Many of us know what adulting means, and no it has nothing to do with anything inappropriate. Adulting refers to grown-up things like paying bills, getting a job, dealing with house problems, getting a loan, signing up for insurance and other things that make one think of grownups. However, being a responsible grown-up is not all sunshine and butterflies. There are many things that school doesn’t teach us about adult life and what it entails.
Here are just some of the things that come with adulting Malaysian millennials were not prepared for:
1. Fixing broken things at home
“My first apartment had a leaking pipe that would make a puddle overnight and ruin my carpet and furniture. I had no idea who to call so I ended up calling my mom for a plumber instead.” – Farah, 28
When we lived with our parents, we never had to worry about a blown light bulb, termite infestations, a leaking pipe or other household matters. Our parents would usually handle those problems either by DIY or calling the house contractor and we only realise how troublesome it is when we move into our very first apartment.
2. Creating LHDN and KWSP accounts for tax & retirement purposes
“Just the process of registering a KWSP account was already a headache because I had to go to an actual counter to obtain a certain form, fill it up, wait in a long line and submit it before I could use its online facilities.” – Goh, 27
‘Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja‘ (KWSP) is a retirement savings required under government law while an account with ‘Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri‘ (LHDN) is needed so you can file your income tax. Although all working Malaysians are required to have both accounts, registering for a KWSP or LHDN account is known to be a tedious process that requires you to visit specific office branches or kiosks in order to apply or retrieve a special login password. Why didn’t anyone teach us this in school?!
3. Figuring out EA forms and how to pay income taxes
“The first time I had to pay taxes, I had no idea where to start looking or HOW to pay for it. I had to ask a friend who had been working longer than I have to teach me how to do it.” – Rais, 30
Even as uni graduates, we can all probably agree that none of us knew what an EA form was or what it’s for. Given by employers, this form ensures you are declaring the right amount of earnings and exemptions in your tax filing. Unfortunately today, even with online facilities, many millennials are still at a loss when it comes to paying tax. Moreover, taxes are not something you can just ignore as that could land you in trouble with the government.
4. Remembering when to renew your driver’s licence and other important documents
“There have been times I’ve been caught with an expired licence and it’s always troublesome to explain that I forgot to renew it. I never really think about these things until it happens.” – Koon Sheng, 33
Because our licence validity lasts a few years, we tend to forget to renew it since it just sits in our wallets. The same goes for our vehicle’s road tax, insurance, and passports. Keeping track of when they expire and renewing them on time is a crucial part of adulting because expired documents can land you in trouble with the law!
5. Being on sick leave doesn’t mean work stops
“I can’t even afford to get sick and be on medical leave because there’s so much work to be done and deadlines to meet.” – Nana, 29
Unlike our schooling days when we could stay home whenever we were sick, the same can’t be said for when we become working adults. When you go on sick leave, work at the office will pile up and you’ll still have to do it eventually. Working from home while on MC is quite a common thing for Malaysians these days.
6. Realising that owning a car is more a liability than an asset
“My car is pretty old and most times it wouldn’t even start because there is some issue with the battery. I dread the extra cost of replacing the battery as it will eat out my budget.” – Fahmi, 29
At one point in life, we all thought owning a car would make everything better. We could drive anywhere and maybe save money on public transport. Little did we know that cars come with a ton of other expenses such as monthly instalments, insurance, road tax, petrol and risks like theft and damages. Did you know that according to the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia Berhad (VTREC), one vehicle is stolen every one hour and 15 minutes in Malaysia?
7. Planning a proper monthly budget
Sticking to a budget can get pretty stressful if it’s not planned properly. Depending on your salary and where you live, keeping a balance between savings, monthly expenses, paying bills and investments among other things, managing your finances is an essential part of adulting.
With the high cost of living, peer pressure from friends and social media, and an ongoing pandemic forcing companies to announce pay cuts and retrenchments, it’s almost impossible to save a decent amount of money.
Do you even know if you’re saving enough or saving correctly? You don’t want to end up with too little savings when you retire or be unable to pay for any kind of emergencies, do you?
Well, if you want to know how good you are with money, there’s an actual financial literacy game called Mind Your Ringgit that you can play online right now!
The web-based game by Visa will take players on a virtual financial life journey beginning from the day you get a job to your expenses at the end of the year. Whether you’re still studying or already working, this is a great way to determine how well you manage your money without actually having to spend any!
To start playing all you have to do is:
- Head over to the Mind Your Ringgit website
- Create an account
- Verify your account via the email you registered with
- Start your financial journey!
The game will feature 12 months that will test your financial literacy through various scenarios:
- Month 1 – Getting a job
- Month 2 – Renting a place
- Month 3 – Purchasing items for room & work
- Month 4 – Start to pay off student loans
- Month 5 – Overworked & falling sick
- Month 6 – Celebrating the festive season
- Month 7 – Short getaway with friends
- Month 8 – Virus outbreak
- Month 9 – 20% pay cut
- Month 10 – Personal items get broken
- Month 11 – Favourite artist’s concert
- Month 12 – It’s the year-end!
How you manage your money through these scenarios will determine how much money you’ve earned at the end of the game, and there’s a special reward for those who have the highest earnings! For real!
Visa will be rewarding the top 20 players who have the most money by the end of the game with Shopee vouchers worth RM100!
How great is that? You get to learn about how to better manage your finances and win Shopee vouchers! What’s more, knowing how to handle your personal finances will greatly reward you in the long run and there’s no better way to learn than to actually do it. So, if you’re wondering how well you can do it or if you think you already do it well, put it to the test on Mind Your Ringgit!
Disclaimer: Mind Your Ringgit web game does not represent an accurate life path for everyone. We all live different lives and spend money on different things but we can all spend wisely!
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