EPF spending guide vastly understates real costs, finance portal argues

According to iMoney's findings, a typical person with one car and residing in Klang Valley must spend an estimated RM2,695 monthly even before personal care expenditure, annual commitments or allocations for savings. — Bernama pic
According to iMoney's findings, a typical person with one car and residing in Klang Valley must spend an estimated RM2,695 monthly even before personal care expenditure, annual commitments or allocations for savings. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Recommended budgeting in the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) Belajawanku is unrealistic for unmarried Malaysians residing in Klang Valley, according to an iMoney survey.

Among others, the financial comparison site noted the EPF’s budgeting guide suggested a single person staying in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area should set aside just RM300 monthly for accommodation.

However, iMoney said its poll of around 1,000 respondents found actual spending to be closer to RM1,100 monthly.

“This brings their monthly (housing) budget up by over 360 per cent when compared to the budget allocated by the Belanjawanku guide,” iMoney asserted in a statement today.

It also pointed out that the average price for a residential home in the region was RM372,801 while annual median household income was RM188,208.

iMoney lauded the federal government for schemes to aid and boost home ownership but said more must be done to address most Malaysians’ inability to afford to purchase their own homes.

It also said its poll found a 370-per cent rise in personal loan applications from 2016 to 2018, which iMoney concluded as suggesting Malaysians were struggling to cope with actual living costs.

According to its other findings, a typical person with one car and residing in Klang Valley must spend an estimated RM2,695 monthly even before personal care expenditure, annual commitments or allocations for savings.

With Belanjawanku listing median income at RM2,650, iMoney said this meant the majority of singles in the Klang Valley would be running a monthly deficit.

“It’s definitely a warning sign if their expenditure is higher than their wage,” it cautioned.

iMoney then touted its iMoney CreditScore tool available on its website for Malaysians to examine the health of their credit and finances.

The EPF launched Belanjawanku last month and gauged the minimum monthly expenses for essential goods and services to help Klang Valley households plan financially for a comfortable standard of living.

The guide will be expanded to other states soon.

Concerns about rising costs continue to plague the country notwithstanding last year’s change of government.

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