#30daysblogging Yawn, we talk about money.

Day 10

Post is an idea from Icha Felicielo

I was kinda snorting when I saw Icha asked for a financial tips from me. Seriously, from me. A girl who never had money saving until she turned 25. I used to be that girl who lives only for today.

But if I must write something about financial plan then let me tell you the most important secret of the universe:


So it’s not that secretive afterall and also not the genius one. Just don’t spend more than you make. It’s as simple as that. Never think that more money will make you happy and more money will make your wish come true. That’s bullshit. More money will just make you want more and thus you’d become unhappy.

Honestly, I’m being underpaid in Singapore market. But well, I can’t complain. I have freedom on my workplace. I could do whatever I want as long as I got my work done. I want to have a better job someday but right now I’m settling with this for a while.

Anyhow, just like I told you, no matter how much money you make, it will never be enough. My first salary as a teacher was Rp. 1.200.000 which equals to FREAKING S$140!!! Geez, come to think of it, how did I even survive? But you know what? I did survive! And I still could go out and hang out with friends, sent money to my mom and went traveling to Yogyakarta! Oh those good ol times…

So I guess Icha is right, I’m one hell of financial planner! Hahaha

Now I’m in a better place. I won’t complain. I could afford a trip to Europe for a month and eat sushi whenever I want and having a 4G internet connection! (hail!) And the most important thing, I do support my parents. :)

And you won’t believe if I told you I was just a mediocre student with no sparkly GPA or even science degree. I just happened to be fearless, almost stupid, really.

I’m not bragging. I can’t afford Gucci bag or a car in Singapore but my standard of living a happy life is pretty low. LOLOL. So yeah, I’m pretty happy with what I have now. So if you think I could give you financial tips to buy Gucci bag every month, this is not your place.

Soooooooo, that’s enough for the talkative prologue, here is my secret formula of my financial plan…

For every 100% of my monthly salary, here’s how I spent it:

image (4)

I have two bank accounts. One is for number 1 to number 6 (from rent to entertainment), investment and family. The other one is for the “forgotten salary” which is the 10% from my salary that is being transferred every month. I call it the “forgotten salary” because I HAVE TO FORGET ABOUT THEM. I don’t think they exist until….

I have to go traveling. YES. Basically it’s my Travel funds. :) LOLOL.

No, no, seriously. I do have saving in one account that I never touch (unless for traveling). 55% of my salary will be spent for living. For rent, electricity, mobile phone, transport, food, watching movies, buying books or going to craft shop. Groceries budget is for my food supplies and my toiletries supply, basically everything I bought from supermarket.  12% is sent home to my parents, sometimes if they needed something extra, I would pull out some from the saving account, but never from the “forgotten salary”. Only 23% is spent for the future, the investment.

What is my investment?

Bandi and I had invested in gold (in a small amount of course) and then when he proposed, we started to shift this investment money to our wedding funds. So no investment for the last one year. But we always reminded each other that our wedding fund is indeed an investment too because we invest memory, we invest HAPPY MEMORY. :)

Now that the wedding day is near, we shifted the investment money to… a house installment. Yes. we bought our first house. It’s a very very very very very very small apartment unit on the edge of Jakarta. It’s small but we think it’s the right thing to do. And yes, we will pay the mortgage until the next 10 years? LOL.

How to make sure you’re on the budget?

For me, it’s very easy. I have an iphone app for it. The app’s name is MONEY. There are a lot of apps for budgeting but I settled myself with this app three years ago. Yes. I have OCD. I actually use budgeting app daily. And it’s been three years since I started using this app and my financial life has been improving. Haha!

This is the icon of the app. Don’t get confused with similar apps.

If you’re not an OCD or if you think I’m a freak, then you don’t need to have one, as long as you live the rule I told you before, DON’T SPEND MORE THAN YOU MAKE.

How much is enough?

If you think “I don’t have enough money to have saving, then YOU’RE WRONG. Everybody always have enough money for saving. Even it’s just $10 per month, it is still a saving. It’s not about how much, it’s about bringing the habit to you. Start small, it won’t make you suffer or anything.

