How long does it take for someone living in Malaysia to save up to RM50k in savings?\u00a0 With the rising cost of living, stagnant salaries, and recent events, I asked four people from four different walks of life how long they figure it\u2019ll take for them to shore up RM50k in savings.\u00a0 Nate, a fresh Law grad: Indefinitely I am a 23-year-old paralegal working in a law firm and I get about RM2k a month. As a fresh grad in Klang Valley, I am severely underpaid. I think RM2k is woefully inadequate for the work I do and the living costs in KL. A lot of my peers are still receiving parental help in one way or another, like monthly allowances or a place to live or a car to drive around. \u00a0It helps that my job pays by the week so things move easier. Everyone at my job gets paid monthly and my pay comes up to about RM471.90 per week.\u00a0 If I was to be truly frugal to the point of eating oats for breakfast, budgeting to within RM10\/day for lunch, and cooking dinner, I probably can break even. Being paid weekly gives me less stress at the end of every month. If you're smart you can stagger certain payments of bills to certain weeks. For example, I\u2019ll pay rent in the first week (about RM500 with rent and utilities), week 2-3 pays for petrol\/phone bill, and week 4 is saved up for rent on week 1.\u00a0 My financial planning has worked out pretty well so far. However, I would not have much in the way of entertainment, so there\u2019s virtually no way for me to save anything.\u00a0 Therefore, at this stage, I have zero savings. Even though I am barely scraping by, there\u2019s a certain pride to it. I am standing on my own feet when everyone else my age is mostly still relying on their parents. I\u2019m not exactly sure if I\u2019m going to continue in this career path for the long term. My short term goal is to pass my CLP and continue on for pupillage so I can be called to the Bar.\u00a0 I do see myself continuing in the industry for the next 3-5 years at least. That\u2019s what I would say is a natural career progression.\u00a0 Alternatively, I may consider going for a master\u2019s degree to improve my skills and then move into other fields such as HR.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 As for my life goals, I\u2019d say I\u2019m a person who is easily content. I always say half-jokingly that I would like to retire on a farm in Yorkshire or something, but I think that really sums up my life goals: to make enough money to be able to live comfortably without worry.\u00a0 To that end, I plan to invest once I earn a sufficient income. Home and car ownership don\u2019t appeal to me as much, so I\u2019ll likely get a car on a needs basis and put off ownership for as long as feasible to do so. Mimi, a Disinfectant Consultant: 20 Years I make RM3.5k a month as a consultant to a company that sells disinfectant products.\u00a0 Even though I am making RM3.5k a month, I still think it\u2019s not enough. In my opinion, they do not pay me enough for the amount of work I do. I think in order to live comfortably, I\u2019ll need about RM5k.\u00a0 My monthly expenses are quite high. My car loan, insurance, electricity bills, petrol, and food take up the biggest portion.\u00a0 When I was a fresh grad, my pay was RM3k. It was high because I was an engineer. However, in my opinion, as an engineer, RM2.8k would be too low. With the fluctuation of the cost of living right now, I think a fresh grad\u2019s salary should be about RM3k. Even though the market price right now is RM2.8k, not a lot of people are paid this amount.\u00a0 The salary for fresh grads should increase with time. It\u2019s really too low. People are struggling to survive. With the economy rising, the number of fresh grads should rise as well. We can\u2019t have the cost of living rising but not people\u2019s salaries. With my current earnings, minus all of my expenses, I\u2019ll be able to save between RM100-RM200 per month. Although it\u2019s not a lot, I\u2019ll still have some money saved for a rainy day. If I save RM200 per month, I\u2019ll need about 20 years to save up to RM50k. https:\/\/unsplash.com\/photos\/prFWu21zgqg Currently, I\u2019m focusing more on upgrading my skills. I\u2019m currently pursuing my masters degree in pharmaceutical engineering in China, but due to the pandemic, my studies have been greatly affected. I\u2019m stuck in Malaysia and I have no choice but to extend my graduation.\u00a0 After graduation, I\u2019m looking at an income range of about RM8k to RM10k. I intend to work in Malaysia after I\u2019m done with my degree. I\u2019m not interested in pursuing a PhD because I\u2019ll be content with what I\u2019m going to have once I have my master\u2019s degree.\u00a0 Leelah, a Copywriter: 1 Year In this current economy, having just one job is not enough to live a comfortable life in KL, especially if you\u2019re not from here and have to depend on yourself fully. I am currently a full-time copywriter and a freelance translator for two other translation groups.