EPF Launches Belanjawanku App and Guide to Help Malaysians Be Financially Savvyby Fintech News Malaysia June 15, 2023 0 comments
The Malaysian Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has launched the Belanjawanku mobile app and expenditure guide amidst low financial literacy and rising cost of living which has led to to Malaysians having low savings, over-indebtedness and youth bankruptcy.
“This is where Belanjawanku comes into the picture as it serves as a guide for individual’s financial planning and debt management, in addition to recommending the amount of savings for future use and in unprecedented events,”
said Prof. Datuk Dr Norma.
Developed by EPF’s in-house team in August 2022, the app contains interactive features for users to track their expenses online. As of May 2023, the Belanjawanku App has recorded almost 12,000 downloads.
Meanwhile, the Belanjawanku Guide, which was first introduced in 2019 for Klang Valley residents, has been expanded to cover another 11 major cities across the country.
The Belanjawanku Expenditure Guide for Malaysian Individuals and Families 2022/2023 details out minimum expenses by household category (single, family or seniors) and provides recommendations on expenses allocation for necessities, optional spendings, and personal savings.
With both these options, users can opt to use either the Belanjawanku Guide or the “Rule of Thumb” to monitor monthly expenses.
The rule of thumb for allocating one’s budget according to the 45/35/20 rule would be 45% for necessities, 35% for commitments and 20% for savings.
EPF Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir said,
“According to the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2019-2023, developed by the Financial Education Network (FEN), of which the EPF is a member, a total of 76% of Malaysians have a budget, but not all adhere to the budget.
The data also shows that 47% find it difficult to set aside RM1,000 for emergency use. These data suggest the need for Malaysians to improve financial literacy as one of the prerequisites to strengthen their financial and future retirement wellbeing.”
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 the Social Wellbeing Research Centre of Universiti Malaya (SWRC).
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.
Prof. Datuk Dr Norma added that policymakers can also use Belanjawanku as an indicator or benchmark in addressing the issues of cost of living, purchasing power parity, and poverty alleviation to ensure social inclusion among Malaysians.