100 Ideas for Personal Finance

CompareHero.my Team

CompareHero.my Team

Last updated 21 February, 2022

What is Min-Maxing My Personal Finances?

Min-Maxing (which has its roots in role-playing games) is the process of minimizing weaknesses and maximizing your strengths. The end result desired is for optimization and better results.

Min-Maxing my personal finances is all about taking many small steps to ruthlessly cut your weaknesses and gain many small incremental gains to improve your personal finance.

Select 2 ideas to implement each week and you’ll be done within less than a year!

100 Ideas for Min-Maxing My Personal Finances

Personal Finance Basics

  1. Have an overall financial plan
  2. Set S.M.A.R.T. financial goals to achieve
  3. Have a 3-6 months emergency savings
  4. Pay yourself first when you receive your salary
  5. Have a budget and stick to it
  6. Manage your debt
  7. Grow your net worth
  8. Maximize your tax benefits
  9. Know your retirement numbers
  10. Give generously

General Spending

  1. Cut expenses on unnecessary spending
  2. Use generic alternatives when shopping
  3. Bring your own (reusable!) water bottle when dining out
  4. Calculate the price per unit when buying groceries
  5. Pay off your credit card balance in full every month
  6. Avoid lifestyle creep as your income goes up
  7. Get and stick to a retailer /groceries membership program
  8. Apply and use a cashback credit card like Maybank 2Card
  9. Download and spend using e-wallet apps like Boost App that offer cashback (referral code: ste5fno)
  10. Earn cashback using cashback sites/apps like Shopback

General Income & Savings

  1. Save/invest at least 20% of your income
  2. Apply for a high yield bank account like the OCBC 360 account
  3. Already a Maybank M2U account holder, apply online for M2U savers
  4. Take advantage of the latest best FD promotional rates
  5. Renegotiate your pay to increase your income
  6. Jump to a different company or different industryand be rewarded
  7. Sell your junk online or to a cash converter location
  8. Take up a part time / side income / online business
  9. Use your hobbies / gifts / talents to earn some moolah
  10. Take online YouGov surveys

Dining & Entertainment Related

  1. Cook in bulk & freeze
  2. Organize a pot bless (pot luck) instead of dining out every time
  3. Skip sweet drinks when eating out (even Nando’s has free water now)
  4. Get the Entertainer App
  5. Use dining deals offered by your telco (phone) provider or credit card
  6. Download the restaurant apps that give you better savings like the McD app
  7. If you frequent Starbucks, get the Starbucks card/mobile app, and Starbucks tumbler
  8. Get free movie tickets via GSC birthday month / TGV membership
  9. Borrow books from friends/library
  10. Buy books on sale especially Big Bad Wolf/Popular book fair

Travel & Tech Related

  1. Get a credit card with travel/lounge benefits
  2. Select a flight rewards/membership program with an airline/alliance you like
  3. Search for the best value flights using Skyscanner
  4. Travel during off-peak season if your vacation time is flexible
  5. If you travel often, buy annual travel insurance
  6. Make use of the Apple student discount
  7. Don’t chase the latest phone models
  8. Check if it’s worthwhile getting a free/discounted phone with a locked-in plan
  9. Use TIME Broadband if available in your area
  10. Use strong passwords

Auto Related

  1. Get sturdy tyres (Malaysian roads suck)
  2. Save costs long term with regular on-time service, proper tire pressure, and regular rotation
  3. Bring own engine oil instead of using the marked up expensive one at the shop
  4. Wash your car yourself
  5. Consider buying almost new cars and save on the massive early years depreciation
  6. If buying pre-loved, get a good mechanic to check to avoid buying a lemon
  7. Don’t text while driving (the risk of an accident far outweighs the time you save)
  8. Check online pricing before selling/trading to a dealer
  9. Get rid of junk weighing down your car
  10. Buy auto insurance

Health & Risk Management

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Consider exercising from home or with a low-cost home gym
  3. Eat more vegetables
  4. Buy own fruits (not cut fruits)
  5. Have fruits/oats-only diet days
  6. Cut sugar from your diet
  7. Brew your own coffee (and skip the sugar)
  8. Go through a regular insurance policy review
  9. Get at least a basic will written
  10. Make sure your nominees for EPF, insurance, unit trust, PRS are up-to-date

Investment Related

  1. Have a personal investment plan
  2. Sell/switch your losers; ride your winners
  3. Avoid money games and get rich quick schemes
  4. Don’t follow “hot tips”
  5. Don’t panic over short term price movements
  6. Have an investment strategy
  7. Have an entry and exit plan
  8. Have a long-term perspective
  9. Reinvest your dividends
  10. Always look to pay lower/discounted fees

Property Related

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  1. Location, location, location
  2. Calculate your projected yield and returns
  3. Know your ideal tenant profile for rental properties
  4. Check the developer info and track record
  5. Buy property with low/zero down
  6. Check for the best property insurance MRTA/MLTA
  7. Consider property refinancing for better rates/unlocking equity
  8. Be prepared in case of interest rates hikes
  9. Consider outsourcing property management
  10. Consider indirect property investment (e.g. REITs)

Equities Investment Related

  1. Use a low-cost local shares brokerage
  2. Don’t gamble
  3. Know your circle of competency
  4. Avoid following the crowd
  5. Invest in equities via long-term fundamentally strong opportunities
  6. Build a diversified equity portfolio over different sectors and industries
  7. Record all your investments via an investment journal
  8. Invest not only in Malaysia but globally
  9. Use a low cost global shares brokerage
  10. Learn how to read and understand how the economy affects the market

This article first appeared on MyPF at 100 Ideas For Min-Maxing My Personal FinancesMyPF is a website dedicated to helping people simplify and grow their personal finances.

The CompareHero.my team is comprised of many talented individuals, sharing their knowledge, experiences and research to help others make better financial decisions.


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