RM100 isn’t much today

An interesting topic in The Star today and I must agree there that RM100 is indeed not much today but is it?

Now let’s see that again based on my daily expenses

A) When I was studying Law part time and working full time (almost 10 years ago)

Transportation: RM2.00 bus fare to and fro my house to KL (then I walk from the bus station to my work place, almost 5 kilometers away and walk again to the college – no wonder I was slim and very healthy then)

Food total: RM3.50 based on RM1.00 (“nasi lemak biasa” or 3 kari-puffs, either one for almost everyday! If I already “muak”, maybe will be opt for “mee goreng”), RM2.50 (standard nasi campur – no chicken or fish, just 2 types of “sayur”, “sambal” and plenty of “kuah”)

There was no entertainment cost, no magazines to be purchased, no other miscellaneous cost, bills and etc. I can’t afford to have one with my starting salary of just RM630 (half of which goes to my college fees and the balance into my saving for year end exam fees)

That’s totals to RM5.50 per day. So, with RM100, it can last me for 18 days!

B) Daily expenses (2004)

Things have changed. One thing is that my income has increased a lot since my income days of RM630 per month. So, as they say “you earn more, you spend more”. Another, the prices has gone up causing us to pay more for the same portion of items.

Transportation: RM6.00 (Based on an average RM30 petrol per week – Monday to Friday and if the traffic jam is not so bad)

Food total: RM12.00 based on RM3.50 (standard “mee goreng” with “teh ais“), RM5.50 (standard “nasi campur” with at least chicken or fish), RM3.00 (tea-time meal – “roti canai” with “teh tarik“)

Parking: RM5.50 (Based on monthly charges of RM170.00)

House weekly sundry expenses: RM4.00 (Based on a weekly trip to Pasar Borong – RM30.00)

The above does not include water & Astro bills of RM100.00, periodic trips to Tesco – RM100.00 (average per trip), expenses for my son – RM100.00 (average per month), and etc. Based on the above (and excluding my other expenses), I am spending RM27.50 per day. So, with RM100, it can only last me for 4 days!

C) Current Daily expenses (2005)

Time to tighten the belt!

Transportation: RM8.00 (Based on an average RM40 petrol per week – Monday to Friday and if the traffic jam is not so bad)

Food total: RM5.00 based on RM2.00 (either “nasi lemak” or “mee goreng” or sometime have nothing for breakfast), RM3.00 (standard nasi campur with no chicken or fish)

Parking: RM5.50 (Based on monthly charges of RM170.00 – no change there)

House weekly sundry expenses: RM1.50 (Based on a weekly trip to Pasar Borong – RM10.00)

The above does not include water & Astro bills of RM100.00, controlled trips to Tesco – RM80.00 (average per trip), expenses for my son – RM70.00 (average per month), and etc

Based on the above (and excluding my other expenses), I managed to reduce daily spending to RM20.00 per day. Yes, it is not much but it is a reduction nonetheless. So, with RM100, it can now last me for 5 days.

I have cut down a lot of non-essential expenses (for example my tea-time meals) and surprisingly still have balances to put in my savings account. I am continuing to review my expenses and hope to cut more especially on sundry expenses (hmm…maybe need to blog one this someday).

So, with the high prices today, there is not much RM100 can do but if we tighten our belt and spend wisely, we can indeed stretch RM100 for longer days.

(Cartoon source: www.hadifarahani.com/Medilus_list/Funds.html)

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