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Monday, June 27, 2011

How to survive for a fresh graduate? [Part 1]

I was preparing myself for work and I realized that it is quite difficult to survive for most of the fresh graduate in Malaysia. So, as I was thinking about it, I realized that there are only 2 logical answers to this:

  • Save more money
  • Make more money

If you're observant enough, both of it also have to do with money and more money in fact.

So, I'm going to divide this post into 2:

  1. ways to save more money
  2. ways to earn more money

I need to say that these are not not too difficult ideas but one requires discipline to do so and I'm still very new into this so I'm more of experimenting with it.

Ways to Save more money

Now, it won't requite a genius to realize that in order to do that, one will have to eat more at home. Now it is not going to be easy given that I'll be staying in KL on my own with my housemates and that it will be tiring by the time I reach home (I suppose). Given this condition, it is probably difficult to suggest cook at home. Nevertheless, this is the key. One need not have to cook at home daily but by making it at least a day in a week, it will help to make a difference.

Secondly, we all know that coffee is an addiction and Malaysia is so popular with OldTown, Starbucks, Coffee Bean or even Mamak...Now, I know that leisure time is important and the Latte Factor is important but try to make it only once in a week where you drink will make a lot of difference when you make coffee at home instead of drinking outside.

Then, we also have the LUNCHTIME...we all know that lunchtime is the best time to connect with the people at work, heard about the latest juicy news and this connection is important. However, you don't have to do that all the time. Try bringing your own lunch for like a day or two in a week. Then make the other 3 days to connect. The balance is important.

SHOPPING SPREE....NO!! This is an important part for both men and women. It is important to make a shopping list before you decide to do so. Impulse buying is what people call it. And you must not get into it. There are going to be a lot of "PROMOTIONS" and by making simple plan, you'll avoid overspending.

PAYING BILLS ON TIME and avoid fines!! This is important. Whether it is your electric bill, water bill, credit card or etcetra, you must avoid these unnecessary additional charges.

If you are a book lover like I do, then you'll probably need to opt for a second option: BORROWING BOOKS. This is possible to do so by going to Novelhut, a secondhand bookstore that buy, borrow and sell books. Of course, another alternative would be to go to the library. I still have my university matric card and since I'll be staying nearby UM, I plan to head back to that place for books.

Transportation is probably a major issue in Malaysia so I'll suggest carpooling more often. Since I'll be taking the LRT to work, I'll most likely consider using the RapidPass RM100 that could be used for 30 days...that's a month usage and I think it is reasonable to consider that since it'll be much cheaper. Without the need to worry about parking and petrol, one could save about RM200 and more.

Get a credit card and use its' benefits. We all know the danger by owning a credit card but having it will also make your life easier if you plan well. For example, if I go to Starbucks, I could use the AmericanExpress to buy 1 free 1. By sharing with your friend, you could get it much cheaper. Or you could use the HSBC card for a 10% discount there. If you use Postpaid, where most fresh graduates do, you can consider using AutoBilling (this comes with using Digi iPhone package) with more points and rewards. And there are many benefits in using the credit card...utilize the benefits and you will find yourself saving more even as you spend. There are also times that you could use the monthly installment when buying something. Most of these monthly installments are with 0% interest. (of course, it is important to spend wisely).

Bottled your own drinking water. We all know that water is important but we neglect it most of the time. I learn this habit from my girlfriend, YenLeng where she would always bring a bottle of water with her when she go out. This could help you save money on buying other drinks when you go out.

Price Check. Now, this is important when you are buying stuff. Most of the time, the promotion might not even be promotion. Now, I'm not saying you do that all the time (otherwise, it will be a waste of time) but I'm saying that it is important to do so especially with expensive products.

Well, there are of course many other ways that you could save money, but just saving money alone is not enough...after all, what's the point of having money if you can't enjoy it. The most important is: BALANCE...
Coming up next, ways to earn more money for working fresh graduate...

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