Visa study on money management reveals that Malaysians have trouble keeping to their budget

As part of World Savings Day in Malaysia, Visa and Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) have launched the initiative Treat Your Money Right. The initiative, designed to promote the importance of saving, is based on research that shows while most Malaysians are aware of the importance of saving, many still struggle with managing their finances.[1]

Findings from the survey show 53 per cent of Malaysians are saving to prepare for their futures. However, 22 per cent of Malaysians do not keep track of their savings and spending, and 24 per cent of them avoid keeping a budget and financial record.

The study also revealed other interesting insights into Malaysians’ money management behaviour:
      Sixty per cent keep enough money to meet their basic needs
      Sixty-seven per cent consider saving for emergencies as their ultimate motivation
      Forty-five per cent have a hard time saving money
      Fifty-four per cent try to give away as much of their money as possible to good causes and social investments.

The study proved that it was important for Malaysians to understand their individual money management styles. The Treat Your Money Right website features an interactive quiz where participants can find out how they handle their finances as well as providing a range of helpful money management resources.
Ng Kong Boon, Visa Country Manager for Malaysia said: “Partnering with AKPK to launch the Treat Your Money Right initiative during World Savings Day is especially apt, since our research shows a number of Malaysians have room to improve their budgeting and saving techniques. It is crucial for Malaysians to understand the importance of effective money management. Knowledge is power and knowing your style of money management can help you make a more conscious effort to save and spend within your means. We believe that all Malaysians should learn how to manage their finances to plan and prepare for various stages of their lives so they can have a better future.”

The quiz categorises participants into four different personality types based on their money management styles. The first is ‘Ringgit Sayang’, where such personalities have a heightened awareness on the importance to plan and save. The second type is ‘Big Spender’, and people in this category spend money without keeping track of their finances. The third type is known as the ‘Denial Boss’, which refers to people who save as much of their money as possible but avoid planning and thinking about their budgets. The final type is ‘Tak Mau Cents’, highlighting characters who do not consider money as one of the most important things in life.
“We hope that we can encourage as many Malaysians to take a more active interest in planning their finances and not just focusing on savings,” says Mr. Azman Hasim, AKPK General Manager, Operations Division. “The first step in becoming better at anything, especially the topic of money, is to challenge yourself.”

VISA and AKPK invite members of the public to challenge themselves in the Treat Your Money Right Facebook competition. The competition welcomes participants to take the “What’s your money management personality?” quiz and share a savings tip and an anecdote that best describes their money management personality on Facebook. VISA and AKPK have also selected eight social media influencers to run similar contests on Instagram. The winners of these Instagram contests will each receive a brand-new Apple Watch Series 3.

The Facebook competition will begin on 30 October and end on 14 November. Participants stand a chance to win 5,000 ringgit and 8 pieces of Apple Watch Series 3, amongst other prizes as they develop their understanding of effective financial management.


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Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) was established in April 2006 as part of BNM’s Financial Sector Master Plan (2000 - 2010) that aimed at developing and boosting the country’s financial sector.
It provides an avenue for individual borrowers as well as potential borrowers to enhance financial discipline via Financial Education, Financial Counselling and Debt Management Programme. In doing so, AKPK aims to create a more resilient household sector and a sound and robust banking system by facilitating debt repayment efforts and minimises incidence of non-payment arising from poor debt management.
By promoting awareness and educating the public on how to manage their finances effectively, as well as providing counselling and a specially tailored Debt Management Programme, AKPK hopes to help curb the financial-related issues faced by many Malaysian households.
AKPK envisions a society that is financially savvy, and to this end, AKPK wants to be recognised as the trusted provider of Financial Education to adult consumers and continue to promote financial prudence.
AKPK’s mission is to Make Prudential Financial Management A Way of Life among Malaysians.
Counseling and Debt Management Programme are services provided for free to individuals by AKPK, without the use of any third-party agent. 

[1] Visa Financial Literacy Study 2018 – conducted on 1060 Malaysians aged 21-40 years of age to understand perception of money on young Malaysians.

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