Supporting a family in Malaysia

In its column "Smart with Money", the Sun yesterday published the following analysis of the financial situation of a Malaysian couple with a little baby. Given that the GDP of Malaysia is USD8,118 (based on IMF figures in 2008), which can be converted to be about RM27,400 (Malaysia Ringgits) per person per year and RM2,280 per person per month, the combined monthly income of the couple, at RM9,000 is above average. Their financial situation may reflect the situation of a middle class family:

(Exchange rate as of today: 1 RM=0.3USD or 2.3HKD)

Income: RM9,000

Expenses: RM7,100
Food: RM1,500
Home instalment: RM1,300
Clothing and entertainment: RM600
Life insurance: RM700
Repayment of higher education loan: RM300
Utility bills: RM300
Quit rent, assessment and Ins. (?): RM50
Gift to parents: RM1,000
Car maintenance, road tax & insurance: RM200
Petrol & toll: RM500
Phone bill: RM200
Baby expenses: RM450)

Savings: RM900

Balance of income: RM1,000

It is obvious that the cost of living of Malaysia is much lower than Hong Kong. On a monthly income of about HKD20,000, the family can manage to have a mortgage and a car and raise a baby. A mission impossible for a Hong Kong couple.

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