In the end, it’s not HOW MUCH you make, but HOW MUCH YOU THINK IS ENOUGH. If you keep telling yourself your money is not enough, then it is not. But if you tell yourself it is enough, then it is. I’m not ambitious with money. Those ambitious people who read this (including Bandi) would probably think this is bullshit. They always want more money. But I have my own belief. More money doesn’t always mean you’re happier. (Trust me, I see a looottt of rich people depressed and unhappy here.)

JUST DON’T SPEND MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD. That’s the MUST REMEMBER sentence. If you only have $100 cap for spending it with your friends, then DON’T hang out everyday. Hang out only on weekend or hang out at your home. Buying $3 beers from supermarket and hang out at your home playing playstation. You don’t have to be ALWAYS OUT and eat in the overpriced cafe.

and remember this: DO NOT SPEND THE MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE! A.k.a Credit Card. This is so wrong!!! I do have credit card, but it’s only for certain purposes such as paying for Agoda, Playstation Network, Paypal and the other online stuffs that have better bargain with credit card. But I ALWAYS pay straightaway. Seriously, NEVER GET SUCKED INTO THE DEBT HOLE. NEVER!!!

DO NOT SAVE YOUR SILLY PRIDE just because you have to hang out with friend in the overpriced cafe, in the restaurant you can’t afford or buying overpriced bags, but end up not buying your dream house or not going travel. Always always always put your priority straight and everything will be easier. One’s financial plan wouldn’t be fit for other’s financial plan. “Needs” and “Wants” are relative in terms of money.

Let me give you some example. I seldom shop. I don’t remember when the last time I shopped (oh wait, I do, I shopped for autumn clothes for the Eurotrip). So I never put shopping on my budget (see the pie chart above), but I put “eating out” (hanging with friends) and “entertainment” into 2 different need. These things are equally important to me as paying rent. My hobby is included paying for crafty/artsy stuffs from Art Friend store, buying nail polishes or buying books online.

For some people who loves buying clothes or bags, this budget is so stupid, thus you may combine this 4% + 5% and VOILA! 9% of your salary will be spent to buy new bag! But of course if you spent the whole 9% for a bag, YOU CANNOT GO HANG OUT in the cafe, ok!

AGAIN, IT’S ABOUT PRIORITY. Remember I posted this?

So to answer Icha’s question of how on earth I could afford a trip to Europe and live in Singapore… is because I saved money more than I shopped. My dream to go to Europe is stronger than anything so I HAD TO save money. And if you knew me in person, you’d know that it wasn’t easy for me. But I guess people grow up eventually. I picked up the “saving habit” from that European dream. Until now I still carry on that habit. :)

Okay, I have to stop preaching because I feel so silly now. I’m in no position to talk about financial planning when everything I do now was taught by Bandi. Before there was him, I didn’t know there was a thing called “saving” or “budget” LOLOLOL.

But always remember this… Never put money as your goal in life. It is just a tool we use in our life, but remember you can’t eat money, you can’t also marry money or cuddle money at night when you feel lonely. Yes, it can buy you a comfy bed but money won’t be the one who comforts you when you’re sad. :) I hope you see the point.


May, ka-ching!

28 thoughts on “#30daysblogging Yawn, we talk about money.

  1. SIPPPP DAHHH!! Baru kemarin coworker gue nanya soal financial planning juga. Soalnya dia cerita, dia punya istri, dikasih duit brapapun habis, dan ngga ada yang dipake sama sekali untuk nabung. Makanya dia diem-diem gak kasih all his money to his wife, instead, he saved for his daughter school fund, sampe ga bilang2 istri (takut diminta juga). Terus gue bilangin aja ke dia, kalo abis terima gaji, jangan spend dulu baru sisanya ditabung, tapi tabung dulu di tabungan terpisah yg ga boleh disentuh (kayak forgotten salary lu itu), baru sisanya dispend, sukur2 ada sisa lagi, masuk lagi ke tabungan tsb.

