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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gen Y: Surviving the City Life!

Assalamualaikum everyone. :)

I was scrolling down my Facebook timeline when I saw a friend sharing a post (click on the link) which basically says that earning 10K per month is still not enough to ensure survival living in KL nowadays. Brrrrr..

I won't be making any comments on the post since I wasn't experiencing yet the 'real' challenge living out there. Still in my comfort zone here in UIA with lunch less than RM4, no worries on owning my own car (not-so-practical when you live inside a campus with limited space of parking), still living with my parents etc.

But I do want to share my experience being brought up in a middle-class family living a very very simple life. To be honest, I wasn't really worried about my future. I do worry a bit, but not that much to the extend that I feel 3K won't be enough to live in KL.

Note that I'm a cheapskate person. So I think from a cheapskate person's perspective.

Here's how I noticed the lifestyle of most people nowadays, I'm not generalizing to all but I noticed it with people around me.

1) Branded clothing

I actually hated going to shopping malls, cause I can see lots of people lavishly spending their money on clothes, handbags, shoes and woman-y stuff. Dresses costing more than RM100 is still affordable for them. Some would even buy a t-shirt costing RM30 just for the brand!

Handbags tak payah cerita lah. People are willing to buy handbag yang RM100+ sometimes RM200+ yang branded especially those on sale. Berebut2.

For me, I've always been wondering

"hey, orang jumpa tak tanya pun baju brand apa. Harga mahal ke tak.

What's the pride for? Just wondering.. I'd be glad if anyone can explain to me.

2) Luxury cars.

Rata-rata kawan-kawan aku, when talking about cars. They wished to buy this car, that car. Their dream car lah apa. Wanting to save money to buy cars yang hebat and brand new.

I guess most of them would think of owning a car first before owning a property.

"Oh rumah nanti sewa lah dulu. Beli kereta then dah ada family banyak duit kumpul boleh beli rumah pulak."

Nope, not for mehhhh. I would go for a house first. A car, today might be RM30K, next year would fall to RM25K. A house, today might cost me RM300K, by next year it's already RM350K!

The longer I wait the higher the price will go up. And don't hope for it to go down.
By 5 years probably an apartment nearby KL would cost almost half a million! X_X

Anyway, back to the car. Most wouldn't want to have a cheap car. "No class lah" they say.

But big car comes with a big cost for petrol as well. When I read the article, the author approximately put RM1K for transportation. For me yes, that's a lot. And I'll tell you why I think so.

3) Luxury dining 

Another place I don't like going is luxury restaurants and cafe's. Why? Cause I see mostly people around my age going there. Lepak-ing.

Going to fast food restaurants, luxury restaurants (for me) like TGI Fridays, Manhattan Fish Market, Chillis, Starbucks, Dome, (what else?) those kind of restaurant you find in shopping malls are just like normal dining 'jom keluar makan' for people living in K.L.
These restaurants are actually occupied most of the time with people!
Breakfast nasi lemak at Old Time White Coffee.
Dinner at TGI Fridays.

Not saying everyday, but it's something 'okaylah to pay' for most of us to eat sometimes, once a week or once a month at different places.

Well, there goes your 'food' expenses.

4) Gadgets and technologies.

This is another thing common among my friends. Some of them changed phones like changing clothes! (cewah melampau analogi) :D

But once in a while they would go and upgrade phones when they have extra money.

"Haaa duit PTPTN dah masuk, boleh lah aku tukar beli phone baru"

"Okay aku dah dapat gaji, nak beli lah gajet terbaru. Yang sekarang tak up-to-date lah!"

TV kat rumah pulak, selagi boleh besar TV selagi tu beli baru. Apa kelas TV 21 inci. Lots of other stuffs too.

5) Marriage

Ini yang membimbangkan para jejaka zaman sekarang. This is the thing most single guys are worried about. For walimah people expect it to be grand, huge, with hantaran tinggi for the bride. or else people will talk about you. Kenduri at least 20K to spend. Baju pengantin je dah RM600, pelamin RM1500, cameraman RM3000 bla2.. yeda2.. and if you couldn't afford.. be prepared to hear this.

"What? You don't have 30K in your savings? No house no car? How are you going to marry my daughter? You are going to feed her with what? Sand?"

Heard that dialogue from the TV. But that is basically the reality now. No money no wife.

Yes, to start your own family you need money but there are ways where you can save and actually live a decent and simple life, at the same time surviving the city life.

In conclusion, I can see that the 'normal' living nowadays are actually 'luxury' living for me.. People spend on things which are mostly luxury stuffs. At least to my standards, the spending above are luxury spending. But it happens, with most of people around us. Well, if that is the case. I agree that 10K would not be enough to survive in KL.


I just wanted to share my lifestyle.
Alhamdulillah, I was brought up in a middle-class income family. Back when I was a small child, perhaps I can be considered coming from a rich family. 
But I was grateful to think of how my parents brought me up. teaching me about financial education, and shaping me to become someone who doesn't spend so much and doesn't really go for brands and luxurious items. I don't consider myself materialistic to be honest.

