Tuesday, 31 March 2015
GST Finally Arrives
Now, GST means Good Shopping Time. From tomorrow onward, it will be Goods & Services Tax era.
I think every Malaysian will more or less buy more things before GST, either fast moving groceries or things we seldom buy. I'm also one of them.
Actually I did not buy a lot of extra items, but it's enough to explode my credit card...
Some people may want to buy 100 rolls of toilet papers, some change their furniture or home appliances, some do house renovation and some buy a new property.
For me, I just stock in more infant milk powder, only to realize later that they are exempted from GST...
Anyway, GST has hastened me to purchase 2 Redmi Note 4G, one for my wife and one for myself. This is the first time in my life that I shop for a smartphone!
Extra 6% might not seem to be a huge amount in which consumers pay extra 60 cents for a RM10 item.
However, when you are charged 6% on almost everything in your life, that is a significant financial burden.
Before its official date of implementation, most people are already being charged GST.
I have two, motor insurance and life insurance, which have already been paid.
I can foresee tighter cash flow this year, especially when my take-home pay will be 30% lower than previous year. This is a real challenge for me and I really need to be more frugal after this.
To cut down expenses, it's always good to look at those fixed and recurring expenses first.
My first move is to downgrade my Astro subscription, which will save RM30 per month.
I like sports, and I like to watch EPL football matches which I started to do so some 25 years ago.
Now I have removed full Astro Sports package but I still have some sports channels in HD. So why not?
My next target will be phone bill. I consistently pay more than RM200 per month to Maxis even though I normally use only about RM30 a month.
This is because I have to pay for 4 supplementary lines which include a few heavy users. I have tried to find ways to reduce this bill since few years ago but the conclusion is always more worth it to keep current package.
With new smartphones for myself and my wife, I'm considering to subscribe for data service so I really need to work it out smartly.
For home internet, I think I have saved quite a lot for 2-3 years since moving into my new house, by not subscribing to Streamyx or Unifi.
Now I'm using 4GB of WiFi data volume a month (RM68) at home and it appears just enough for me.
I purposely limit my online time at home to spare out more time for family and house chores. In other words, I have not much time and MB to do stock market research at home.
For electricity bill, I think there's not much room to save significantly except I don't use air-conditioner all together. My average usage is approximately RM140 per month.
Previously I used to turn on the air-cond at night for 3 hours at 27-28C. However, since last year when the weather is very hot, the air-cond is turned on for 6-8 hours! Now I should cut down the time again...
Though these cost-cutting measures may not save a lot, I think it's still good to make it a habit to control our budget.
Time flies. I remember when GST was announced by the government officially during Budget 2014 in Oct 2013, I felt that it's still a long time to go. Now the time has finally arrived.
As almost all countries around the world adopt GST, I believe that it is an essential tax system which can benefit the country. I just hope that government will utilize the tax income smartly.