In the past, a home that was considered ‘affordable’ could be bought on the salary of a single-income household.
Now, it’s not enough to have a dual-income household to afford a property, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult to secure a home of your own.
All you need to do is save up just a few extra Ringgit and let go of a couple of unnecessary trends, and you’re well on your way to putting down that first deposit on your dream home!
To give you a rough idea on what we’re working with, let’s take for example: an affordable housing unit
selling at RM200,000 with a 10% down payment of RM20,000.
Now, what exactly would you have to give up and for how long, just to afford the down payment?
1) Boba/bubble tea
Oh, boba. A mysterious phenomenon that sprouted overnight and gave SS15 the nickname Jalan Boba
, these sweet creations have infiltrated every neighbourhood and shopping mall to the point that there’s no escaping from it.
At an average price of RM8 per cup, if you drank one cup per week for a year, that’d amount to more than RM400 spent on just boba, not including the cost of extra toppings or special flavours. Perhaps it’s time to show your body some love and consume less boba!
- Average yearly cost: RM416
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 48± years
2) Speciality ice-cream
Nothing beats the heat like a good ice-cream cone, but unusual ice-cream flavours
like nasi lemak, cili padi, and salted egg yolk have made themselves comfortable right here with our Malaysian taste-buds.
With so many options for the frozen treat out there, we gather the average price you’d spend on a double-scoop ice-cream cup at RM15 a week, provided you’re not throwing any wild ice-cream/food parties!
- Average yearly cost: RM780
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 26± years
3) Coffee fixes
There are apparently two types of people in the world: those who can survive without caffeine, and those who can’t.
There are no in-betweens.
Coffee joints used to be THE ‘it’ thing before boba tea stores took over, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their appeal – if anything, it’s still a great place to get your daily cuppa, meet for appointments, and even work remotely from.
If, like many others out there, you rely on your daily dose of S*bucks and/or equivalent, you’d be spending RM50 a week on coffee alone at an average price of RM10 per cup of normal black coffee (this is for weekdays only).
- Average yearly cost: RM2,600
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 8± years
4) Cafe-hopping weekends
Cafe-hopping only gained prominent traction in the last five years, thanks to the rise of social sharing apps, Instagram and Facebook.
In the name of discovering food and trying something new, the average cafe-hopping cost for two people would amount to at least RM60 for meals and drinks (for both, of course).
With new cafes popping up left, right and centre, you could literally visit a cafe a week and still not be able to finish the list before you head for retirement!
- Average yearly cost: RM3,120
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 6± years
5) Vapes and cigarettes
Vape culture wasn’t known in Malaysia till 2015, when its popularity suddenly peaked, with sales from vaping-related businesses reached around RM2 billion
Heavy vapers can expect to pay at least RM60 per month, since the bulk of the cost lies in the vape juice with the price of a bottle at about RM20.
The RM60 accounts for different flavours plus some extra costs for parts/repair (this figure is not including the price of the physical device itself).
- Average yearly cost: RM720 + RM200 for the device (one-off payment)
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 22± years (assuming you change device once a year)
On the other hand, the average of cigarettes retails for RM15 per pack, hence if you’re a chain smoker puffing at least 2 packs a week, that’s RM120 up in flames each month.
It can be a really hard habit to quit and endure the nicotine withdrawals, but it does go a long way if you look at it from this point of view:
- Average yearly cost: RM1,440
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 14± years
6) Latest handphones
If the latest phones are what you’re after and a telco plan doesn’t entice you, using your own funds to purchase a brand new phone will set you back an average of RM2,000 per phone.
- Average yearly cost: RM2,000
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 10± years
7) (Over)Hype sneakers
Shoes are comfortable, protect your feet, are like gloves for your hands, and some… can cost an insanely jaw-dropping amount!
Pop culture phenomenon and famous footwear brands have combined forces to produce limited edition shoewear that average at least RM1,500 per pair
, so much so that people even camp outside stores and rush online to be the first to grab one.
- Average yearly cost: RM3,000 (one every six months)
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 7± years
8) Branded handbags
That infamous Hermès Birkin bag
is one good example. Splashed across news outlets, it gained notoriety for its sheer price alone – US$11,900 to US$300,000 which comes up to at least
For one bag. No wonder some people are choosing to invest in Hermès bags instead of gold.
Let’s not go to extremes yet, and place the average price of a brand new, branded handbag at RM5,000 with a new handbag every year.
If you can afford a Hermès Birkin, a down payment would be no problem for you. In the meantime, we’ll opt for having a realistic and EDIBLE cake replica
of the bag instead!
- Average yearly cost: RM5,000
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 4± years
9) Entertainment subscriptions
When life is too much of a joke, you have to resort to entertainment subscriptions. We kid!
Although platforms like Spotify and Netflix are well-known and preferred nationwide, there may be more to add to the roster with recent news about Disney’s upcoming streaming service
, Disney+, and possibly more to come.
- Average yearly cost: RM932.80
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 21± years
The breakdown of the costs are:
- Spotify Premium, RM14.90 monthly (RM178.80 per year)
- Netflix Standard, RM42 monthly (RM504 per year)
- Android TV box, average RM250 per year
And last, but not least, we have a bonus point in this list, which is by far the Admin’s favourite.…
A superfood that’s taken the world and grocery aisles by storm, avocado toast is now a cult favourite amongst people of all ages, thanks to its power-packed nutrients and simplicity.
In order to satisfy your avo-cravings, it would seem like an average brunch with this delicious treat would set you back a cool RM25 (give or take). So having it once a week would mean you’d be forking out more than RM1,000 each year!
- Average yearly cost: RM1,300
- Years it’ll take to afford down payment: 15± years
If your mind’s running frantic after figuring out all the costs and math and how you can save up for a home down payment, start off by first taking baby steps and then progressing to bigger leaps.
For instance, maybe you don’t really need that cup of S*Bucks everyday, and tea sachets are a good option to consider too!
If you think that a down payment is the only large piece of payment you’d need to make for a property, think again! There are actually various additional costs to consider, all of which can quickly add up and eat into your hard-earned savings!
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