Oct 2016 - When Life Expenses Hits Hard

To many, their money lessons start after graduate, but mine started right after high school. I build certain financial habits that when I started working, money was not a real issue. Saving 20-35% of my pay is just something natural, earning more is something I can push for if I need, counting interest and collecting coins is kind of a hobby.

But this October I have a really harsh month on finance.

I was a bit sad beginning of the month and I react by buying an expensive dress at RM300. Then I spend about RM250 on a bottle of face essence. I feed consumerism into my emotion to keep me temporarily happy and not depressed. RM550 for emotional spending is like visiting the therapist. I had it under control - really.

But then the unimaginable happens. Necessary spending pile up one after another. By 15th Oct it was obvious that I am not going to save much this month with the car mileage nearing another 10,000km, by 20th Oct I am already spending beyond the budget for dental and by 26th Oct I feel the "stress" of paying for another thing. I did not even eat anything expensive and only manage to give RM280 instead of the usual x3 times.

What obviously kills my budget  - a dental visit at RM225,  medical insurance at RM202/year [best plan ever for me.], and car maintenance at RM665 + RM785.

All in all, RM2707 gone before rent or any basic expenses. *Sob* It's a budget failure and all I did was just a small slip. Not to mention come November upcoming car insurance and road tax of ~RM1,400. Previous savings comes in handy. 

This is a life lesson for me:

The cruelty of financial burden when expenses pile up. 

First, I learn empathy. 
I am reminded how hard it was to live a life even when food is there.
Fasting is hunger but not the actual pain of stressing over money. They are very different feeling. No wonder, the celebration of the breaking of fast is getting bigger and bigger. Sorry, I don't mean by saying puasa is not good but I can only felt the cruelty of financial burden when expenses pile up like that. Sometimes living on paycheque to paycheque is not a luxury lifestyle choice but life imposed challenge.  Do you need medical insurance? Yes. Do you need to fix the car when the when the warning sign comes up? Yes. Can I take public transport instead? No, no bus or train ever goes where I work.

Second, It's a reminder that what I am earning or doing right now - is just not enough.
I thought I had done my best. I don't need to work harder for promotion, I don't need to learn more things or stress myself out for greater things. But with just a few a life necessity expenses and I find my budget stripe bare to not being able to give as much as I usually do.

Four awesome ways to reduce financial hardship

1. ALWAYS Have fewer commitments.
2. Budget your annual expenses.
3. Have a sensible medical insurance.
4. Don't drive like a cowboy.

There is always hope to do better.