Q2 2013: Net Worth & Spending Update

When I reviewed my spending for the first quarter of 2013, I was concerned about balancing my spending for the things I care about i.e. family, friends and pets.

I set a single goal of having RM15,000 in savings on top of my retirement fund in 2013. In order to do so, I resolved to be conscientious with my spending.

These periodical reviews are not only useful to see if I’m on track on my savings goal, but for me to be continuously on top of my spending patterns.

Am I spending too much? Can I still afford to have fun once in a while? Should I save more?



HOUSE – I upgraded my lease as the sole renter of existing apartment, paying $950.00/month (from $650.00/month).
GROCERIES – Two-fold increase in groceries expenses in Q1 because I was attempting to bring lunch to work. It’s cheaper to eat out in my case.
CAR SERVICE – I replaced the tie rod for my car wheels after 4-5 years.
TAX – I owed the inland revenue board for income tax the first time -$269.58.
PETS – Spending for pets increased in Q2 due to vet bills for vaccinations and spaying.
MISCELLANEOUS – I have learned to be smart when spending for families and friends.



My savings received a healthy boost with the annual bonus I received in June. This gives me a healthy savings rates since I have no major purchase planned for the bonus apart from vet bills and a few small deferred spending. Until June 2013, I saved:

$8,237.92 in retirement fund.
$1,500.00 in a local equity fund.
$8,238.95 in online savings account with 2.1% interest for emergency and travel purposes.

Net Worth


Moving forward, while I know my income and net worth will not drastically increase as it did in June, I am optimistic about keeping the momentum to meet not only the $15,000 savings goal, but also to go above and beyond my other financial goals like increasing my investment.

Contrary To Whatever You Think, You Have A Choice In Your Life

“He told me how much he hates doing it. I’ve been saying the same thing too. I’ve been saying it for years, and I’m still here.”

“We talked about breaking up. But I think it’s too late now. The wedding is in 3 months.”

Both conversations were real. These words were from people who are dear and near to me. They came with a resigned chuckle, shoulders sagged and eyes staring far ahead – a look I know so well.

There is no mistaking the feeling of resignation and abandonment. Like you have run out of choice. Like it’s always a dead end no matter where you turn. Like you want to jump out of your skin and dash forward, leaving behind whatever madness ruling your life at the moment.

I know. I was there. But then, I asked myself:

“What makes you think you don’t have a choice?”

In every situation, accepting responsibility and accountability to our own lives is always the hardest part.

It’s easier to shift the responsibility of actions to another person next to us. It’s easier to keep crying and cowering in the corner, rather than saying, “today is mine, and I choose to do X, Y, and Z”.

What we don’t realise is staying stuck takes a lot more effort than moving forward.

“No one has to stay stuck. If you are serious, you can change old patterns. You’re a human being – you’re not a tree.” – Andrew Matthews

Worrying and whining is tiring, but standing up and doing something energises us. Crying clogs our heads with dark thoughts, but going out and running clears our mind and actually makes we feel better about ourselves.

The next time you feel like a situation got out of control, and you feel like throwing in the towel. Ask yourself again, “what makes you think you don’t have a choice in this situation?”

If today is too much to bear, make it this hour, this five minutes, this sixty seconds. Own it, and make it yours.