Sticking to a budget is even more important this year, as many people can have tighter Raya budgets given the financial strain brought on by the last year of stalemate.
More often than not, we get carried away and forget about the budget we painstakingly put together at the start of Ramadhan to make sure we don’t break it this year – no matter what.
If you’re tasked with buying this Raya for the family, we’ve put together the ultimate Raya buying guide that will help you keep your money in your wallet, without sacrificing your Raya tradition!
1. Compare, compare, compare!
In these new normal times, we all have to adjust to preparing for Raya in a different way. But whether you are used to shopping with Raya in town or looking for deals online, the first thing to do is shop around.
Make sure you shop around for each store and find the best deal for your money. More than ever this year, most of this information is available online – so you don’t even have to move from your couch.
If you’re too lazy to check every website and compare, use sites like iPrice or Hargapedia that have already done all the work for you. iPrice compares prices for just about anything you want at major online stores like Lazada, LazMall, Shopee, Zalora, etc.
Hargapedia is an extremely handy app that compares and monitors the prices of 6,300 stores – including popular stores like AEON, Cold Storage, Mydin, Tesco and many more. They also have exclusive offers from their partners and offer shopping information for you.
Once you’ve identified the products you want, remember that buying in bulk can be easy on your wallet. For the usual perishable foods that have a slightly longer shelf life, such as condensed milk, cookies, chocolates, and candies, you can buy in bulk when prices are reduced to maximize your savings.
Citi Credit Cards
Use your Citi credit card to get 20% off Zalora when you use the promo code CITIRAYA20 with a minimum expenditure of RM200. Offer ends June 30.
2. Shop online
As many Malaysians have discovered over the past few months, shopping online saves them a lot of hassle. It saves time, money, energy, fuel – the list goes on. Make your list of things to buy, then locate it online. Check out sites like Shopee, Ezbuy, Lazada, and more – they’ve all started their Ramadhan / Raya sale already.
You can check the items by simply moving your mouse from the comfort of your seat. Upon purchase, the items are delivered right to your doorstep. If you buy above a certain amount, shipping is also free! You can also check each website to see which site has an agreement with your credit or debit card so that you qualify for an additional discount.
Just make sure you don’t go into a frenzy of clicks and buy more than you needed in the first place. You made a list – so stick to it!
3. Buy with the right card
With the cost of living rising and wages not rising in tandem, the most obvious choice for survival is to tighten your belts.
However, you don’t have to sacrifice everything. There are ways you can still afford some of the luxuries above. Getting a high cash back credit card for your daily expenses will help you reduce some of the price hikes. Some cards offer up to 10% cash back on rides, gasoline, and grab rides, while others offer up to RM250 cash back. Choose wisely and you’ll save a ton of money.
HSBC Credit Cards
Get discounts on your favorite brands like Lazada, Shopee, Zalora and more!
4. Budgeting of envelopes
Figuring out what we can afford to buy or how much we can save is an ongoing process that is part of adult education and the difference is how disciplined we can be on a budget.
There are plenty of tips on budgeting, from the 50/30/20 method to the elimination budget, but perhaps one of the easiest methods you can try is the envelope budget.
Raya preparations usually involve a lot of shopping, to make sure you have everything you need. During your shopping craze, you can easily get lost and break the budget. But you can try this method of budgeting while preparing for Raya.
Set the amount you want to spend on Raya and divide the money into different categories. For example, you can allocate RM300 on Baju Raya, and RM500 on food for Raya, and RM200 on additional expenses (maybe this year there is no need to put money aside for travel expenses due to the restrictions in place). Withdraw the money from your account and put it in individual envelopes.
The most important part of this method? Stick to it. If you spend too much on one category, reduce another.
The rising cost of living and the current economic climate can hurt our budget, but we don’t have to make an excuse for not having our habits Raya tradition. It just takes a little more planning to make sure our finances are taken care of for Raya.
Do you know of any other Raya hacks that can help you save money?
This article was first published in July 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and completeness.
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