Just ask anyone if they miss waking up super early, showering, getting dressed, rushing through breakfast and getting to the office all within an hour or so. Chances are, most of them will say they absolutely do NOT miss all that. With 2020 being the way it is, many Malaysians have been encouraged or even asked to work from home to keep safe from the nasty virus going around out there.
Aside from the most obvious perks of working from home such as attending Zoom meetings in your underwear (we can’t confirm that everyone does this), being able to sleep in right to the last minute and never having to sit in rush hour traffic, among other things, Malaysians have been experiencing a frugality they’ve never had before. But how and where does the money get saved? Here’s what some of our friends shared with us:
1. You don’t spend on logistics anymore, which takes up quite a chunk of our money
Commuting to and from your workplace every day can cost quite a lot when you add it up. You have to pay for petrol, parking and for some, tolls. If you’re taking public transport, you might be paying less but it’s still money spent!
“I live in Ampang but I work in Sunway and I usually take the NPE highway which crosses two tolls. One toll is RM2.30 and another one is RM1.00 so I pay RM3.30 just one way! That’s RM6.60 in a day and that’s RM132 a month. That’s how much I save from working at home and it’s great!” -Shahril, 30
When you’re working from home, the only time you use your car or motorcycle is when you head out to buy groceries or other essentials. Otherwise, you’re just at home and don’t spend a single cent on petrol, parking or tolls every day.
“Petrol costs me around RM80 a week for my Myvi because I work pretty far from where I live. That’s RM320 a month spent on petrol and add parking fees to that which I pay RM10 per day and I’m forking out another RM200 a month which comes up to RM520. But since we started working from home, all this money is saved!”
ESTIMATED MONTHLY SAVINGS: RM650
2. You start cooking your own meals at home which is way more cost-effective
Unless you’re the type who wakes up at 5am to do meal prep for your day, you’re going to be having lunch with your colleagues where a plate of ‘nasi campur‘ with a drink these days can come up to RM10 or more. After work, you might meet your friends for dinner and that’s even more money spent.
“I usually eat at a warung nearby which costs me around RM10 with a drink like ‘teh o ais‘. On some days I go for lunch with my colleagues in Mid Valley and that usually comes up to about RM20. That’s almost RM400 just for food each month!” -Chloe, 37
Working from home not only encourages you to eat healthier, but it also keeps you from ordering overpriced meals and you also start to learn to cook more than just instant noodles.
ESTIMATED MONTHLY SAVINGS: RM400
3. No more window shopping and impulse purchases while on lunch break
If your office is near or inside a mall, you have most likely done some impulse buying while you head out for your lunch break. Temptations are always there and while some people have an iron will, most will succumb to retail therapy even when it’s not needed.
“My office is next to a mall and most of the time we will be having lunch at restaurants inside the mall. I always end up window shopping for a bit and purchasing a t-shirt here, a jacket there, sometimes even making big purchases in electronics because I love gadgets when I’m supposed to be saving money. I’m guilty of spending nearly RM500 just on shopping alone every month”. -Izzwan, 29
When working from home, all these temptations are out of sight and you’ll be surprised how much money you save.
ESTIMATED MONTHLY SAVINGS: RM500
4. You can work in your ‘baju rumah‘ and stop spending on expensive dressy work clothes
Or makeup for that matter.
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of working from home is that you don’t have to buy work clothes or makeup anymore. This applies to those who are required to dress up for work in a corporate environment, such as office staff, jewellers, insurance agents and the like.
“As an insurance agent, I have to be dressed properly all the time but my normal everyday clothes are just basic t-shirts and jeans. I have to shop for new shirts, socks, shoes every once in a while because they would either get worn out, damaged or lost sometimes, and they could come up to more than RM1,000 if I’m getting a few new sets for everyday use.” -Ben, 27
You won’t need all the fancy ties, polished black shoes, office skirts, high heels and other accessories when you’re working from home. Just throw on a t-shirt, jump into a pair of comfy joggers and go about your workday!
ESTIMATED MONTHLY SAVINGS: RM1,000+
5. There are actually more ways to save money when you shop online instead of going out
Online shopping has not only changed the way we shop, but it also offers way more attractive incentives that help us save money. These incentives come in the form of cashback, rewards and discounts depending on what credit card you use to make your purchases.
“You could actually earn money back when you use cashback programmes or get rewards when you spend with certain credit cards, while some offer exclusive discounts when you use them at selected merchants. The more you spend, the more you’re rewarded! I can get over RM100 cashback at times.” –James, 28
ESTIMATED MONTHLY SAVINGS: RM100++
It’s true! Some people have a stack of different credit cards to take full advantage of every deal offered by various banks. But what if we told you that there’s a credit card that does it all?
That’s right, Standard Chartered is launching a credit card that redefines smart shopping!
With the new Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card, you can elevate your online shopping with all sorts of benefits. You can get cashback, rewards and discounts all with one card! Keep reading to see what the card offers.
30% cashback when you spend at selected online platforms
- Earn up to RM80 cashback each month within the first 6 months until 30 April 2021
- Participating merchants: Agoda, Boost, GrabPay, Klook, Lazada, Roaming Man, Shopee, Touch N’ Go e-wallet & Zalora
6% cashback on digital lifestyle purchases
- Spend a minimum of RM1,000 retail spend a month to unlock 6% cashback at selected merchants, capped at RM20 each month.
- Participating merchants: Astro, iQIYI, Joox, Netflix, Playstations, Spotify & Steam
Other benefits include:
- A sign-up reward consisting of RM200 cashback OR Mi True Wireless Earbuds – When you apply online, activate and spend within 45 days upon approval
- Zero cash advance fees – Access to fast, convenient cash and enjoy worry-free spending all year
- 30% dining cashback – Treat your inner foodie with 30% cashback (capped at RM30 per transaction) and up to 20% off at participating restaurants
- Up to 20% off online shopping – Shop til you drop on weekday online deals with up to 20% discount from your favourite online stores at Shopee, Lazada, Zalora, Watsons & Taobao
- Get rewards from your favourite e-wallets – Exclusive offers and rewards when you top-up and spend with your favourite e-wallets for Boost, Fave & Grab
- Get extra cash with 0% interest rate – Enjoy quick cash up to RM15,000 at 0% interest rate with Cheque-On-Call Plus and RM100 cashback when you make one transaction within 60 days of approval
That’s not all! There’s a bonus sign-up offer where, for a limited time only, you can visit the Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card website to find a hidden surprise. If you find it, you can get a bonus of RM100 on top of your RM200 sign-up gift! Also, we’ll let you in on another secret:
Follow the Standard Chartered Facebook page to search for clues that will help you find the hidden surprise.
For more information on the card, head on over to this website.
It’s time to win at life with the Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card. Sign up today and reap all these benefits no other credit card offers and be a smart shopper!
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