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Live within your means

A woman is doing yoga in the living room; image used for HSBC Malaysia live within your means article page.

Some people say that the key to managing money well is to 'live within your means'.

In Malaysia, millennials find it particularly difficult to live within their means. According to The World bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor, millennials are prone to "impulse-buying behaviour, easy access to personal loans and credit card financing, the want for instant gratification and seamless online purchasing".

Here's how to get started

  1. Make a note of everything you spend each day, over a month. Include everything, from your daily commute to the snack for the journey home and regular payments like your rent or mortgage, and utility bills. If you carefully track your outgoings, you'll feel more in control and will be able to see where your money goes. You may find it helpful to track your outgoings using a digital tool or a mobile app from your banking provider. Check whether you can set up notifications to let you know when certain payments are made each month, or when you reach a particular balance.
  2. At the end of the month, add up all of your expenses and subtract this total from your take home pay. If your monthly expenses come to less than your take home pay, then you are living within your means.
  3. Take time to reflect. If you aren’t living within your means, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do to take control of your spending. Start by using the record of your spending to identify which expenses, if any, could be reduced or avoided.

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