By Fateen Rosli
Wealth Vantage Advisory is pleased to launch our “ Have a Plan: How I Ride” series. Our financial planner for this edition is our Licensed Financial Planner, Fateen Rosli. This is the story of how she rides – both literally and financially.
Hello everyone, I’m Fateen Rosli and this is how I ride my car and deal with my finances.
Baby-faced me with my first car, a Proton Inspira.
Q1. What Car Do You Drive?
I currently own a Proton Suprima S that I bought in March 2017 after using a Proton Inspira for 7 years during my time working in the oil and gas industry.
I bought my Proton Inspira for RM85,000; and I was the first lady owner in Malaysia and 11th person to receive the car keys from Tun Mahathir himself! :) However, my biggest regret when I bought that car is I did not think twice when purchasing it, considering I just got engaged and needed to save money for my wedding. I was then stuck paying more than RM1,000 every month, which meant one third of my salary went to paying the car alone! I stretched the payment term to 9 years so that I was better able to afford the monthly instalment. The car was my only financial commitment, other than expenses for myself. Few months later, I got married and my financial burden in maintaining the car and other expenses was shared with my husband. Phew!
Nonetheless, the car was reliable and served me well; from a single lady until I have 2 kids.
In 2017, my husband and I decided to buy a new car as we had by then been using the Inspira for 7 years (we have only 1 used car in the household). In addition, my husband was always away so our aging car needed to be replaced for something that required less maintenance.
With car ownership experience under my belt, I now have a better idea of what I wanted. I want a car that does not cost more than my annual salary, so that we can save more for our family to have a better life. I also wanted to support a local brand. These factors meant the Volvo V40 and Mercedes A200 I was eyeing had to go. After weighing available options, I decided that the Proton Suprima S best suited my needs as it has excellent durability and safety.
I was quite lucky when I purchased my Proton Suprima S as they were selling their 2015 models at a cheaper price. I received a RM20,000 discount from the initial price of RM75,000, and only had to pay RM500 for the booking fee. Additionally, the good price meant that I was able to reduce my monthly repayments by more than RM200, which I then allocated for monthly petrol expenses.
Q2: How Do You Plan Your Car Finances?
For my car, I often used the app Setel (Google Play, Apple Store) to fill my petrol. I spend around RM50-RM80 for fuel per week while I am working. In our current national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I rarely go out except for grocery runs so I spend much less – around RM100 per month.
My car maintenance only cost me RM300 to RM600 (major service) per quarter during service and yearly road tax plus insurance around RM900. Basically, it does not cost me as much as it would have if I had bought a different high-end car with the same specs as the Suprima S.
Q3: How Do You Save and Invest?
As a financial planner, I do not earn a fixed salary as my income is from the fees or commission I receive after managing my clients’ finances. After receiving my commission, I always allocate my money based on predetermined priority for better cash flow management.
The first priority I have is to pay myself first. I will invest for my retirement fund, kids’ education funds, business contingency and pay my car loan.
The balance will be used for me to spend on other expenses of mine and my family’s in differing priority, whether for food, entertainment, travel, and sometimes a treat for myself. I usually allocate the expenses into different e-wallets. I find that using e-wallets is very easy and effective as I can check my money usage better since they provide me with a summary of my expenses every month.
In terms of my investments, I invest regularly but with proper asset allocation as I am a risk-averse investor. Most of my investment portfolios are capital preservation like Tabung Haji and ASB. Only last year did I venture into more aggressive portfolios such as aggressive unit trust portfolios, shares, ETF and private equity. I believe with more knowledge, I am better prepared to invest in more risky investment portfolios.
Before venturing into higher risk investment portfolios, I prioritized building up my emergency funding or cash reserves that can cover 6 months’ worth of my household expenses. For me, I believed this is the right thing to have in place before I dared venture into higher-risk investments as I must have a backup reserve for my family in case anything goes amiss. By having this cash reserve, I have peace of mind should anything happen, as well as gives me more confidence to proceed with investing. Another thing that also helped my confidence in investing is knowing that my portfolios are actively managed by professional fund managers.
My husband and I maintain a lifestyle that is not that different compared to when we first got married. Nonetheless, we have changed our mindset by making a keen effort to save, invest wisely, and spend only when necessary. With 3 children, we are also gradually increasing allocation for education funding in order to give them opportunities for a better future.
Q4: What is Your Financial Tip for All Malaysians?
Always remember to properly allocate your cash flow wisely based on your priorities after you receive your paycheck. Do always pay yourself first by putting your money into your savings and investments, paying commitments (debt), and on necessary expenses. With the remainder, you can allocate for other non-essential expenses for you to treat yourself. Do not forget to indulge and enjoy your fruits of labour! General rule of thumb is one-third for savings and investments, one-third for commitments, and remaining for expenses. Nonetheless, you can adjust accordingly without compromising on your needs.
Having peace of mind with your finances is an essential way to live your life to the fullest. With proper financial planning, you can make small changes until you find what makes you comfortable and suits you. Different people have different needs and situations that can be aligned properly with the help of professional financial planners.
Do you have any stories on how you ride? Share with us in the comments section below.
“How I Plan” is a series by Wealth Vantage Advisory focusing on personal stories by licensed financial planners and Malaysians.