum wage in Malaysia..I ended with RM37.42.
here are my observations from the experiment.

  • Having limited budget to spend is one thing, having to eat cheap local food is the challenge.  As a lover of western food, I had to only leave that to once or twice a week occasion.  This is the main challenge for me as growing up, I may save on drinks when dining out, but always enjoy and have lots of nice food that I wish or crave for often.
  • I was able to save money from eating home-cooked food provided by mum.  If I had to cook every meal, then probably the cost is more.
  • Socializing and eating out with friends is possible, only if you have generous friends or all of you go out to mamak or roadside shop.  Otherwise, on minimum wage, a normal meal of RM30 at mid range cafe is already 3% of monthly income.
  • I was able to survive and not waste money on movies, as now movies can be downloaded free via internet.  Not being a frequent cinema goer helps too.
  • For someone who do business, I was able to push many of my expenses / shopping as business expense. Example internet cost. For normal employee, this is not possible. 
  • Phone cost could easily burn your budget. But as I have switched to prepaid u-Mobile RM18 per month plan, this saves a lot.  Only thing is RM10 topup only last for 20 days, so each month phone bill is still about RM30.  This gives me free calls, sms and data.  However, it is easy to finish the call time when you have to use it for business calls, so I had to rely on my unifi phone account.
  • My golf club payment system is sign first, pay next month (30 days credit). That way, my cash is preserved for the month.  If I have to survive on cash RM900 per month, that would be difficult.
  • Having credit cards allows me to pay expenses and get points, which later on can be converted to free vouchers.  Also, it minimise carrying of cash.  People on minimum wage does not have this luxury.
  • Someone on minimum wage who owns pets..I really pity the pets especially cats. Most likely the cat will be eating scraps. And will not be able to get proper medical treatment when sick.  A trip to the vet for my cat on 7 March, cost RM61.20.  That excludes their monthly meals which could amount to about RM300 for 5 cats.
  • Being able to drive, having a fully paid car, means I could spend less time waiting for public transport [bus/train] to arrive. But it does mean being stuck in jams. A person on minimum wage could use the time waiting and on public transport to work on a part time business, if they are smart to take this advantage.
  • There are many free parking spots in Malaysia, you just need to be willing to look for it, and walk.
Overall, I believe, a person on minimum wage should definitely focus on building a side business.
It's not difficult to make money in Malaysia. To survive on RM900 per month is much more suffering.
From attending Millionaire Mind Intensive, one main thing I remember from T Harv Eker's teaching is "What You Focus On Expands". 
Meaning if you focus on saving money all the time, you will feel that your funds are limited, the universe sees that you are afraid of not having enough all the time, and that becomes your reality.
If instead you focus on making more money, you will have multiple ideas and opportunity open up for you to make more money, and the universe helps you to grow your money, and so this becomes your reality.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 31: Final day of living on minimum wage experiment

31 March: Final day of the experiment.

Finally, the last day of living on minimum wage for a month in Malaysia.
Another busy day.
Had breakfast, then went to pickup cleaner to bring to the cyberjaya house. Have a short term guest renting for a week. Was there til 6pm.then sent her home. Cleaning cost = RM60 for about 6.5 hours. (consider as business cost)
Would have given more if she had cleaned more properly, coz I had to clean the kitchen and the cupboards in master room which she didn't wipe.
Toll cost to and fro Cyberjaya = RM7.20.

Then went home, ate dinner, went to KL to meet friend who came from Melbourne. By the time I reach only saw his text that maybe want to cancel. Since he stay at Novotel, Parked under the hotel and got the staff to validate for in house guest, so its free parking.

So was hungry, had sarawak laksa at Pavillion food court = RM9.50. After contacting his wife in Melbourne, managed to get his local number, and found out he was at hospital for blood test.
So just left home after that.

Expenditure today: RM16.70
Total expenditure to date: RM862.58
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM37.42

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 30 of living on minimum wage in Malaysia experiment

30 Mar 2014: Experiment almost ending

It's just another day til the end of the minimum wage experiment.

Since was out whole day yesterday, decided to work at my library today.