    • Iya gue heran sama orang2 yang dikasih duit brp juga abis ajeeee (nggak ngaca banget pdhal dl juga gitu) tapi yah itu balik lg ke dia nya sih maw berubah ga. Eh tapi emg ada orang yg punya mental illness kerjaannya buang2 duit. Serius ini

  2. i need this post may :P
    thats a good financial and investment plan!!
    anyway you buy apartment ini Jkt for rent?
    10 years is considered too long for an apartment installment X)

    • Hi mey, ga taw lah for rent atau ga, yang penting beli dl. Itu masalah entar. Hahahaha. Kaga lah 10 tahun biasa kok mey buat bayar sisa kpr nya. Dp nya dicicil 2 tahun, sisanya installment nya terserah maw sampe kapan hahahaha.

  3. hormat kepada suhu!!! :)
    gw pribadi a big spender till i meet bapak hemat raimond! hahaha .. si rai mirip loe may somehow and thanks to him kita jadi traveling terus hahaha .. dan gw istri yang sudah bertobat ini akhirnya lebih memilih menabung daripada beli tas .. walopun window shopping jalan terus dan ngecekin harga tas kecengan .. but oh well, i’m flying off soon!!!!!!!! HAHAHA .. songong banget ya gw !!

    segera atur sushi time kita setelah aku kembali .. mau ngejar setoran baca postingan yang kemaren2 nih hahaha :)

  4. dulu sih waktu masih kerja di jkt gue juga abis mulu duit, secara nge-mol tuh mahalllll!!! hhahahaha…..akhirnya gak pernah punya tabungan sampe gue ke Singapore….

  5. Aw. Nyadar tentang pentingnya personal finance management gara2 ketularan Bandi yang anak akun ya? Hahaha~ Nyumbang tips dikit. Gue setuju banget dengan motto ‘Never spend more than you make’. Harusnya ini kan common sense, tapi masih banyak orang yang ga ada kontrol diri sama sekali. Akhirnya ya terlilit hutang sampe mesti jual2 asset en property. Budgeting itu penting. Creating two bank accounts itu praktis tuh. Satu buat savings – automatic transfer tiap bulan (fixed percentage dari salary) yang kartu-nya cuman bisa buat narik duit dari ATM, ga bisa buat belanja online ato gesek di counter (Citibank ada fasilitas ini, elu tinggal request aja ke mereka). Rekening yang laen, setelah dipotong automatic transfer ke savings account, dibuat untuk monthly expense. Gue sih terbiasa apa2 bayar pake kartu, jadi kalo mo liat trail transaksi, tinggal ke internet banking (oh, dua hari lalu gue belanja di Fair Price, tiga hari lalu makan di Marche, bah mahal, ga mao lage makan di sana etc etc, you will re-live all your purchases, kadang2 sembari meringis). Paling penting ya disiplin sih, terutama kalo elu punya long term goal, kalo elu disiplin, no matter how tempting those instant gratifications are, you’d have the power to push them away and focus on your goal. Sekian sekilas info.

    • Setujuuuuuuuuu!!!! Gue juga lebih suka bayar apa-apa pake kartu. Gampang trace nya. Tapi karena gue ini OCD, gue punya app di phone gue untuk nge trace spending gue dan apakah udah mepet budget atau bahkan lewatin budget. Dan gue beneran gue lakuin lo tuh app, kaga cuma pake pajangan aja. Hahaha.
      Anyway iya bener, kadang tuh setelah liat-liat lagi transaksi kartu, gue pasti mikir, kenapa bodoh banget makan aja mahal begitu…. tapi terus diulangi lagi. hahaha

      • Hm? Kalo gue sih over budget ato kaga liatnya gampang. Kalo di rekening dah ga ada duit ya udah bokek lah gue. Pokoknya pertama kali terima gaji, langsung bayarlah semua bill (rental, phone, ez-link, etc etc), setelah itu transfer berapa persen ke savings, sisanya buat bertahan hidup sampai gajian berikutnya. Rinse and repeat. Gue sih ga pernah budgetin sampe detail banget, macam ‘Bulan ini cuman boleh habis 100 buat beli buku!’ dengan tampang penuh determinasi Sailor Moon, biasanya pasti gagal. Paling yang gue kudu trace ya groceries sama food. Sisanya, asal masih ada duit, hajar aja, hahaha…

        Btw, zangan makan di Marche ya, say~ Udah mahal, ndak enak pulak. Haeh.

