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HTSMW… Living the single life

Of course growing up we were all warned of the bills and dreadful commute of adulthood, but it takes a little time in the actual world to realize that it demands so much more. For a single career lady, the transition is ever more tricky. Adulting is not a walk in the park, and this week Abir Rahim shares her honest experience and tips on how she secured her dream home and more, all while living the single life.

Actuary and Co-Founder of Lean In Malaysia, Abir Abdul Rahim
  1. Hold out on credit cards

Credit cards often feel like free money and to many, opens the door to overspending. On top of the car loan and pending bills, the last thing you need is more debt up your sleeve. Abir found that skipping the credit card sign-up booth altogether and living realistically within her means allowed her much more freedom in investing in her future. Now, unless you are strong enough to walk past a clearance sale without falling prey, you might need to rethink whether that card satisfies your need, or greed.

2. Spend your money where it matters to YOU

Being an adult means deciding where your priorities stand. Your joy may come from an expensive getaway, an exclusive designer handbag (or as Abir has it, a gorgeous high-end sofa from KARE); either way, do it for you. It is not wrong to buy things for comfort, luxury of even status, as long as you consider your finances when doing so! With all your friends entering different trajectories in life, it is important for you to appreciate their lifestyle, while still staying true to yours.

3. When house hunting, enjoy the scouting period

Finding herself in a tight situation with family, Abir recounted that she – rather impulsively – placed a reservation fee on a kondo in the very first showroom she visited. Ballsy? Very. Should follow? Not advisable. Although in hindsight Abir doesn’t regret her long-term investment decision, not everyone is that lucky. With home loans commonly serviced over a 30-year period, location, affordability and practicality are just a few things to consider when thinking of locking one down. The commitment of a property will surely take up a huge portion of your income, so take your time and enjoy the hunt! That’s the fun part before the money flies. 

Adulting tip: Make time to read important sections of the SPA Agreement and other important documents before you sign it! Better safe than sorry.

4. Sometimes it pays to DIY

Riding the world solo can make menial things seem overwhelming. While it’s a personal choice to outsource daily chores like laundry and housekeeping, bigger things might need personal attention to get right. Abir learnt this lesson the hard way. In a (self-imposed) time crunch to set up her home, Abir hired a contractor to do minor furnishing only to have him run away once all payments were made! Admitting she didn’t do her due diligence, Abir however is now slowly taking her time in choosing furniture to personalize her space and is getting a huge knack out of it! And that’s how a lady bounces back from a setback. 

Adulting tip: ‘Tribunal for Consumer Claim Malaysia’ is a free government service that can help refund fraudulent cases. Paperwork may be hefty but definitely worth a shot.

5. If you’re stuck, ask for help

Being a single, working adult, you may feel the complete need to fend for yourself – men and women alike – but that’s not true! Being responsible is expected, but knowing everything is not. Whether it be for legal, financial or emotional support, know that you are not alone and family and friends will gladly help where they can. Ask the right people, and see how your journey gets easier to walk. Abir finds comfort in knowing her parents are by her side, and urges everyone transitioning into adulthood to find their “wall”. Also, “don’t borrow money from friends,” that’s a big no-no from her and we here at Pod 100% support. 


Till next time,

Liyana A.

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