March 4, 2019
Having troubles managing your budgets? Now we finally have a guide courtesy of the Ministry of Finance and Employee Provident Fund(EPF). The finance ministry has launched the BelanjawanKu guide which is an initiative by EPF.
BelanjawanKu is a reference budget for Malaysians that includes expenditure required by individuals and families to lead dignified lives with active involvement in society.
A survey was conducted on the household expenditure of those in the Klang Valley and the prices of goods and services prior to the compiling of the guide.
A reference budget is a basket, or collection of goods and services that are considered necessary to achieve an acceptable standard of living. Reference budgets are usually estimated for many different individual and family situations. Unlike poverty line income calculations, a reference budget is not used to label whether an individual or a family is “poor”.
Aside from spending on just basic necessities, a reference budget also includes items that allow individuals or families to lead dignified lives with active involvement in society. It is the minimum expenditure required to not just survive, but to thrive in society.
An expenditure guide, providing estimated minimum monthly expenses on various types of goods and services for different households in Malaysia. Belanjawanku can help Malaysians plan their personal and family budgeting to achieve a reasonable standard of living. It is developed based on actual spending patterns on common goods and services by urban households in the Klang Valley.
A Reasonable STANDARD of Living is…
You may click the link below for the full report, however here is a summary of the survey.
Unmarried Malaysians who use public transport, rent a room in the Klang Valley, and do not save, need RM1,620 per month. This estimate includes the basic, social participation, and discretionary expenses. Using a car instead of public transport, raises the required expenditure by 38 per cent to RM2,240 per month. Assuming this individual also wants to save, it raises the total by RM250 to RM2,490, which should provide some financial security for the future.
That amount is sufficient to provide a single Malaysian living in the Klang Valley the ability to live decently, take part in society, and at the same time, have some savings for rainy days. Not surprisingly, married couples need more to maintain an acceptable standard of living, with the minimum expenditure required increasing to RM4,420, under the assumption that couples are more likely to either rent or own a house rather than a room. Having children raises the required expenditure level even more. Having just one child raises the required expenditure by nearly 30 per cent to RM5,730, an increase of RM1,310.
Having two children KLANG VALLEY • 2019 19 raises the required expenditure to RM6,620, an increase of RM2,200, or almost 50 per cent higher than for couples without children. Belanjawanku includes spending for day care, diapers, milk and baby food, tuition fees, and pocket money, as part of childcare expenses. On top of these expenditures directly related to childcare, other existing expenditures especially on food, increase noticeably when couples have children.
Belanjawanku also estimates the monthly expenditure for senior couples at RM3,090. Senior couples were found to spend less than other families for most of the items in the expenditure basket, with the exception of healthcare, and are also less likely to save.
To conclude, here is what EPF chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias had to say:
“The creation of such an index would be a good first step towards a social security infrastructure. I am really hoping that the data we have collected would be (factored into) the policymaking. I emphasise that this is not prescriptive in the sense that it should be an indicative and input point in the development of this index,”