Sunday 13 September 2015

Financial Independence and Simple Living

I was discussing with Hubby the last couple of days and whilst we are comfortable and well off, the current economic situation of our country and the rest of the world was a bit of a wake up call. We have taken for granted that everything is alright and will continue to be alright. With baby#2 on the way and Chapati growing up, we need to really sit down and seriously think of our future as a family. We believe that in times like this, it is important to be careful with how we spend money and be even more focused on how the rest of our money is working for us. We have also accumulated some debt recently and suddenly we feel a strong need to clear them as soon as possible. These are unsecured debts like credit cards and personal loans.

So one weekend, I spent some time thinking of what we wanted for ourselves and our children and why we are starting to think more seriously about financial planning for the future. Since hubby and I got married, it is so easy to spend money and not think about it. Our thinking was, just spend the money as we can always earn money. I must say that in hindsight, we were young and a little...stupid. We were so busy working from the wee hours of the morning to late nights that we never sat down to talk about important stuff like this.

Anyway first and foremost, during this time of many uncertainties, we believe that being prudent with our spending is the way to go. We still have a long way to go in our plans for the future which we want to work on mapping out within this year as baby#2 will be arriving next year. It will be an interesting adventure for us I believe. Will probably do a series of posting on this over the next few months.

So the first question I asked was, how do we really go about being prudent/frugal in a place like Kuala Lumpur. As usual I looked on Google for some inspiration and came across some very interesting people and their unique approach. After reading through them all, I really enjoyed this particular blog The Frugalwoods and decided to use their tagline for my title of this posting. It really spoke to me about being more intentional instead of just letting things fly right by us. Mrs Frugalwood's posting on Strategic Luxury gave me a lot of things to think about. I love the way that she defines it as "frugality isn't about deprivation or hardship, it's about spending money only on what truly matters." After reading these postings from her The Joy That Comes When Less Is Enough and Benefits of Frugality That Have Nothing to do with Money, I really liked the idea of a different way of living.

I realised that I am the sort of person whilst careful, will buy something if I like it, rather than really needing  it. I am also the quintessential hoarder. Coupled with the fact that I am rather disorganised and a tad bit messy...Our home is full of good stuff which are new and unused and I keep buying more because I can't seem to find them or forget that I have them already. My clothes cupboards are full to the brim with clothes that I haven't worn in years, and the same goes for my kitchen cabinets and fridge with food that we either eat very little of and then have to throw them away because they have expired or spoilt. We have little things everywhere! The worse if a SALE comes by which most of you know in KL is nearly every month! I have to buy more because we can save money! (Yeah right...)

The Frugalwoods is also expecting Babywoods in 11 weeks and I am really interested to learn how they plan to continue being frugal after the new addition to the family. After all Baby #2 is not that far way for us! February 2016 is looming!

So after coming across two more of her postings Uber Frugal Month and Clutter Free Life, I felt inspired to take baby steps towards being more prudent and frugal from now. I am going to start with the following:-

  1. Clothes-buying ban for me
  2. Track our family expenditure every month
  3. De-Clutter our home (also in preparation for Baby #2)

I tried looking through the internet and blogs for more ideas and examples of living frugally/prudently in Malaysia and came across search results that yielded almost nothing. There was a blog on How To Save Money in Malaysia dated back to 2009 and a 52 Week Money Saving Challenge which was disappointing.  More research to do it seems or I will have to blaze my own trail in the Malaysian context of being frugal! Gotta run now as Chapati just woke up, wants to play with my exercise ball that is as big as him and wants me to join him. Mummy is coming!

Happy weekend everyone! My sunshine is calling!

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