1) Branded clothing.

Since I was small until now, things have always been the same in my family tradition. Me and my siblings, the only time we get to buy clothes is during Hari Raya. 2 or sometimes 3 pairs each (depending on the budget). If I can still recall, I think each person gets a total of RM150 per year to buy baju kurung, baju melayu, jeans and t-shirts.

Raya 2009 - who cares how much the baju cost? Haha

One happy family at kampung!

Haha I love this picture!

If we want to have more clothing, we have to calculate how much budget we should allocate for e.g. baju kurung, jeans, tudung...
Me personally, I would go for the cheapest (yet beautiful in my eyes) cloth in order to have more. RM20 for jeans, RM19.90 for t-shirt, RM70 for baju kurung and the rest I can buy another t-shirt/blouse. Yayy me!

Sometimes I follow my dad along with my siblings going to bundle shop and look at the clothes there, believe me you can find lots and lots of beautiful t-shirt/dresses from the bundle. If we have clothes we want, we can pick 1 or 2 and my father would pay. 2 for RM10. He doesn't mind. And we're happy!

That doesn't mean all my clothes are from bundle, but I do go there sometimes to satisfy my shopping 'nafs' hehehehe. or probably just go window shopping at the malls. 

If I want to have my own luxury, then I have to figure out my own way to find money, then buy. Saving money is not easy especially when you're a still small child, but I have to if I want to buy things for myself which is considered luxury. So I struggle to find money on my own, saving as much duit sekolah as I can, selling candies and ice cream malaysia to my neighbor (I was 11-12 y/o at that time) selling name crafts at schools and so many more.

and when I finally have enough money to buy things I want, I ended up asking myself 'I went this far to find my own money, should I just use them? Is the thing important or no? Is it a  necessity or a luxury?'. Then most of the time I end up giving that money to my mom so that she can keep in my bank account.
So now everytime I wanted to buy something, I would ask myself whether the thing is necessary or no. Is it just a nafs or it is practical/helpful in my everyday life? Will I be using it most of the time or just once or twice?

That's why you would rarely see me in the shopping complex :D
I do spend my money, but on things I really really need.

My mom loves going to carboot sale or secondhand shop and when she sees something still useful she would buy for her children!
"Izaaaatttt, tadi mama pergi garage sale kat rumah dotdotdot, mama jumpa rantai and beg cantik untuk izzat."

"Ye ke? Apa dia ma?"

"Nahhhh! Cantik tak?"

"wahhh cantik2!"

"Cuba teka mama beli berapa?"


"Haha RM10 je untuk dua ni! Murah kan? elok pulak tu. Kalau dah rosak mama tak ambil"

"wee thank you ma.. ^_^"

Yup! I love my mom!! She always buy good stuffs for me. Ketepikan isu harga! Still can use! Haha..

2) Luxury Cars

My dad used to own a Mercedes (same age as my elder sister if I'm not mistaken) but he sold it few years ago. Instead of upgrading to a better car, he bought a secondhand Kancil which costs him around 6K. Still good. Until now.. Alhamdulillah.

I got my driving licence back in 2011 and my first ride was with that Mr. Kancil. Never had the chance to drive a Mercedes. Huhuuu I don't mind.

Well he always mention to me why he'd prefer having Kancil over Mercedes.

There you go!

Yeah. I guess that actually stuck in my head and having me end up to not really care about brands or luxury car. As long as it's comfortable and still can use, I don't have any problem. I'm used to driving Kancil anyway :D

I'm not really worried about buying a new car, my family is used to owning a 2nd hand items so I don't mind having one. As long as it is still in good condition. We do look for quality too when buying a secondhand stuffs. Sometimes it took me weeks of comparison-making and observations on secondhand advertisement before deciding to buy one. I've had friends asking my advice when they want to buy a secondhand stuffs. :D

3) Luxury dining 

My family would go for luxury dining only when there is a special occasion. We would go out and eat at pizza hut during birthdays, go to steak house kampung baru when someone got a good grades in exams (Haha that's why I strive to get good results in exams! Hahaha). It's nice to go out and eat with my family, most of my siblings are grown up and my dad goes everywhere around the world. So by having these special occasions, we get to gather all of us and spend time updating each other's story. Cakap je nak makan steak, semua sanggup balik walaupun esok exam. Haha.

But that's just one point. When I dine with my family, I still remember, if I want to have the same menu as my siblings, my parents would suggest us to share. Just order one. The concept is to finish first what we order and if we want more we can order some more after finishing our meal.

And selalu among us we will tend to "nak rasa awak punya sikit boleh?"

annnnnnddddd we will share!

