First and foremost, establish a budget. It’s always a good idea to live within your means at the start of your career. A rule of thumb would be to look at putting your money into various ‘buckets’. Allocate at least 10% of your salary to build an Emergency Bucket of at least RM10,000. Following that, you could look at a further 15% for long term savings and investments (more about that later). Next, deduct what you need to repay loans or other debts. And from the remainder, create a budget for expenses such as transportation, food, mobile or internet bills, leisure activities, clothing and other needs.
If you have excess funds, you can then drop them into a fund for any big ticket items you wish to purchase, such as the down payment for a house, a car, further education, travel, etc. Prioritising your big ticket items is also important. For example, dropping your money into a house means that there is a good chance your investment will grow in the future, while a car depreciates the moment you own it. Also, consider that with ownership comes maintenance, insurance, taxes and other expenses that will crop up.
At the same time, find ways to minimise your spending, such as taking public transportation or cooking at home once a week. Think of ways you can make your hard earned money work harder for you.