Poverty: It’s the shiznit, yo!


I am going on a frugality drive this month due to a shortage of funds. I am only left with RM 200 for the remainder of the month (!). Ginny tells me she can survive on RM 2 per day on food (WTF?) and my coworker Karen taught me some sound financial tips to conserve money so that’s what I’m going to do this month.

I dropped by Giant to purchase some groceries to tide me through the month. I will be eating bread for breakfast and dinner this month. Let’s see a breakdown of the items I got:

Sandwich bread 500 grams (store brand):
RM 2.29
Nescafe 3-in-1 instant coffee x 2: RM 17.78 (purchase first pack at RM 10.29, second pack goes for RM 7.49)
F&N Rose Cordial 2L: RM 5.49 (it was the same price as the store brand)
Marmalade (store brand): RM 2.99
JW Chocolate & Banana spread: RM 9.89 (it’s the cheapest I could find, Nutella is almost double the price)

I’ve been going for the cheapest products and purchase store brands if I can. However, I was (un)pleasantly surprised when I went to the cashier – I had to fork out RM 38.44. Money doesn’t go that far nowadays…

I’ve calculated the cost per day though, and it’s still cheaper than what I usually spend so it’s worth it.

My breakfast: RM 2.20 (from the bakery across the road where I work)
My lunch: RM 5 – RM 15 (will be cutting down on this starting tomorrow)
My dinner: RM 5.20 – RM 14.50 (depending on whether it’s burgers or nasi kandar)

With my new frugality drive (somewhat related to Project MISER) I have assessed my current spending as such:
Breakfast: RM 0.27 (based on two slices of bread with marmalade with 17 slices in the loaf – inclusive of crust)
Lunch: RM 5 max (will drink air suam)
Dinner: RM 0.54 (four slices of bread with banana Chocolate & Banana spread)

I’m hoping to get through this month with just RM 200 to my name.

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58 thoughts on “Poverty: It’s the shiznit, yo!”

  1. cynthia: I’m paying for petrol with my credit card. :S
    Accumulating debt. πŸ™
    Darren: Thanks bro. I will be trying very hard.
    KY: It’s too expensive. It’s like RM 3 something. πŸ™
    kimberlycun: Thanks Kim! πŸ™‚
    If I offload the TV, I should be alright…at least can eat maggie goreng with telur. πŸ˜‰
    andrew: Yeah, damn broke this month ler. πŸ™
    shaoweii: Haha! Thanks! It’s like Project MISER all over again.

  2. Something to cheer u up, mate!….
    “A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.
    “What are you doing?” she asked.
    “Hunting flies,” responded her husband.
    “Oh. Killing any?” she asked.
    “Yep, three males and two females,” he replied.
    Intrigued, she asked, “How can you tell?”
    “Three were on a beer can, and two were on the phone,” he replied.”

  3. I had this situation before. When I didnt dare to ask money from daddy. So have to eat less:( I have a huge appetite so that time my tummy feel so empty~ anyway good luck to u πŸ™‚

  4. DYMM_Tuanku: Haha! I shouldn’t be laughing but yeah, your jokes are the best. I have a great one too, about a fridge, two guys and wife.
    I have another one about a wrong number and an empty swimming pool. πŸ™‚
    Anthea: Thanks Anthea! πŸ™‚
    I will survive, as the song goes. πŸ˜‰

  5. Project MISER (Minimum Income Self Encouraged Rations) has a better ring to it than frugality drive, but what’s in a name? Anyway, I can’t fathom how your friend Ginny can get by on RM 2 per day. Unless she’s fasting. May I suggest rather than eating processed starches like white bread, you cook some rice or other grain? Prolly cheaper and certainly more nutritious and filling. Good luck with the frugality drive!

