The low average starting pay of fresh graduates, increasing house prices and rising cost of living are issues we at R.AGE have written about quite a bit over the years. It really is nothing new.
So why is it that Gen-Y kids in Malaysia are constantly getting flak for having it too easy?
In light of the recent hike in fuel prices, we decided to let our followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have THEIR say.
We asked them how they felt about the #PetrolPriceHike, and in true Gen-Y fashion, they responded positively, confidently and with lots of random #troll answers …
It was bound to happen anyway, sooner or later. I guess everyone just has to learn how to adjust. I’m still studying & I don’t really use a car. Probably when I start working it’ll rise again so I’ll have to manage my money
Cost of living going up. Sigh. Will probably have to live with my parents until I’m 30 😛 #RAGEchat
Not surprised it happened. Was within expectation. Instead of complaining, be grateful cars are affordable here. #PetrolPriceHike — @thedajches
People are complaining everywhere. But will it change the fact? Let’s just look on the bright side of things. More people may opt to go for bikes to travel short distances. Might not be significant, but hey, every little helps 🙂 — @MAshEd154
Use the inefficient bus system lorh — @lawedges
Stop whining and work hard to get a promotion. — @yuukuzuri
Move closer to your college or your work place. This will save you a lot in a long run.
University students like us who drive to our hometowns every weekend will have to cut down daily spending. — @Super_dyyy
The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association’s immediate past president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said Malaysian youth should focus on buying a house first, rather than a car. Here’s the response we got on Facebook:
Agree that owning a car should not be a main priority – but it’s also true that buying a house is beyond our means. — Tang Ruxyn
Nowadays, employers will ask whether we own a car during job interviews. And sometimes, without our own transport, certain job applications get rejected. We need to move around, especially for emergencies and important matters. That’s why fresh grads and youngsters choose to buy cars first compared to other necessities. — Innoue Lars
(A house is) definitely beyond most fresh graduates’ means, most of whom will only get around RM2,000 and RM2,500 as their starting pay. — Timothy Philipp Gan
Yes, it is a great thing for youths to own their own house but how are we supposed to afford it? Unless the public transport system is improved by leaps and bounds, owning a car will always be the top priority for every young working Malaysian. — Rachel Khoo
Improve the public transportation in the country first then we’ll talk about investing in a house before a car. There’s no way we’re going to travel around with inefficient public transportation that only serves the hot spots.
For me personally, a house is in the pipelines. But only when I hit 29/30. After getting a car, settling down on a stable job, etc… — Jonathan Lim
Time to save
Independent financial planner Yap Ming Hui believes young Malaysians need to start saving up now, because it won’t be long before they start feeling the pinch caused by the petrol price hike.
Yap said young Malaysians will definitely be affected, especially in urban areas where transport is a necessity.
“The risk of inflation is very real. The impact won’t just be on petrol – everything will be affected. There will be inflation across the board,” said Yap, who believes the knock-on effect will be felt almost immediately.
According to Yap, young Malaysians these days are too focused on their lifestyles. Many of them can actually earn a lot, but they spend a lot as well.
“Young people these days have a lot of expenses that I never had in my day – data plans, gym memberships, expensive coffee, etc. I would suggest they start reviewing their spending habits and ask themselves – how much of it is truly essential?
“If you really need to exercise, do what I do and go to the park! I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but this is the reality of the situation. Fresh graduates now only earn around RM3,000. After all the various deductions, you would probably have just enough for food, and to pay the bills.”
What young people have to do, said Yap, is force themselves to save money and learn how to invest early.
“When I say ‘force’, I really mean force. A lot of young people say they can’t save while they’re earning RM3,000 a month, so they’ll start doing it only when they’re earning say RM10,000. But that will never happen!
“I’ve seen it all. I have met people who earn RM100,000 a month but don’t have any savings. They never entered that ‘investment mode’, and young people need to get into that mode early – no matter how tough it is,” he said.
Yap admits that investing in a house is not an option for most young Malaysians now, so he recommends they invest in unit trusts instead.
“They can’t afford houses, and it’s hard to understand the share market. So invest in unit trusts. It is diversified, not so volatile and professionally managed. It’s a good starting point.
“And don’t think too much about making a profit at first. It’s about learning to invest. If you are looking for a quick buck, chances are you’ll get burned. Take it step-by-step. Force yourself to save, and learn to invest it,” he said.