A quick Google search for “personal finance blogs” turns up countless results from all over the globe, offering advice for everything from saving habits to property investment. But the financial landscape isn’t the same in every country. Culture and development play big roles in the choices available to the everyday salaryman who’s looking to improve his financial standing.
Fortunately, we’ve got a few voices closer to home. These Malaysian personal finance bloggers are among our favourites for many reasons. We’ll tell you why in detail and recommend three articles from each blog to help you get a feel for their writing. We’ll also link a few other useful sites for research and comparison purposes at the end, so read on for an informative sojourn into the world of personal finance!
But First, what is Personal Finance?
Simply put, personal finance is all about managing your own money. That means saving (making sure you’ve got a stash for emergencies, retirement, and any other goals you might have) and investing (growing your money from the stash you currently have.)
How good you are at personal finance is directly tied to your financial literacy. “Knowledge is power” has never been truer when it comes to money. When you’re financially literate, you can use tools to effectively increase your personal wealth, and exercise sound judgment when making financial choices. Knowing how to budget, having clear long-term plans, and being aware of potential financial pitfalls will help tremendously in enriching your overall quality of life. (We don’t take “money can’t buy happiness” at face value here. Money can buy you opportunities for happiness, whether it’s in the form of a long-awaited tour of Europe or guaranteed payments to your family in the event of accidental death.)
1. Leigh from Dividend Magic
Leigh is a certified financial planner who is aiming for complete financial independence by 35. Dividend Magic, which first began as a blog to keep himself accountable, has now bloomed into a remarkable look into one man’s investment philosophy and financial journey.
Leigh is known for his transparency in documenting gains and losses from his various streams of income. There’s a monthly table of how his local stock portfolio (dubbed the “Freedom Fund”) is doing, alongside updates on his U.S. and cryptocurrency investments. This transparency is a large part of Dividend Magic’s popularity with readers from all walks of life. The fact that Leigh has grown his portfolio from only RM10,000 in 2013 to more than RM500,000 in 2021 just makes this blog more credible.
Besides insights into his personal investments, Dividend Magic also offers solidly researched guides on specific topics. Presented with a clear theme, these series of posts are must-reads for first-time investors dipping their toes into the world of REITs and stock trading. We really like how the writing is clear and simple, yet so informational. For those with questions in the comments, Leigh usually responds to the best of his ability, offering extra advice backed by his professional background. Overall, this blog is an invaluable online resource for the average Malaysian, from a real investor.
- If you read only one article on this list, make this the one. It’s far too useful to pass up!
- Great for those who found out about personal finance three minutes ago and just need someplace to start.
- A clear-cut table + personal experience with different platforms = instant bookmark for future reference.
2. Suraya from Ringgit Oh Ringgit
Suraya is a digital marketer who has made “optimising personal finance” her ultimate goal. Ringgit Oh Ringgit chronicles her experience with the many aspects of personal finance, and urban Malaysian living in general. Started in 2015, the blog now boasts close to 500 articles on topics varying from meal budgeting to Islamic inheritance law. The common denominator of all these posts? Money, and how to make the most of it as a layperson.
Suraya is known for her honesty and candid approach to writing about personal finance. Thus, Ringgit Oh Ringgit features no-holds-barred, unbiased reviews and genuine lived experiences told with good humour. Straightforward language with a dash of Malaysian flavour makes for fun yet practical articles which can be consumed quickly.
Besides sharing her personal experience with investment tools, Suraya also blogs about the unglamourous side of personal finance, giving readers an intimate look into mistakes made and lessons learned. Her friendliness makes personal finance seem less intimidating—many have likened reading Suraya’s articles to sitting down with a bestie who’s got all the “inside info”. We definitely appreciate the blog’s informal tone, as well as its Weekly Roundup posts (good-to-know information in 10 bite-sized pieces.) Overall, Ringgit Oh Ringgit is very readable and direct, with sound financial tips to help everyday Malaysians get more from life.
- A widely shared piece which highlights the very real dangers of the BNPL craze, and who it really impacts.
- Great introductory guide for those thinking of venturing into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- A highly relatable article with humorous yet informative input.
3. Aaron from Mr-Stingy
Aaron holds a managerial position at Malaysia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange (readers who know their crypto platforms, take a guess) who understands how money can enable life to its fullest. Mr-Stingy is where his thoughts, research, and experience coalesce into incredibly well-written pieces about personal finance, relationships, and general quality of life.
Aaron is known for his insightful yet logical takes on money matters. His examples and scenarios are laid out clearly and warmly for easier understanding. For many readers, the sincerity of his writing has resonated with them personally and served as timely reminders or even catalysts of change. This is partly why Mr-Stingy is highly regarded in the Malaysian blogosphere.
This blog is all about how personal finance ties in with the other important things in life, like family and friendships. This means that posts related to Bitcoin coexist with thought pieces about his personal investment journey. But we find this all-inclusive concept, when paired with Mr-Stingy’s formidable writing skills, make for particularly engaging reads. The true highlight of the blog’s content is how it sparks conversations, even if they’re just with yourself. Our verdict? Mr-Stingy provides a much-needed human touch (read: emotional angle) to the meandering road to financial freedom, and helps Malaysians quietly hope for the future, too.
- An in-depth look at his cryptocurrency journey and how Bitcoin has transformed traditional perceptions of assets
- Simple yet effective actions to take and perspectives to have at the workplace
- A short and sweet article with a twist.
Resources for Further Reading
- iMoney, RinggitPlus, and CompareHero – for general tips and easy comparisons of financial tools
- MyPF – for general investing
- Howtofinancemoney – for specific investment topics suitable for intermediate to expert investors
- GenXGenYGenZ – for complete information on the latest and best credit cards
Improving Malaysians’ Financial Literacy, One Blog Post at a Time
Financially-focused blogs are a godsend for those just beginning to learn about personal finance. Through many happy hours reading through the blogs mentioned here, we ourselves have learned a tremendous amount and feel more informed to take charge of our own finances. We hope it’ll be the same for you. Here’s to getting better at money management with every click ahead.