If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you might have noticed our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad launching the National Strategy for Financial Literacy last July. The five-year plan is developed by Bank Negara Malaysia and five other financial institutions. The aim? To raise the country’s low level of financial literacy.
But why is there a need for such a large scale blueprint? Well, it is well documented that the majority of Malaysians have low levels of financial literacy. Statistics show that 75 per cent of us are unable to fork out even RM1,000 for emergencies. Even worse, household debt in the country currently stands at 82 per cent of gross domestic product. Compare that, if you will, to the likes of Japan (58 per cent), Italy (40 per cent), and the United States (76 per cent).
Financial education and literacy are often seen as catalysts for financial inclusion, owing to their ability to empower consumers to make informed financial decisions that can dramatically impact the financial well-being of individuals and society.
The importance of personal budgeting
One of the basics of financial literacy is creating your own personal budget. This is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. A budget can span as long as a year but it is much easier to manage if you create it on a monthly basis.
Having a budget ensures that you will always have enough money for the things you need and are important to you. It will also help you avoid debt or help you work your way out if you are currently in such a situation.
This is, of course, if you manage to stay disciplined and stick to your budget. With that in mind, it is best to keep your budgeting as simple as possible. This is where a good budgeting app comes in handy. We know that there are plenty of these apps out there and it can be overwhelming to pick the best one. However, fret not, as we’ve compiled four of the best for you to choose from.
Here are 4 budgeting apps to help manage your personal finance:
Goodbudget is based on a novel and time-tested budgeting system called envelope budgeting. On this app, you divide your income according to your expenses and put each amount into a specific envelope. You only get to spend what’s in the envelope and save what’s left of it.
Mint is a good option for those of you who are new to personal finance. This is because it links your bank, loan, and credit card accounts inside the app. Thereafter, it uses that information to suggest budgets specifically tailor for you to follow.
PocketGuard is an app that helps guard you against overspending. It connects to your bank accounts and tracks how much you’re earning, putting toward recurring bills, spending on everyday expenses, and depositing into your savings account. It also has a feature to track each individual bill and help find better deals and opportunities to save.
YNAB stands for “You Need A Budget”. This app claims that on average, it saves new budgeters $600 by the second month of using it. This is made possible because it is built around four rules:
- Give every dollar a job
- Embrace your true expenses
- Roll with the punches
- Age your money
However, after a 34-day free trial, YNAB charges $6.99 (RM29.27) a month, billed annually at $83.99 (RM351.69).
Truly halal banking
Now and then, there comes a time when we would want to consider applying for a loan. The reasons could be for business, travel, marriage, home renovation, etc. That’s where Islamic finance comes into the picture. It has several advantages over conventional financing such as:
- Fairness and protection from high risks
- Safe from crisis
- Fixed and clear fees
- Lower penalties
- Takaful coverage
To get the best Islamic financing offers in Malaysia, head on over to AsSidq.com. It is your one-stop platform for Islamic financial products. They help match you with the best shariah-compliant financial offers from their banking and financial partners, based on your requirements and needs. The service is provided free, simple to use, and you will be matched instantly. Apply now and get approved in no time!