  6. that’s what i do when im dead brokw which every end of da month T-T
    and i tend to shop for da cheapest brand when im grocery shopping,i feel like an aunty T-T
    hey good luck in your project miser πŸ˜‰

  7. Amns: I had used Project MISER before, this would be part 2. I had to wreck my brains for acronyms while on meth during the first run of Project MISER. πŸ™‚
    Ginny says she eats nasi lemak, that’s how she gets by.
    I don’t have a rice cooker at home, unfortunately, but thanks for the advice! πŸ™‚
    annant: Cheers mate! It’s not even the middle of the month and I’m already brokeback mountain. It’s the car repairs and the credit card debt. :S

  8. Haha! Last semester my loan was slashed 75% coz they deduct from the cash they gave us in the beginning when we started our uni. I happily spend all those money and when it was slashed, i was left with nothing but RM 750 for 5 months!!! Imagine how difficult it was and that includes my books and other expenses.
    I budgeted RM 5 per day. I skipped my breakfast and sometimes lunch too. I only eat when I really cant stand it and that is a bun that will cost me around RM 1.50 – RM 2. For dinner, I will take lots of rice and only one chicken plus lots of gravy! I survived this way for 5 months!!
    Try make some sandwiches like egg sandwich. or eat maggi mee in between instead of the daily bread.
    All the best! You can do it ;p (easily =D)

  9. Haha! Last semester my loan was slashed 75% coz they deduct from the cash they gave us in the beginning when we started our uni. I happily spend all those money and when it was slashed, i was left with nothing but RM 750 for 5 months!!! Imagine how difficult it was and that includes my books and other expenses.
    I budgeted RM 5 per day. I skipped my breakfast and sometimes lunch too. I only eat when I really cant stand it and that is a bun that will cost me around RM 1.50 – RM 2. For dinner, I will take lots of rice and only one chicken plus lots of gravy! I survived this way for 5 months!!
    Try make some sandwiches like egg sandwich. or eat maggi mee in between instead of the daily bread.
    All the best! You can do it ;p (easily =D)

  10. i guess asking you to take care more of your body by consuming veg and fruits would be futile then…
    but nevertheless, don’t continue this for the next few months ya?? hope that you could get your pay slip as soon as possible…
    how bout petrol??? enough for that??

  11. You got any car loan to pay?
    Maybe the food is expensive in kl? How’s much is the eco rice there?
    In kuching, my lunch+dinner will be around rm7 for eco rice, if plus drinks rm10.
    If always eat at shopping malls or higher class restaurants, then easily >rm20 per day. But try budgeting and eat those eco rice.
    Then save more $, and don’t use cc.

  12. HB, now you are aware of cost of living. I lived on a budget since being on my own. Not going to run to parents for money when needed. Buy a whole chicken or good size pork or beef and cut it up.
    I use chicken bones later for soup same with pork and beef. Planned meal at home more and how much to save a day to a week. Use internet more for recipes which is great. Easy alfredo sauce recipe. 4 Tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup cream or milk cheaper
    6 Tablespoon parmesan cheese
    salt and pepper to taste
    Great with seafood or chicken with pasta.
    Now in states more people living low cost due to job loss and cutback.

  13. I would say you go to friends often
    and it is suggested that you go at lunch time
    you cant really decline if they invite you to eat with them
    and when i say go i mean of course walk that way you train your body, get exhausted and safe patrol
    a sleeping body cant eat
    else just find a reason why other people should invite you πŸ˜‰

  14. Well, your last entry comment was to spend money not saving. Shocking! I try to save for raining day putting aside every week. When I shopped for grocery use a calculator for every items place in basket. Never waste anythings at home recycle. My late dad spend money badly no matter how hard mom try to save. She worked hard also but he took money and made debts so no saving at all.
    He worked also that time but thinking build credit with credit cards and wasted money on it too. Mom suffered many years with him and now have own business never used credit cards and travel many places.

  15. You can ask the one who gave you your wallet to put some money inside!!! Say it’s a Chinese superstition…and the more money she puts inside, the richer you will become! LOL!!!

  16. HB, time to be humble in everythings. Spend when needed to entertain otherwise live simple. It not painful but to some people it is. Do not waste anything recycle even leftover food or take it to work. Cutting back expense soon become very easy.

  17. HB, well, i guess not just you, i think everyone should do some savings now as economy is turning bad now. However, gotta impress with your determination=)
    why don;t you alternate your dinner with instant noodle? it cost around 50 cen to rm 1 ..maybe mon, wed, fri-> bread, tue, thur,sat->instant noodle, sun- go and eat at a friend’s house/ask friend buy a dinner..hehe
    just a thought

  18. you can do it. ive seen you try this before though. You are just gonna hit some co-workers/friends up for lunch a few days in a row then like on the 4th day you are going to get a 800rm tattoo.