Had brunch at home, then went to the golf club library to work.
Had roti telor and salted fish fried rice for dinner = RM8.16

After that, mum reminded that Mydin was having 50% of all clothes and 30% of other items excl groceries and electrical.
So went to buy the souvenir  items and items for cyberjaya house. Spent RM 132.10 minus chair (RM27.93) and cleaning set RM2.03

Expenditure today: RM110.30
Total expenditure to date: RM845.88
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM54.12

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 29 of living on minimum wage in Malaysia

29 March 2014: Day 29 on surviving with RM900 per month

It's the Grand Prix weekend in Malaysia.
This is where you see millions being spent.
I had the opportunity to attend Melbourne Grand Prix during my student days, and was privilege to be in the Paddock area as an invited guest in year 2001.
Had a pit tour and met Kimi Raikonnen when he was a young rising star.

After that I vowed to myself, I will never ever go to Grand Prix unless I get to go into Paddock area for free again.

Anyway, Grand Prix season means sale season in Malaysia.
Living on minimum wage makes it..arrghh..limited budget to spend.

Nonetheless, had to go meet my tenant at Cyberjaya who is moving out, so was there from noon til about 4pm. Had to spend on toll to and fro = RM7.20

Got home then started my search for cheap beds. Went to 3-4 furniture shops, but couldn't find the cheap price I want. So went online and saw Ikea has beds for RM89.
Got home, shower, then told mum I will eat at Ikea.

So happen it was Earth Hour Day celebration at Ikea. Not that I care, coz all I wanted was to eat at the cafe there and enjoy my book before shopping began. Had a nice meal of soup, chicken wing and meatballs with mash = RM18.
Then walked around Ikea. Unfortunately the beds I saw online is finished.
End up buying other stuff that were on sale for my holiday condo business & cyberjaya house rental. Stayed there til closing time. Spent about RM73.80 ( Will not count this as consider as business expense). Was worth it as I got over 15 items. Average about RM4.60 each. I have compared online..for the items I picked up, its cheaper to buy in Ikea Malaysia, compare to Ikea Australia.

Then went down to pay parking. Oh my god! The queue was long. The machine only accept coin. Ikea gave free parking for first 3 hours. I was there fore 4 hours. It cost me RM3.50.

Arrghh...must remember to go Ikea on weekday, and after 7pm, so I will stay within the 3 hours free parking time in future.

Refilled my petrol on the way home = RM63

Expenditure today: RM91.70
Total expenditure to date: RM727.42
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM172.58

Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 28 of living on minimum wage in Malaysia experiment

28 March 2014: 

Received an invite for a restaurant opening, so decided to go for it for early dinner.

The day started with breakfast at home, then had yong tau foo for lunch = RM3.82.
Then went for the restaurant opening event and catch up with fellow committee members/friends.

Then had to rush home to attend family event in Klang.

Expenditure today: RM3.82
Total expenditure to date: RM635.72
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM264.28

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 27: Minimum wage experiment in Malaysia

27 March: After the splurge on dinner the night before, it's time to be cheapskate again.

Had breakfast at home.
Got an invite by my ex-committee to a Tourism Malaysia event at PWTC. Dread the parking fee, but since I have another meeting in KL anyway, so the trip was worth it.

 If you are attending exhibition/conference/event in PWTC KL, the cheapest place to park is the bus station across the street. It used to be RM3 per entry.  However, it now charges by the hour.  I spent 2hours 53mins there, it cost RM5..Lucky I paid just before it crossed the 3rd hour mark.

But, good thing was free lunch at the event which I had already anticipated. Any event by the ministry, for sure there is free food. What more when the minister is there.

Thrift Lifestyle Tip: Want free food? Get invited to events by government. For sure you will get free meals, unless it is fasting month.

After that went off for another meeting at BERNAMA.  By the time the meeting ended, roads were blocked with traffic jam. Took the NPE to get home faster.

Expenditure today: RM7.60
Total expenditure to date: RM631.90
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM268.10

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 26: Living on minimum wage in Malaysia

26 March:  Just another 5 days til the end of the month.
It is definitely making me feel like super cheapskate. Craving for my usual western meals outside.

So, since I could save on lunch for the last few days due to training 24-26 March, decided to go for dinner at one of the oldest restaurants nearby my house. It has been there since my primary school days. Had a four course meal plus treated my friend to dinner for accompanying me.