\u00a0 I make enough to support myself with just my freelancing gig but my parents said it would be easier for me to apply for loans with a full-time job. That\u2019s why I applied for a fulltime job on top of my two freelancing gigs. On average, my three jobs will get me around 6-7k a month. I might even get up to RM8k in a good month. Usually, I will use about 2k for my bills and expenses. The rest I will put into my savings so it will be around 3k-4k. If I\u2019m disciplined enough, I\u2019ll only need 1 year to save RM50k. During the three months of MCO, I did not do any shopping at all except for necessities like food. In those three months, I managed to save up to RM10k. The only thing I bought during the period was a new phone and that was it.\u00a0 I do not have a car loan nor a house loan. I only have PTPTN loans and insurance. I am not from KL so I have to rent a house here. My rent is RM750 including utilities.\u00a0 I take the MRT to work and since there\u2019s the MyRapid30 unlimited travel pass right now, I only spend RM30 for my commute monthly. For lunch, I\u2019ll either tapao zapfan (take away economy rice) or I\u2019ll bring my leftovers from dinner the night before to work. I cook every day so I get to save on food.\u00a0 Basically, my monthly expenses are not that much. However, I am saying that from a place of privilege because of the amount of money I make monthly. Of course, I have to admit that sometimes I will still use some of the money in my savings to splurge a little but I will never spend all of my savings.\u00a0 The reason I am saving up so much and I need to do it quickly is because I intend to pursue a master\u2019s degree in the United Kingdom. The jobs I have right now are for me to save up money. I don\u2019t have a plan for my career for the moment yet as I\u2019m focused on saving up for my studies.\u00a0 After I save up enough for my studies, I intend to keep both of my freelancing gigs to make up for the cost of living once I\u2019m over there. However, with the pandemic going on, I won\u2019t be able to go there and it gives me more time to save up for more money.\u00a0 Having a master\u2019s degree and a PhD are my life goals. I will do anything I can to make them come true. It\u2019s not easy having three jobs at the same time. I\u2019ve been doing this for slightly more than a year and I\u2019ve already broken down from stress once.\u00a0 I never have time for leisure and it\u2019s always deadlines after deadlines every day of every single week of every single month.\u00a0 However, when I look at my bank account at the end of the day, it\u2019s all worth it if it means I\u2019m one step closer to my goals.\u00a0 Madam Chong: It took 40 Years The cost of living and the economy is so much different in my time compared to right now. Young people now have it so hard. Everything is getting expensive but their salaries still remain the same.\u00a0 I have been working in the same company for 28 years. I went from a small administrator to the manager in those years.\u00a0 I am from Tawau, a small town in Sabah. The cost of living in East Malaysia is not as high as in West Malaysia, especially in a small town. Back when I first started in this company, I got only about RM900 per month. 30 years ago, that pay was considered very high. In comparison, when I started my very first job, in the 80s, my salary was only RM450. Then, in my second job, I got RM700 per month. Back then, there was no such thing as minimum wage. Some people even get RM300 to RM400 per month, but with the living cost back then, it would be enough to get by. This amount won\u2019t even be enough to pay rent right now, but back then, it was quite a lot.\u00a0 I was already married when I got into the company, so I lived with my husband and in-laws. I did not have to pay rent, my husband drove me to work, and I ate at home. The only thing I had to pay was the monthly utilities, but it was shared between my husband and me. With my savings, I did buy a low-cost terrace house. The house loan was RM400+ per month for a house worth RM30k. Eventually, I sold the house for RM50k. With RM400 going to my house loans, I only had about RM500 so I didn't really have much savings back then. For my lunch at work, if I ate outside, it would be about RM3 to RM4 for a huge portion. However, most of the time, I would go home and eat because my house was near to my workplace.\u00a0 Living in a small town, you did not have much to spend on. We did not go shopping like the young people nowadays. So there were not a lot of expenses.\u00a0 With the standards back then, it\u2019ll take me a very long time to save up to RM50k. If I even get to save RM100 a month, it\u2019ll also take me more than 40 years to get that amount. I\u2019m already 54 this year and what\u2019s next for me will be retirement. Hopefully in the next few years so I can enjoy my retirement life and have my children take care of me.\u00a0 After this pandemic, I want to travel and see the world. I\u2019ve been working so hard for my entire life and I deserve a little treat. In Conclusion Having RM50k in savings depends on one\u2019s salary, their monthly expenses, and their living arrangements. It can be agreed that fresh grads nowadays are not being paid enough to survive.\u00a0 The cost of living is getting higher and higher but salaries still remain the same. In order to survive, one might even need to get more than one job just to be able to live comfortably and without worries. For more stories like this, read: On Facebook, Poverty, and Empathy \u2014 Why Life Is Not as Simple as a Carwash Story and I Was Broke and Divorced at 38. Here\u2019s How I Survived. Have a story you\u2019d like to share with In Real Life Malaysia? Submit your story\u00a0here.