  19. chefmel: RM 5 per day! That’s very little to be surviving on!
    You’re right, gotta interspace it with something. I’m already rather sick of bread.
    Gonna get some maggie mee and eggs to cook for alternate days. Thanks! πŸ™‚
    cindy: Cheers cindy! πŸ™‚
    Well, I’ve taken care of the rent for this month and I use my credit card for petrol, so it won’t eat into my cash reserves. I have practically RM 0 in the bank account. πŸ™‚
    cindy: Nope, thankfully my car is fully paid off.
    Rice is more expensive in KL – the Chinese shops around here charges RM 4-7 for and nasi kandar places would probably set you back RM 5 – RM 15.
    Jade Zheng: Heh! Thanks Cindy! πŸ™‚
    Michael (Mike): Thanks for the tip, my friend. It’s not very cost effective to cook for one though and I don’t think I have a rice cooker. Instant noodles are the way to go. I’ve eaten instant noodles everyday for several months in Melbourne. No kidding.
    shadowking: Yup, lunch is the meal that I can’t save on but there are cheaper options to go for. πŸ™‚
    Cheers mate!
    Vickie: Yeah, I should be learning to save money, not spend it. My parents were rather good at that. πŸ™‚
    Paul: Hey, that’s not a bad idea at all. Fried rice can be kept in the fridge and heated up in the office for lunch multiple times. Perhaps I will try it end of the month. Problem is, they don’t sell small packs of rice.
    suituapui: Hahaha! No, the Chinese superstition should go we’ll BOTH make loads of money. There’s incentive right that. LOL!
    YilingL: Haha! Thanks Yiling. I need two eggs for my maggie mee. =D
    I need the monthly consignment at your new workplace more though. πŸ˜‰
    Erica: Very true, and it’ll teach sound financial discipline as well. I’ve been seeing things I want to buy but can’t – it’s good for curbing impulse purchases. πŸ™‚
    eric: Yeah, that’s a great idea mate! I can’t eat bread all the time, I’m starting to get sick of it. I’ll alternate with instant noodles. I remember when maggie mee used to cost around RM 0.20. Now it’s RM 0.50 plus. πŸ™
    mike: Thanks for the vote of confidence! LOL! Haha! My priorities are quite obvious eh?
    But seriously though, I won’t be getting a tattoo until June/July at least. πŸ™‚
    danny: IP address FAIL. =D
    I have a long history of your comments, dude…started monitoring when you asked me where I work back in Sibu.
    eiling: Yeah, have to get more advertorials or else next month I’ll also be damn broke coz credit card debt carries forwoard. πŸ™
    irvine: Haha! It’s better than eating grass. πŸ˜‰

  20. I’m actually really excited for you!! πŸ™‚ It seems like a pretty tough challenge. At least you can lose weight while at it. Hehehe…
    But I bet you won’t have to be so miserly, there’ll probably be people queueing up to buy you lunch.

  21. Once I was in between jobs and tight for a month.
    I was planning and bugeting like crazee to last me through that month, then I found out two of my frens were worst off than me.
    One hadn’t found a job in months as was living on one slice of bread a day.
    Another also had only RM200 left in his account to survive for another two more months.
    I almost cried when I realised how ‘cham’ they were. So I slipped RM50 into one guy’s wallet, and bought the other one meals.
    I was super scared I wouldn’t have enough to last but I ended being more than ok. =)

  22. Haha you are a beast. Why didn’t you purchase beans and rice, that is the official poor mans diet. My family use to live off of that stuff for years.
    You have all of my luck, which is excellent.

  23. *sigh* HB, again? Well, considering this is your birtday month, I am pretty sure there will be many friends who will chia you makan. πŸ˜‰ Mine will hutang until I go back.

  24. bro, believed me…TALK EASY but ACTION BULLSHIT. i tried what u will do nw during m uni life. ITs quite impossible,…
    The only thing u can change ur life is cut down those shit(alcohol, cigarettes, social life dinner,,,etc..)
    Save ur penny while u got them and invest those shit in both old and new ways,,,u are a grown man, i dont need to explain it to u…

  25. Haha hardcore wei, but is Nescafe really a necessity? Aren’t there other cheaper coffees.
    Or couldn’t you skip the coffee and buy something more nutritional like bananas or apples?

