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Actually, where has my money gone to?! (after working for 35 years)

#1 Coffee. Starbucks Malaysia just opened their 300th store. Here’s that article Article in I have no idea how many cups do Starbucks Malaysia sell on a daily basis. However, if we take my personal latte consumption number as a calculation, then on a yearly basis, I would have bought 52 cups of lattes or one per week. The rest of the days, I take cheaper coffee, say RM1 extra for Subway white coffee with my Subway sandwich or RM1.80 fora cup of usual mamak restaurant kopi. RM15 x 7 days is too much lah…

Out of all these ‘expensive’ lattes, 10% of this will be in a Starbucks cafe. Rest will be in all the different cafes all over Kuala Lumpur these days. Anyway, if it’s RM15 per cup and 52 cups later, I would have spent RM780 per year. I will not count in the occasional splurge for a slice of cake with my latte. Assuming I am the median for coffee spender, then I would have spent RM7,800 in 10 years! After working for 35 years, and even assuming Starbucks does not increase the price of their lattes, that’s RM27,300 spent just on ONE latte per week.

#2 Smartphones. There are RM499 smartphones with these specs as below.

There are also smartphones with a price tag of RM5,000. The difference? Specs loh. Will the inferior specs kill us? Actually, not really because there are millions of people using these cheaper smartphones with inferior specs which are still alive today. Assuming we just change a phone every 2 years? That’s RM4,500 savings per 2 years or RM2,250 per year and over the year 35 years? That’s RM78,750. Crazy numbers but real.

#3 Car We could get a 4-year old Perodua Axia for just RM300 repayment per month stretched over 7 years. As this is a mature model, maintenance is likely to be low and fuel consumption is definitely low too.

Or we prefer to get that MINIMUM standard Segment B car so that we do not lose face when our friends and colleagues saw the car we are driving. That’s usually RM70,000 or around RM910 per month for 7 years. This is with a downpayment of RM7,000. Well, we assume fuel consumption and everything else is almost the same, even if it’s not. We look at just RM910 – RM300 per month for a RM610 savings. That’s RM7,320 per year. If we assume, we do not change the car and drive it for 12 years instead, then we will only need to change / buy a car 3 times before we retire. That’s RM7320 x 7 years x 3.5 in total = RM179,340 during our working lifetime.

We have yet to calculate the cost of meals. Am extremely conservative savings of RM2 per meal is RM6 per day for three meals. That’s RM2,190 per year and RM76,650 of savings until the day we retire. Actually, as soon as we add up these SAVINGS, we will start to see where our money has flowed to. Let’s stop calculating. One more way to ensure the above are okay is to ensure our earnings are rising faster than what we were spending. If that’s the case, then I think we could still spend and do not need to worry too much about where has my money gone to. Happy earning more!

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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