Usually my parents would not order any food because they know us kids won't finish our food if we order one menu each. So they are the one who will finish our unfinished food. So normally when we dine outside. Licin habis pinggan! It's rare to see leftovers. And if there is some, my mom will ask the waiter to 'bungkus' and we will bring it home, put it in the fridge, and poof! it's gone by tomorrow morning. Mesti ada yang makan punya. Hehe..

My parents taught me not to waste food and not to be greedy when ordering food.

Another thing, most of the time my mother will cook at home, but in recent years, since her daughter's soon getting married, the legacy of cooking at home befalls on us! Hahaha. Haiyoyo.

I love cooking, even simple2 cookings. because whatever I cook, my family will eat it. ANYTHING!

Sedap ke tak sedap makan jugak. *tears*
They are not choosy and they eat whatever is there. Reasons why I am so grateful to have them in my life.

My dad would say "sedapnya izzat masak" eventhough I cook sup ayam dengan kentang je.

My youngest brother would say "Kakak ni the best chef lah! Boleh bukak restoran!" even when I cook ayam masak kicap and sotong goreng tepung.

But makanan apa je tak sedap when the ingredient of LOVE is inserted. Hehehe

Haha still remember I ask my youngest brother Amir,

"Sedap tak kakak masak ayam masak merah ni?"

"Ish tak sedap lah kak"

"Ye ke? Sorry"

"Ish apelah akak ni, memanglah 'tak sedap' langsung amir dah tambah 2 kali dah!"

"Haha XD"

The point is, we used to cook at home and we rarely go for luxury dining. I still remember my dad sometimes bring home sotong and udang to cook, and would say

"Anis! Abah beli ni sebab ingat kat anis suka makan sotong dan udang. Ada jumpa yang murah kat pasar"

And I can see how my sister would smile kambing and hug my dad cause she is sooo happy! Hehehe..

But really, it's not that we are stingy or what, we eat anything you guys eat, but on a smaller scale. We call it 'berjimat cermat'. Only sometimes.. and we are happy with that.

We are a simple family and that is why I love my family.

4) Gadgets and technologies.

If you have any question on how to buy a secondhand item, I can be the right person to refer to.

Literally most of the gadgets I own is secondhand item.

My laptop, my dad bought it from his students who returned back to her country and would like to sell her laptop. It has been 3 years now with me and still working fine! Syukur.

My handphone, it's a secondhand handphone I bought online after few weeks of observation finding the best one and the cheapest I could get. (bought with my own money cause luxury item is not my father's budget.)

My DSLR, also a secondhand item. Bought it from this rich guy who only used twice because he got it as a birthday present and tak minat camera. (bought it using the money I got from working partime for 4 months in Petrosains!)

Promote Petrosains! Ahaha

My hmmm what else? I think that's all in my possession.

It all works well and I know, technology advances really fast and the things I own dah 'lapuk'.
For some people. But I'm not thinking of upgrading them or changing them. They still work well and I have no reason to change. As long as they serve the function I need, I don't mind using them. :)

So no worries for me. Go technology, go ahead of me. I don't mind staying behind. I don't mind if people see me not up to par. When time comes my things are no longer functioning well, I'll consider finding a new one. Not for now. So I have no worries, my money is safe from the technological temptation.

5) Travel

My family don't travel, we backpack! Haha.

Air asia cheap flight tickets, travelling by public transport, going out and trying out street food. What is more awesome than this? Seriously.

Riding on a Jeep in Philippines. Cost us 8 pesos (60cents) per ride!

Trying out local food in Singapore. Awesome travelmate award goes to Farah Nabilah and Izzati Asyikin!
Utilizing public transport. :)

Trip to Bangkok

What's better than dining in in a fancy restaurant? Trying out local street foods! (make sure the hygiene is taken care of)

MRT - Bangkok.

Bandung, Indonesia. Car-free day in Bandung. Sedap ahh nak makan lagi bila tengok gambar ni.

6) Marriage

Hmm.. This one!

Me = cheapskate. I'll let you know how cheapskate yet doesn't look like one on my wedding day *insyaAllah* later on. Haha you judge soon! I'll post one post on tips to minimize the wedding expenses! :D

But not for now. Generally, I am not worried on my wedding expenses.

K I give you a clue, my cameraman is a friend who's willing to help me take pictures the whole day for only RM200! He's a good photographer, not professional but experienced. I don't mind. The perfect shot is to be with the one you love in your side! Haha.

Make up? My classmate who have the kindest heart to do for me. Just a simple one cause I don't wear make up on daily basis anyway..

See? There are ways you could save your money, there are ways you can survive living in this EXPENSIVE world. It depends on the way you spend. You are not forced to spend so much. You are not 'terdesak' and have no choice but to succumb to the luxurious way of life. You can choose how you want to live. To live like me is not easy but is not possible. I don't live in limelights, in fames, in brands, in luxury. I am just a simple person with simple living style.

And most important is, I am grateful with what I have and the way I am. :)

Jazakumullahukhair for spending your time reading. Hope this post can benefit!

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