This is Part 3 of a continuing 12-part series on financial planning. This week, we will join Adam as he embarks on a new adventure into the working world, with a little romance in the air.
His best friend Daniel gave Adam a nudge. Adam’s thoughts were fixated on Aida, who was seated across the hall. He wondered how he should approach her for a photograph later. It was a proud moment for Adam and his family. He finally graduated with a 1st class honours degree and had already secured a job. Later at the graduation reception, Adam managed to pick up some courage to ask Aida for a photo together and they exchanged numbers with the promise to keep in touch.
Adam started his career in one of the ‘Big 5’ accounting firms with a starting salary of RM2500 per month. After a while, his average salary increased to RM3000 per month, inclusive of overtime and allowance. He reviewed his budget again and revised it as follows:
Repayment of PTPTN Loan
Gift to Parents
Clothing & Entertainment
(Take-home pay is net of EPF & SOCSO contributions and taxes)
In line with the principle that we should always pay ourselves first, he made it a point to continue with this unit trust investment and topped up his regular savings plan to 10% of his salary. He read from some financial planning books that a person should save at least 10% of his income over and above his EPF contribution. Of course, this may be tall order for most people, but this is a sacrifice we have to make for a comfortable retirement.
He had to repay his PTPTN loan with RM150 monthly over a period of 180 months at an administrative cost of 1% p.a. As a responsible graduate, Adam started repaying his loan as soon as he received his first pay cheque to avoid being blacklisted from taking future loans nor deprive other needy undergraduates of such funds.
Since Adam lived with his parents, he was able to save on rental and with that opportune saving, he decided to give his parents RM500 to cover for food and lodging which he saw as a ‘filial’ bargain! He allocated another RM500 for his meals outside home, RM500 for clothing and entertainment and RM100 for his handphone bills as his social life expanded.
Adam had the intention of getting a car but he decided to save up a little bit more to put a larger down payment for his first car. Till then, he relied on public transport or tumpang with his colleagues who were driving. He got himself the Monthly Travel Card, an integrated travel pass for public buses and LRTs for RM135 per month. He put in some buffer in the budget for additional taxi rides every now and then.
He had extra RM300 balance to spare and decided to take up a medical insurance policy with medical card for RM250 per month, which covers his hospitalisation and surgical expenses, should he be hospitalised. Though his firm provides insurance coverage, he should have his own insurance coverage as a safety net. With this allocation, he would have almost fully utilised his income productively.
In one of his audit assignments, Adam came across his university mate Aida who worked as a finance executive at the bank that Adam was auditing. During their conversation, her phone rang and the graduation picture they took together popped up on her screen! She blushed and was lost for words. Immediately the ‘hero’ wrestled control of the situation with a reassuring smile. There was hope for ‘advancements in this potentially blossoming relationship’.
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