An introduction to myself, I am a female teacher with a husband and two boys. For our financial commitment, I only pay my internet bill, my babysitter monthly payment of Rm600 and daily household expenses. My husband would pay for our cars and our house rent. We dont have much in saving so I decided to make a change starting year 2020.

For 2020, I decided to follow the sunnah to cut my expense and managing my finances. There are different aspects that I need to focus on as most of my money are spent into these categories.

1. FOOD

For staters I would be fasting at least once or twice a week. This is not just to cut my expense but also cut lose my weight and taming my nafs. On other days, I always been very busy to cook. Hence I still buy my food outside except that I would buy the same meal with the same cost of rm10-15 per day. To gain more barakah from the food, I would share them with my husband on the same plate.

2.CLOTHING

I only wear preloved clothings. Rarely buy new ones. I keep them hanging on an open wardrobe so that I would keep in check of all the clothes that I own. I apply minimalist approach in this whereby I only keep 33 piece of outfit. Hence there are limitation. If I want to buy more clothes i need to get rid some of it. That also includes shoes and bags too. Still, there are many times where I bought bags and shoes on impulses but I tend to give them as gifts to family and friends. I would rather accumulate more love than stuff .

3. TRAVEL

My family and I travel a lot every year because we live far from our hometowns. Every school holiday the expenses would be higher than usual. Hence on other days, I would save our money by by limiting my days going to malls and shopping. Even groceries can be done online these days.

4. BOOKS

This is hard because I am an avid reader. I can spent rm200 on books per month even if I shop at BBW and preloved bookshop. But I decided on 2020 , I would read online or focusing my time to memorize the quran instead.

5. FURNITURE/ HOME REPAIR

I don’t have any furniture in the bedroom and only a sofa bed,a low table and a tv in the living room. My family and I sleep on a futon. We decided not to buy any heavy furnitures to keep the house simple and light. It gave our sons a lot of extra spaces to run and explore.

6. GADGETS/ TECHNOLOGY

Despite having two old laptop with no batteries, we prefer to use a 10 year old desktop computer that works very well. Other gadgets/techonology include a tv, a mini projector, mobile phones, a vacuum and a canon printer. I do need to save at least rm1000 in case one of these gadgets broke down. Other than that, we only use these ICT at work.

7. GIFTS
I love giving gifts and I do spend a lot in them for the sake of strengthened of kinship. But if I have to cut the cost, I would giving away some of my collections of bags, books and trinkets instead.

8.MORTGAGE

Alhamdulillah, I don’t own a house yet since I have not decided which states we want to settle. Although I wish I own a nice house, the price are mostly not affordable. Its just not worth it to be tied down to a house when you are still a nomad. Thus I decided to not work extra hard for a sake of house in this world. After all, a house in the hereafter is much better and long lasting.

by Syifa Amir, Winner of “Cut-the-Excess”, Unriba Writing Contest

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