  26. Jenny: Thanks Jenny! πŸ™‚
    No one falling over themselves to buy me lunch yet, but surviving. πŸ˜‰
    Yeah, it definately would help in the weight loss department. Heh!
    erin: Hey, thanks for sharing that. It’s very heartwarming indeed. If you and your two friends can do it, it’s an inspiration for me. πŸ™‚
    Rufus: Thanks buddy! πŸ™‚
    Beans and rice eh? I can’t eat that everyday and I live alone so it’ll be a bit much to be cooking everyday.
    pm: The helium method? What’s that? I shall Google it.
    e: LOL! I was actually planning that mate. It’s from the blocked toilet in my condo.
    Okay, I’ll do it. πŸ™‚
    fish fish: Yeah, and next month too coz a lot of my stuff is on credit right now. πŸ™
    mr.S: I hear you mate. Cigarettes are the most expensive item on my budget right now. RM 9 per day is too steep. I’m going to switch brands for a while.
    Simon Seow: Cheers mate! It’s not fun.
    ShaolinTiger: AliCafe coffee is more expensive. I was considering a coffee (no milk or sugar) bag that goes for half the price of Nescafe so I’ll get that next month. πŸ™‚
    Yeah, caffeine is very necessary to prop up the eyelids. πŸ˜‰

  27. You should break down your RM200 like this.
    Wednesday – TOTO(BIG) – RM 50
    Wednesday – TOTO(SMALL) – RM 30
    Wednesday – MAGNUM(BIG) – RM 50
    Saturday – MAGNUM(BIG) – RM 30
    Saturday – TOTO(BIG) – RM 40

  28. rm200 for two weeks is doable, but it’s gonna be real tight, especially with petrol for your car. i survived on rm400 a month before. basically it was ration of 2 sticks of ciggs a day (after meals) maggi, bread, water, milo(pop some nestum in to make more substantial) and coffee( to keep myself from dozing, sans the cigarettes)
    good luck bro ^^

  29. Jys: Thanks! πŸ™‚
    I will survive. πŸ™‚
    cheesie: I do! I drink filtered tap water at home k. :p
    But during lunch, next best thing is air suam. They usually don’t charge for that if you order a meal.
    tzia: Yeah! It’ll be fun to be frugal together. Haha! At least until next month. πŸ™‚
    dragoncity: LOL! Nice one, my friend. Haha!
    I’m sure that’s gonna burn RM 200 in two draws though…but hey, I haven’t bought 4D in a long time. I will try tomorrow – it’s draw day. πŸ™‚
    benjy8769: Heh! Same here. RM 200, I mean, not student. I’m sure we can pull through. Good luck!
    seth.frostheart: It’s not inclusive of petrol. I use my credit card for petrol coz I get rebates from it.
    Thanks for the tips! I shall attempt it.
    Cigarettes I can’t though, I smoke about a pack a day.
    Myhorng: My car landed in a ditch. πŸ™
    The repairs killed me.

  30. !! EH GO BUY EGGS AND POWDERED MILO FROM TIN!! not 3 in 1. those are expensive and yucky
    u can make a lot of things with eggs! omelettes, egg sandwich, hard boiled, half boiled, eaten with rice.
    and go mamak. eat rice with jsut the curry gravy only. whahaha.. very satisfying when broke wan =3
    and must have maggi!!! only eat maggi at home NOT AT MAMAK.. price x3-4 at mamak

  31. Gin: I don’t drink Milo. It doesn’t do anything for me. Need coffee to prop the eyelids up coz I sleep late one.
    Really? You can order rice with just the gravy. Okay, I shall try and report back later. Heh!
    hitomi: I know, but it’s a vice I cannot stop that easily. I’ve been smoking since I was 15. You can’t quit a 13 year habit in one day. πŸ™

  32. two old ladies were out for a walk.
    One said ” I smell hair burning” The other said ” maybe we are just walking too fast…. ( courtesey of “Mom’s Mambley, via Whoppie Goldberg) hope you got a laugh, i did.

  33. pasta can be cheap too.
    get a box of spaghetti (RM4/5) and that should cover 4-5 portions of aglio olio which hardly costs much at all.
    maybe throw in a cheap jar of tomato/pasta sauce for under RM 4

  34. pm: No dude. Stop killing yourself. :p
    tom robinson: Cheers my friend! πŸ™‚
    More! We need more jokes. We need laughter. πŸ™‚
    Anonymous: Hey, sounds pretty good – I shall try it this weekend, when I have time to cook. πŸ™‚


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