Expenditure today: RM63.70
Total expenditure to date: RM624.30
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM275.70

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 25 of living on minimum wage in Malaysia experiment

25 March 2014: It's another day of training. So free meals. 
No cost for me, definitely much needed when surviving on minimum wage in Malaysia.
For dinner, just rummage through the fridge to look for leftover food.

Only expense: Toll RM1.60 + RM1 

Expenditure today: RM2.60
Total expenditure to date: RM560.6
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM339.40

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 24: Living on minimum wage experiment

24 March 2014 - This means just another week left to the experiment on living on RM900/month in Malaysia.

It's training time again this week 24 -26 March.
Attended training on facebook page and shopping cart system.
Good learning, and I can definitely incorporate the points learnt for my own e-biz workshops

As usual, training at MKM means free breakfast, tea break and lunch. So save money for me.

Only spent on dinner - Char Koay Teow = RM4.50 & Chicken Chop RM12.90 at my usual shop in USJ 4. I remember to ask for no prawn, no cockle, less taugeh, so got 50sen discount

Expenditure today: RM17.40
Total expenditure to date: RM558
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM342

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day 23 of living on minimum wage in Malaysia

23 Mar 2014: Day 23 of Living on minimum wage experiment

Went to library to do work in morning.

Then went out for grocery shopping today at Aeon. 
Bought cupboard and multiple plug for rental house so will deduct that cost (RM34.90+RM13.90). 
 Total spent excluding above= RM70. Toll cost=Rm1

Expenditure today: RM71
Total expenditure to date: RM540.6
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM359.40

Saturday, March 22, 2014

22 March 2014: Another day of surviving on minimum wage in Malaysia

Day 22: Surviving on minimum wage in Malaysia.

Weekend is here.  Though not much different for me.  
Being a freedom entrepreneur, everyday is work day, everyday is holiday.

One thing I notice.  I like short posts. That's what keep me going to continue this blog.

So, spent the whole day working at home, tidying up my messy room, etc.

So it's free meal for whole day. Thank god!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Day 21: Living on minimum wage in Malaysia experiment

21 March 2014: 3 weeks surviving on minimum wage.

Can't believe how fast time flies. It's 3 weeks since I first started the experiment.

Went to the library to catch up on work today.
Ate breakfast at home.
Then lunch was yong tau foo= RM3.82
Early dinner, had roti tisu and roti telur = RM4.98

Was hungry on the way home, so bought burger by roadside RM3.80.

Got home, then had to go hospital. My bro just got baby. By the time reach home was past midnight. Only then could eat my burger. Lucky bought it earlier.

Expenditure today: RM12.60
Total expenditure to date: RM469.60
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM430.40

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 20: Living on minimum wage in Malaysia experiment

20 March 2014: 2/3 of the month surviving on minimum wage in Malaysia

Went to library to do work, but an hour later, received call from mum to pick up my bro at lcct.

Refilled my touch n go = RM10 on the way. 

After coming back from lcct, just stayed home as have CAAYE conference call.
And at night, had to interview an intern via skype.

No other expenditure for the day. 

Expenditure today: RM10
Total expenditure to date: RM457
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM443

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 19: Living on Minimum Wage experiment

19 March 2014:  Day 19 of Living on minimum wage experiment in Malaysia

Final day of my training. Woke up early, so had breakfast there.

Also as usual, free tea break and lunch. 
Training ended early, thought of going to summit to buy photoshop cd, but was lazy to drive there during peak hours. Ended up going to work at my golf club library instead. Then went home for dinner

Zero spent today. yay!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 18: Living on Minimum Wage experiment

18 March 2014:Day 18 of Living on Minimum Wage experiment

Second day of photoshop training.
Ate breakfast at home, then took NPE to beat the jam, but was still jam nevertheless.
So tea break and lunch was free.
Had early dinner with friend/former biz partner at Station 1. RM27 for snack platter and pumpkin soup. Bring own water.
Then went off to meet up an ex-colleague near Tropicana mall. Parked at her condo and walk to nearby mamak shop. Just had milo ais, which she treated me for. Yay..Thanks!

Expenditure today: RM28.60
Total expenditure to date: RM447
Balance to survive on minimum wage: RM453