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One of the best things about joining the workforce is having an actual income. With every pay check, you glimpse a future of options and feel the rush of exhilaration that comes with a couple more zeros to your bank balance. The many possibilities on what to splurge on is never ending!
But be careful not to squander your entire salary or savings just because you’re suddenly richer than you’ve ever been! Here are a few common mistakes that young career-builders should avoid.

Spending Excessively

It’s easy to get giddy with new money, as 40% of Malaysian millennials has mistakenly dived into the trap, admitting to spending beyond their means*.

Credit cards are extremely useful, but you could easily get carried away swiping without being aware that you’ve surpassed your balance. A helpful tip is to set your daily limit to an amount that you know you can afford, such as a percentage of your disposable income.


Keep track of your expenses! There are so many handy apps out there to help even the most disorganised souls stay on track with their money habits; you really have no excuse. Savvy shoppers use shopping apps and e-wallets to get the best deals.


In fact, set up an automatic savings transfer for a fixed portion of your income, so that you can spend your disposable income without worrying that you’ll eat into your savings budget.

No Financial Safety Net

One of the biggest financial mistakes is to leave yourself vulnerable to financial emergencies. Once you start earning an income, you should think about building a financial safety net for yourself (and your loved ones, if applicable). Start putting money in an emergency fund and list out the probable emergencies that could stretch your savings.


Additionally, for a small premium, the right insurance can protect you from forking out unexpected expenses. Don’t jeopardise your financial security by mere short-sightedness.


Prioritise your savings and emergency funds. Based on your life goals, create different savings jars, making sure there is one for retirement. It may seem premature, but the key to snowballing savings is to start young. 

Getting Into Debt Too Soon

Eager to own a home or car, some early-career professionals lock themselves in to debt before they can really afford it. This could set you up for years of scrimping and scraping just to get by.


Don’t be too quick to jump on the bandwagon. Consider if you can wait a few years until you’re in a stronger financial situation. For example, using public transport could save a lot, especially with the affordable monthly pass options in the Klang Valley. What’s more, you will be contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment, too.


Getting into debt is a long-term responsibility. More than half (60%) of bankruptcies belong in the 25 to 34 age group. Don’t let your debt own you – or leave you with bad credit.


Avoid overspending, create a safety net, strategize debt, and you’ll be on your way to unlock financial security for the rest of your career.


This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.