      • Hahaha, gue masih doyaaaannn ahhhh! T.T
        Iya iya bener juga bill udah dibayar diawal, tapi gue demen aja kalo liat akhir bulan masih ada duit, berarti duit extra buat jalan2. hahahaha

  6. I don’t think this is bullshit at all…it makes sense! :) I became really thrifty since I lived alone (like 9 years ago?) and I am now pretty OK with managing my money. Sadly, I cannot follow the rule to put aside 1/3 of your salary for the future/savings. Because 1/3 of my salary goes for TAXES!! Bener banget May, it is about your priorities.

    Gue juga gak ada budget buat shopping, shopping nya gue adalah pergi ke drugstore beli toiletries dan drugstore make up hehehe. Entertainment buat gue adalah hang out 2x sebulan sama temen dan ikut workshop apaaa ajaa..mulai dari yoga workshop, massage workshop, knitting, etc etc, karena menurut gue gak hanya gw have fun tp jg dapet skill baru :)

    Great post May, karena ini actual banget dan semua bisa relate to the story :D Thanks neng.

    • Hmmm, to be honest, selain nggak tahan godaan beli buku, gue juga ga tahan beli toiletries. OMG I have tons of them dan Bandi was sick of my toiletries yang nggak ada ujungnya, kayaknya entah kenapa cewe demen beginian yahhhh pie! XD

      • ajehgileh gue juga bingung May..udah gt paling dipake setengah botol. Laki gue kayaknya capek mbuangin botol2x dan sabun2x gak dipake itu hahaha!

  7. Chapeau! :)

    A very, very sensible way to deal with money. If my mother would have read this ( which would have been unlikely because she didn’t speak or read English) she would send you her big smile and say her son should take you as an example :).

    And you think money matters are boring?? So I guess you probably would be a happy millionaire if you were really interested

  8. gua juga punya tabungan yg gua lupakan alias ga pernah diutak atik… dulu itu tabungan selalu kepake buat jalan2… tapi sejak gua hamil, uda ga pernah kepikiran tentang jalan2 lagi hahahaha… jadi nantinya mau dipake buat biaya lahiran…

  9. hahaahha OCD lo juga termasuk budgeting ya may. dulu gw sempet punya aplikasi kaya gitu, tapi akhirnya gw uninstall karena ga guna2 banget haha. males gw masukin entry 1-1 gitu.
    btw, setuju gw, intinya sih emang jangan sampe besar pasak daripada tiang ya, tapi kadang2 kalo uda kebanyakan cicilan kaya rumah,mobil, itu udah bias, semuanya buat bayar cicilan LOL.

  10. Never put money as your goal in life. It is just a tool we use in our life, but remember you can’t eat money, you can’t also marry money or cuddle money at night when you feel lonely –> Setuju bgt, jgn sampe cuma uang melulu yang jadi tujuan utama hidup. Ga akan pernah ngerasa cukup juga biasanya. Dan uang memang ga selalu jamin kebahagiaan hidup kita kan yah :)
    May, jadi pengen coba pake app juga biar lebih teratur budgeting tiap bulannya. Makasi tipsnyaa ya :)

  11. Thank you, May for the sharing and posting :-) Kebetulan bulan ini lagi over budget :( Dan postingan ini pun menyadarkan gue untuk mengatur kembali keuangan gue :-) Penjelasan dari May lebih masuk ke otak gue daripada penjelasan para financial planner professional..Jadi kayaknya gue akan coba praktekkan tips dari loe :-) Please wish me luck :-)

      Jangan dibawa stress, Mutia… dulu gue awal-awal kerja juga ga bisa nabung, hehe. Pelan2 berubahnya lama-lama jadi habit kok, dan nggak bikin stress juga. :)
      SEMANGKAAAA!!! *tebar confetti*

  12. Tengkiuu buat pencerahannya, May. Jadi pengen download aplikasinya, eh tapi pake android deh. Harusnya ada lah yah.. Kalo gw invest nya ke asuransi sama RD May. Kudu begitu, kalo tabungan biasa,bisa2 keambil terus..huhuuh

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