Ladies, Ramadan Is Not A Time For You To Go Bankrupt

According to the statistics from Malaysia’s Insolvency Department, around 100,610 locals aged between 18 to 44 years old have been declared bankrupt since 2013 — And it’s all because of their low financial literacy rate. Yikes!

“A study by S&P Global Literacy Financial in 2014 reported that financial literacy rate in Malaysia is only at 36%, compared with 59% in developed countries.”

Huh, although we can agree that Mathematics and Accounting are not meant for everyone, it’s pretty alarming that a lot of our peers may have weak financial planning skill and insufficient knowledge to manage basic financial matters.

Some people simply can’t control their spending, but what’s worse is when you encounter unexpected expenses such as loss of property due to theft or natural casualty like floods. If the owner is not insured, this can easily force some into bankruptcy. So it’s always good to save up instead of spending your hard-earned cash like there’s no tomorrow!

Speaking of spending money — the holy month of Ramadan has arrived and this usually involves a lot of shopping. In most cases, some might even go all out to ensure that they have a stylish Raya celebration, but this is where things could go wrong.

People tend to get lost and break their budget during the shopping craze, especially with so many food/fashion/beauty-based ads constantly popping everywhere. Then, there’s also the societal pressure to have the best looking outfit. Ugh.. mind over matter, friends! It just takes a little self-control to ensure your finances will survive this Raya season. Here’s how you can start:

1. Bazaar Ramadan can be risky to your wallet

Now that the fasting month has started, you would find various local delicacies available at bazaars around town. However, don’t mistake your hunger as craving when you visit the food stalls because overspending on food that you’re not even going to eat will be such a waste.

2. Forget your fashionista dreams if it exceeds your budget

That RM600 designer Raya outfit sure looks cool, but can you actually afford it? Remember, don’t go broke trying to look cool!

3. SALE is not always good

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but the “SALE” sign can actually be a bad thing. Imagine spending around RM200 every time you go shopping because “they were on sale” — wouldn’t you feel guilty to your future self? You could’ve used the money on other important things such as car insurance or rent.

4.  Give out duit raya according to your capability, not according to what “people would say”

Unlike the Chinese practices, the Malay tradition requires us to hand out “angpows” as soon as we’ve started working. This may be a struggle for some, especially if they earn around RM2.5k and below. Here’s a tip: Don’t be pressured to give out so much because this is supposed to be an act of charity. It’s the thought that counts!

All in all, it comes down to having too much money going out and not enough coming in. Look at how others have struggled and learn from them. In most cases, common sense, sound financial planning and gearing up for the future can prepare you for unexpected problems before they become inevitable.