How To Get Started With Managing Your Money While Unemployed

As the unemployment rates in Malaysia fall to 3.4%, it goes to show that there are thousands of unemployed individuals in need to maintain their finance. Managing your income while jobless can be a challenging life experience. Most people would find themselves running short on personal cash on their quarter year unless they are financially prepared.

But you don’t have to end up on that state! You can sustain yourself for even half a year if you learn how to manage and be more conservative with your money. The fundamentals of managing your cash can be summed by coming up with a precise objective and working towards accomplishing that objective. Which can be overcome by reducing your expenses and generating income. Here are the essentials that you can apply on a course to reach your financial goals during unemployment.


1. Set up a budget in the first place

Just like anything you do, always plan ahead before making a move. When it comes to managing finances, it is always a good thing to start off with a budget at hand. Without it, it will be very difficult for you to keep track and evaluate your progress. Ask yourself, if you are not tracking your financial progress, it just a matter of time before you realise you might end up on the path with zero financial goals.

Setting up a budget is pretty straightforward. Here are the steps:

– Have a notebook for your budget or create a sheet in Microsoft Excel. You can even download this budget template online to keep track of your spending.

– Determine how much you want to save and spend(invest, entertainment, etc) on your budget. This is the part where you prioritise how you want to spend your money.

– Set separate columns for your source of income and expenses individually.

– Distinguish and list down each item for both income and expenditures. Marking everything down will help you identify them easily.


2. Utilising tools and apps to track your budget

Out from the traditional ink and paper, in with the digital way of using a smartphone to keep track of your money management. There is a wide array of budget apps that you can pick from the app store! Here are some of the best financial apps that you can try out:

M2U Planner(integrates with your Maybank account)
Saved(For Apple users only)
-My Tabung(For Android and Apple users) 

With easy to learn features that allows you to input notes with ease, integrating across multiple devices, analyse records with clear visualisations. Now you can manage your personal budget insights at the palm of your hand!


3.Determining what can you do to reduce your spending

Always keep track and updating your budget will help you manage your spending as well as determining which expenses you might have overspent. It might even work in your favour to review your expenses and finding means to reduce them.

Making price comparison helps too and you should make it a habit. Spending the extra time making comparisons during shopping for the best values can get you the best bang for your buck.

E-commerce sites such as lazada, 11street, shopee, lelong and many more are aggressively competing against each other to dish out the best promotions. Now it is easier to find the best value for every ringgit you spend on.

If you are packing credit cards, always make full use of its perks such as cash back and reward points if applicable. If utilised in moderation can help you expand your expenses even further with its multitude of benefits.


4. Put your skillset and time to good use

While unemployed, you will have ample time on your hands to spare. Instead of staying at home waiting for the next recruiter contact you for a job interview, why not get a freelance job?

Being a freelancer will helps to fill in the gaps on your resumes and on your Linkedin Profile. Contract-based work is a good indicator that you are capable of working independently and it also helps to retain your skills in-check as well.

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5. Make great strides to your money by investing

If you have never ventured into investing while having plenty of cash on hand, you can consider getting into investment products and establishing an investment portfolio.

Investing in real estate, mutual funds, bonds, stocks can help you generate more income by gaining interest or by purchasing/selling assets that have increased in value.

Find out more about the inner workings of investment and determine how you should utilise your money instead of having it safely tucked in your savings. Learn more about different monetary assets such as mutual funds, bonds, stocks and portfolio diversification. If you are considering diving into trade stocks, check out and experience how the stock market game works before putting your own money at stake.

Most importantly, your financial budget and goal are totally inline before making any form of investment. There will always be a risk and if it is planned well, the returns will be fruitful.

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