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If you ever feel confounded about personal finance matters, know that you’re not alone. According to the Malaysia National Strategy for Financial Literacy (2019 – 2023) report*, 1 in 3 Malaysians consider themselves to have low financial knowledge. The research also stated that 41% of Malaysians rely only on their EPF savings for retirement; and 16% of Malaysians are very worried about household expenses in their old age. 


There are plenty of ways to up your financial literacy – and when it comes to banking products, it is always good to first seek financial advice from a trusted banker. You can also engage with a certified financial planner to help manage your money, and even learn from personal finance books/blogs.


In this article, we give focus on personal finance bloggers and their real-life tips that can help you in your money management and wealth creation journey. 

Budgeting made easy: Suyin Ong’s “money buckets system”

Did you know that 76% of Malaysians have a budget, but have a hard time sticking to it? This is where Suyin Ong, a Malaysian personal finance blogger, comes in. She uses an easy method to manage her finance – by dividing money into three different buckets.  


So how does this "bucket system" work? You divide a percentage of money from your monthly income into different three buckets aptly named as "Blow", "Grow" and "Mojo". Your car loan, groceries and daily spending will be categorised as "blow", you monthly savings as "grow" and your emergency fund as "mojo". No complicated excel sheet required! 


Suyin's bucket system was inspired by Scott Pape, the author of The Barefoot Investor. Want to follow her budgeting system? find out more from Suyin’s video where she talks about Scott Pape's system and how she adapted it to fit her lifestyle. Also check out her full channel here.


Our additional tip: You can use different bank accounts for each bucket. You can also easily digitise the "grow" portion of your money buckets using the Goals & Savings feature on CIMB Clicks.  


Learning about investment: Mr-Stingy’s “The ultimate guide to 11 DIY investments in Malaysia” 


This article by Aaron Tang, the financial blogger for Mr-Stingy, was written a few years ago but it’s still as relevant as ever. In the article, he explained the many types of investments available in Malaysia, how it works and how you can make the investment yourself.


The article is comprehensive too, and include investment products such as Fixed Deposit, Bonds, Amanah Saham, Unit Trusts, REITS, ETFs, Stocks and alternative investments. He also included important notes such as each product’s typical returns and links to compare products and to learn more about each investment.


If you’re keen to learn about the many types of investments available in Malaysia, then this is a pretty good way to start.


Our additional tip: Investments come with the risk of losing your capital, so always choose an investment that fits your risk profile and objective. Discover yours here and we’ll show a portfolio example that suits you best.  

Managing lifestyle creep:’s “5 basic tips for budgeting everyone should know” 

Moving up the career ladder (and getting paid more) tend to make you want more expensive or “bigger” things. This is known as lifestyle creep or lifestyle inflation. So how can you beat this? A new financial blog, Damnchun, has some useful tips. This pioneer lifestyle blogger used to be known as Sixth Seal and now he writes about his personal finance journey – including tips that can help you keep your budget in control and fight off the desire to succumb to lifestyle creep.


His tips include debt elimination strategies and how to make your every ringgit counts (a.k.a budgeting to zero). 


Our additional tip: Sometimes the best way to fight off the lifestyle creep is to stash the money away before you have the urge to spend it. If you have stocked up on your emergency fund, why not secure your future and retirement by investing instead? Check out CIMB’s investment offerings here.   

Understanding financing affordability: CompareHero’s “How much should you spend on a car in Malaysia?”


If you’re a fresh graduate/young executive in need of a car, then this tip can be quite handy for you. This article breaks down how much you can realistically afford (just as a guide, FYI) and the cost of car ownership.


It is also advisable to find out about your affordability on many other items – from big ticket items such as a house, or smaller items such as your gadgets and smartphones.


Why should you care about loan/financing affordability? It can help to keep your debt-to-service (DSR) ratio in check and most importantly to ensure that you have enough money to cover your monthly expenses.


Our additional tip: CIMB also has a whole range of affordability calculators for you to test out here. Give them a try.


If you’re embarking on your wealth-building journey, the most important thing to remember is that it takes time and perseverance to help you reach your money goals. And of course, to keep learning about personal finance as you go along the passage.   


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute and form of solicitation or financial advice. CIMB does not make any representation and warranty as to the accuracy, completeness and fairness of any information contained in this article. CIMB is not affiliated to or associated with any of the bloggers mentioned in this article. The views and opinions expressed by the bloggers here are their own and may not necessarily represent CIMB’s views. As this article is general in nature, it is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You are advised to seek professional advice, including speaking to a qualified financial advisor or investment professional before making any financial, credit or investment decisions based on the information contained in this article. CIMB assumes no liability for any consequences arising from your reliance on the information presented here.