Well, happy new year folks! This one’s a little bit late but better late than never! My final month of 2019 proved to be one of the hardest months to keep my spending in check. Let’s dive in:
Investment – S$5000
In December, my total cash outflow came up to about S$8600. This deceptively looks like I blew all my money away but a huge chunk was actually contributed to investments.
Barring that particular outflow, my actual spending came up to about $4600 in December. It’s still a relatively high number because of the splurging I did around Christmas-time. Most of that splurging was done in KL as seen below:
Gifts – RM850.70 & Shopping – RM630
Gifts and shopping saw an increase this Christmas. In December 2018, I spent approximately RM1,200 for gifts and shopping. In 2019, that number increased by 1.5x to around RM1,800 (including Singapore numbers in Table 1).
Personal Care – RM533.39
Going back to Malaysia for a whole week presented me with an opportunity to, finally, do some pampering; massage, pedicure and the whole works. Although I don’t advocate for frequent pampering sessions (like signing up for expensive facial packages), indulging sparingly makes for a rewarding experience, especially since I budgeted for it.
Website – RM662.02
This is a no-brainer expense. To keep this website up and running, I renewed my hosting service with SiteGround for another year.
Make of This What You Will
I’m forgoing the usual sections of this post for a short note instead. Much of December was spent opening Pandora’s box and confronting the traumas of my past. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of unpredictable peaks and troughs in my emotions, some were even documented here. Despite occasionally seeking help, truth be told, I didn’t really help myself at all. This changed late last year as I took incremental steps towards getting better.
First, I pulled back from constantly doing things. Rather than running around and dipping my hands in multiple projects (work, blogging, taking up extra classes, sports etc), I just hit pause on most things. Once I did that, there was space to allow the self to be explored and discovered.
In this long-overdue quest to understand my self, much of December was spent delving into thoughts, emotions, the past, my actions and behaviour. With this, came the realisation that I had an outsized negative reaction to obstacles, setbacks and conflict while minimising my triumphs and accomplishments. It’s a very bleak way to look at your life and no matter what you do, you won’t feel satisfied. Knowing this about myself is one thing, but am I doing anything about it?
Yes, sort of. I’m working on tweaking the way I frame my thoughts, and how I treat myself. It isn’t easy to undo almost a lifetime of self-loathing and self-doubt. Even as I write this, in late-January, it’s an ongoing process. When I stumble, I used to give up fairly easily because recovery takes even more effort than starting in the first place. But progress isn’t linear and growth requires you to take small those steps, even when you can’t see the result right now. So far, it’s going… okay. It’s still too early to tell but I’ll see how it goes.
The point of all this is to say that I haven’t spent much time lately thinking about blogging. When I started I’m Funemployed, I just wanted to humanise finance and talk about money. But as the site grew a following, I placed pressure on myself to perform well and provide good personal finance content. Consistency hasn’t been my strong suit and I used to beat myself up over it, which made writing not a very enjoyable experience.
So, I just stopped publishing. And a funny thing happened. Having let go of the notion that I HAVE TO publish gave me the mental freedom to write however and whatever I wanted. Next thing I know, I’m writing a lot more and enjoying the process.
Now I’m just easing back into the process of content creating while keeping my mental health the top priority (which means, don’t expect consistency, guys, sorry!).
If you’ve got too much time on your hands, you can read the rest of 2019’s Month in Reviews: