Malaysians share tips on how to be debt-free after someone on Reddit asks for help

Posting on the Malaysia subreddit, the 27-year-old graphic designer asked, ‘Is it possible to live debt free in this era?’

Hands counting money. Male holding Malaysia ringgit notes of 50
There are a lot of ways to tackle debt and save money in the country, according to wise Malaysians. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the digital age, seeking financial advice can be as easy as posting a question online. A Reddit user from Kota Kinabalu took this route, opening up about her financial challenges and asking for help on the site in a quest to tackle her debt.

Posting on the Malaysia subreddit, the 27-year-old graphic designer, who goes by the username “SuddenPomegranate139”, asked the question of ‘Is it possible to live DEBT FREE in this era?’.

She proceeded to share her story and aspirations, and the Reddit community rallied behind her with advice and encouragement.

Her story is a familiar one for many young adults who have made financial mistakes along the way.

She opened up about her desire to break free from the clutches of debt, enabling her to enjoy her hard-earned salary while also supporting her family.

Her financial obligations included a car loan, personal loans, and credit card debt which totalled to RM17,000. But she is determined to find a way to clear these debts within a year.

“Hello, I am a 27y/o female. Living in KK and working as a graphic designer. As a young adult, I have done a lot of financial mistakes. I am here to fix everything but I REALLY NEED HELP!! I wanted to live a DEBT FREE life, where I can enjoy my salary and treat my family instead of paying off debts,” she wrote.

“Currently I only have 1 full time job, and i'm doing grab as a part time job. I need ways to earn more money and to pay off all these debts."

Reddit users quickly responded with a range of suggestions and guidance. Some focused on increasing her income, while others emphasised cost-cutting measures.

Some with very helpful advice

One user, wanhakkim, advised her to take on freelance graphic design work during her free time, demonstrating that turning her skills into additional income was a viable option.

“Judging from your post it's not a complete f**k up yet. Sacrifice your sleep & weekends and try to find some graphic freelance jobs. Let it be a lesson that it's not worth struggling that much to enjoy yourself just for a few days/weeks,” Wan said.

Another user, rYdarKing, suggested exploring unconventional income streams, such as offering a clothing folding service to neighbours.

“If you like folding clothes, you can offer your neighbours that service. A neighbour once made a few thousands a month doing it at night. I mean there's a million ideas. Action is the only necessary tool,” the user said.

Meanwhile, Redditor KevinMeng provided a cautionary tale, urging the user to share her experience with personal loans to discourage others from making similar mistakes. The user also stressed the importance of making more money while cutting unnecessary expenses.

“Cut everything you don't need to live, especially those subscriptions,” KevinMeng said.

Some 'unconventional' paths

A more "unconventional" suggestion came from destiny_forsaken, who proposed the idea of working as a hostess in upscale KTVs on weekends.

While it may not be a traditional path to financial freedom, the user highlighted the potential for higher earnings through alternative avenues.

“You can make as much as RM100 an hour, and no, contrary to common misconceptions, you don't have to sleep with any client unless you choose to,” destiny_forsaken elaborated.

User Pudingislove pointed out the immediate need to address high-interest debt, particularly personal loans and credit card debt. Selling her car, which carried a hefty monthly payment, was another option to consider.

Pudingislove advised, "Trade for a cheaper one or sell it. RM700+ is pretty high considering you got those other loans."

Another Redditor, _Tremble underscored the importance of focusing on paying off high-interest debt first, emphasising skill development to increase earning potential.

"Focus on paying off those high-interest debts first - credit cards and personal loans... then focus on improving your skills so you can provide more value to whatever company or sector you are in. Upgrade yourself, try to maximise the income u can earn because you can only work for so many years,” the user said.

“While living within your means is a good way (to save money), a lot of people are not doing their part to reach their full earning potential. It's easier to earn more once you can provide value to others."

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