KUALA LUMPUR, 4 March 2019: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) together with the Social Wellbeing Research Centre (SWRC) of University of Malaya, today unveiled the Belanjawanku: Expenditure Guide for Malaysian Individuals and Families. Present at the EPF Learning Campus to launch the expenditure guide was Finance Minister Yang Amat Berhormat Lim Guan Eng.
Belanjawanku provides estimations of minimum monthly expenditures on various types of goods and services for different households residing in the Klang Valley that will allow Malaysians to attain a reasonable ‘standard of living’ or well-being. It also provides a comprehensive guideline encompassing allocation for basic necessities, social participation, recommended savings, loan repayment and emergencies.
EPF Chief Executive Officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said, “The underlying motivation for developing Belanjawanku is the problem of low financial literacy, rising cost of living, and over-indebtedness among Malaysians. Money is an essential component of economy and we are confident that the Belanjawanku serves as a practical reference and foundation for money management.
“This guide will also be adopted by our Retirement Advisory Service (RAS) officers in providing our members financial guidance and advice, complementing what is essentially a flagship EPF service. We expect Belanjawanku to form the bedrock of strong financial well-being, leading to a better quality of life in the long term.”
The Belanjawanku project was commissioned by the EPF as part of its financial literacy programme, and the detailed research was done by the team at SWRC, led by its Director, Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Norma Mansor.
The research involved a survey and focus group discussions comprising of researchers from local universities, representatives from the EPF, Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK), Economic Planning Unit, the National Wage Council, NGOs, Bank Negara Malaysia, and experts from industries, which include financial institutions, financial planners, nutritionists and reference persons of specific households residing in Klang Valley.
University Malaya Vice-Chancellor Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim said, “Belanjawanku is based on meticulous study and research on the spending behavior and consumption levels before identifying specific basket or collection of goods and services which can represent a reasonable standard of living or well-being for individuals and families from urban households.
“It is useful as an indication of cost of living as well as a guide for Malaysians to improve their personal financial management and lead a happy and meaningful life.”
Present at the event was EPF Chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman and other EPF’s top management, dignitaries from various ministries and government agencies, representatives from the Financial Education Network, academicians, and university students, among others.
A special panel session was also conducted during the event moderated by Nurhisham Hussein, EPF Head of Economics and Capital Markets Department, with speakers Professor Datuk Dr Norma, Joyce Chuah (CEO of Success Concept Life Partner), Christopher Wee (General Manager of Strategy at RevAsia), and Jufitri Joha (President of Malaysian Youth Council).
Belanjawanku will be routinely updated to reflect the change in prices, with versions exclusive to other regions to follow.
Belanjawanku booklet and pamphlet can be downloaded for free from EPF website at new.epf.gov.my. The pamphlet is also available at all EPF counters within the Klang Valley.
About Social Wellbeing Research Centre
The Social Wellbeing Research Centre (SWRC), formerly known as Social Security Research Centre (SSRC), is the thought leader in social protection through the strengthening of knowledge and applied research. SWRC actively conducts various research projects, is involved in journal publications as well as international conference presentations and research workshops. The centre actively works with government agencies and policymakers to ensure the social protection and wellbeing of Malaysians. SWRC is an institute financed by an EPF endowment fund.