All the reading I’ve been doing recently about the economic situation here in Malaysia, coupled with articles on the realities of the income of middle class Malaysians, the spate of retrenchment at my company, and the staggering electricity bills I’d gotten recently, I think it’s time to reevaluate my finances.
I used to think I got lucky in my pay – a point that has remained constant through all the full time jobs I’d held. I’ve always been paid above the market rate, and had gotten what I’d asked for. I think it’s forgiveable for me to have thought that, since I’m making better money, I’m privileged to spend more.
I’m beginning to learn that there’s no such thing as more disposable income. The more you earn, the more you’d want or think you can spend. But that’s not true. the amount of disposable income does not increase. The price of what you spend on does. If I earned 1000 bucks a month, I’d frequent eateries such as mamak stalls or hawker centers, and the occasional (non-pricey) restaurant. If I earned 5000 bucks, I’d naturally forgo the food trucks and head straight for Chilli’s all day, every day.
The more I earn, the more I’d spend on things that are more expensive as opposed to continuing to spend on cheaper stuff, of which I could buy more. Real life example: I’d stopped shopping at Berjaya Times Square now that I’m no longer a student living off an allowance. Instead, I’m buying more high street brands, and have been saving up for brands (which I promised myself I’d never succumb to. How things change.)
But I digress. It’s time to monitor my finances, and curb impulse spending. (Like on my pet hedgehog.) Having more money doesn’t mean I have to spend more of it. It just means I should be able to save more. Come April, it’s time to re-evaluate what’s worth spending on and what’s not (basically everything).