Malaysia Boleh : Budget Tips on how to survive in Malaysia for a Low Income

Disclaimer : “Lived in Kuala Lumpur from 2012 to 2016, prices may vary”

Malaysian says “the living cost in their country is high” but with a careful budgeting, you will overcome those challenges on how to live in the city. Saving seems impossible? Well.. it’s POSSIBLE you just need to “Learn How to Leave without“.

Be Financially Aware and if you have “Bad Spending Habits” your savings will be turn into ZERO!


#1. Stay in a low cost Apartment

Staying in the city center of Kuala Lumpur is quite pricey. But if you will find outside the city center or let’s call it downtown or uptown here are the range of accommodations:

(per room)

  • Flat – RM300 to Rm500 per month
  • Apartment- Rm350 to Rm600
  • Condominium – RM 500 to RM750
  • Service Apartment – RM 900 to RM 1300

Tips: Make sure that it’s nearby any train station, check what is included (electric bill, water bill, wifi, etc) . You must have extra money for cash deposit – owner/agent will usually ask for 2 to 3 months deposit.

*My rental before was RM950 which includes: water bill, electric bill, and wifi in a service apartment in Cheras. But if you are lucky enough in searching, you will get RM500 including bills and wifi in a condominium, because some of the owners renting out their spare room to get an extra income. 

#2. Use a Public Transportation

The one thing I like about Kuala Lumpur transportation is very accessible, efficient and commuting in the city is inexpensive. Don’t for out a money to service a car loan, because that is a liability and not an asset.

Transportation Guide:

  • KL Light Rail Transit (LRT)
  • KL Monorail
  • KTM
  • Rapid KL bus
  • Taxis

#3. Cook at Home

Everyone gets tired after work and we just want to rest on our bed or on the sofa and just call for delivery or a take away food. It’s okay to eat food outside, but if you want to save money- it’s better to cook at home.

Tips: Buy cheap groceries at Hero Supermarket, Tesco or you can go to nearest wet market- they are more fresher and cheaper. Some of the big supermarkets in Kuala offers free taste, go for it ! 🙂 And go for food exhibitions where in you get plenty of free taste- you can skip a one meal for that 🙂

  • I used to buy my food or groceries at nearby Hero Supermarket and I’m spending only Rm150 – that’s my budget for 2 weeks for food. So in a month, i’m only spending Rm300+ , compare if you will eat outside.
  • Rm300+ food budget in a month can cover my breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and snacks and fruits.
  • Hawker Food in KL are cheap, you can a plate of Chicken rice at Rm5 to Rm6 and a bowl of noodles at the same price.
  • If you spending rm20 in a day for food that will be rm600 in a month, if you cook at home- you will save 50%
  • My work before was start at 7am or 8am- I have to wake up at 5:00am to prepare for my breakfast and lunchbox.

#4. Less/No Entertainment

I’m not saying that you are not allow to have some fun, but the more you stay at home- the more savings you could get. I will give you some



  • Apply for MAYBANK ATM CARD (visa paywave)” it can actually use to pay for your movie ticket. Normal movie ticket will cost you RM18 but using the MAYBANK ATM CARD (visa paywave) it will cost only RM10 – check for more Maybank Cards privilege at “TGV CINEMAS” Take note!! ONLY AT TGV CINEMAS. If you don’t have one- ask a friend who have it, I have mine- so every time we want to watch a movie i’m using my maybank to pay and my friend’s just pay me a cash.
  • Student PROMO– Student will only cost Rm8 (weekdays) TGV Cinemas/ Golden Screen Cinemas
  • EARLY BIRDS– RM8 (weekdays before 12pm) check their website for more details – TGV Cinemas/ Golden Screen Cinemas





  • Do you love to sing? Check Redbox or Neway because they having a promotions every time and you can get 50% off


  • Freelance- work as a part time “promoter” – If your day’s off is during weekend, this is good for you. Find Part time job through Facebook. Promoter wages in KL in range of RM80 to RM 160 per day
  • Look for remote job online- register online and fill up all the information and most importantly is your skills. I will recommend Upwork


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