Personal finance is so… so… BROAD, isn’t it? We come from all kinds of backgrounds and have all types of interests and go through all sorts of life circumstances.
Looking for specific answers can be tough. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know – not even the search term for it.
Reddit has been suggested as a resource page before, but the sheer amount of information can be enough for some people to go, “nope” and close the tab.
That’s a shame, because one of the best ways to learn about personal finance is to learn from the Reddit community.
Even though r/PersonalFinance has many members and contributors, it’s not really recommended for Malaysians as many topics are specific to the US crowd.
The r/MalaysianPF community, on the other hand, would be great if it wasn’t, um, so “dead”.
The most useful information gets the most upvotes – so you get to save time by reading only the “best of the best” as determined by personal finance subreddit community members themselves.
Personal finance subreddits and what they’re for
1. r/BikeCommuting. Tips for people who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. Great for those contemplating buying a bicycle to get to work/school/shops and reduce transportation costs. Plenty of bicycle recommendations.
2. r/BudgetFood, r/EatCheapAndHealthy, r/CheapMeals, r/MealPrepSunday, r/SlowCooking. Subs compiling recipes for meals that don’t cost a lot of money. Not much on Asian meals, but helpful for food combination ideas.
Combine with meal-prepping and bring food to work – cook in bulk to save money as well as time. The slow-cooking sub uses slow cookers, but you can easily adjust for rice cookers, something most of us already have.
3. r/BuyItForLife. Recommendations for high-quality products. In the context of this sub, high-quality doesn’t mean expensive. The idea is to buy things that last a long time, so you save money and time looking for replacements.
Ranges from clothes, tools, furniture and more. Many of the products are hard to find in Malaysia, but you get to learn what makes it good quality.
4. r/DIY and r/SomethingIMade. A place where people post DIY projects and ideas, with slight humble bragging. It’s great to browse through if you like arts and crafts and/or are handy with tools.
Some people practice leatherwork, woodwork, metalwork and more, get really good at it, and turned it into a side business.
5. r/Entrepreneur. A great mix of tips, inspirational posts, guides, business ideas, business growth ideas, and more.
6. r/FinancialIndependence. For those who want to get out of the rat race and get back to the most precious thing – control of their time. Great if you ever dream of early retirement (who hasn’t), and are ready to make specific steps and yes, sacrifices towards it. They share strategies to achieve the lifestyle that you want.
7. r/Flipping. Flipping is when people search for low-priced items (via clearances, thrift-shopping) with the intention to re-sell it for profit. An interesting way to generate some side income.
8. r/Frugal. Master sub for getting the most value for your money. Great resources and sharing by community members. Highly recommended.
9. r/FrugalBeauty. When you want to look good but hate that some companies charge way too much for essentially a few cents’ worth of chemicals.
10. r/Gardening, r/Hydroponics, r/Aquaponics. The gardening sub is full of pictures of members’ gardens, ranging from full-on farms to tiny balcony plants.
Best for those with a green thumb. If you’re not as great, check out hydroponics (growing plants with water). Aquaponics is a system to grow plants and keep fish at the same time.
11. r/Minimalism. Tips and ideas to reject the consumerist culture and achieve the clutter-free life, which helps you focus on more important things like your passions and loved ones.
12. r/Shoestring, r/OneBag and r/Backpacking. Tips to travel on a very low budget, including where to go, flight hacks and much more.
The Onebag community is interesting – they’re all about maximising things you bring on your travels so you never have to bring excess items ever again.
13. r/TinyHouses. Part of the small house movement, where they view big houses as wasteful because it encourages unnecessary spending. It’s true – the more space you have, the more maintenance you’ll have, the more furniture you have to buy and generally the more space you feel you need to fill.
14. r/VanDwellers. A sub for those who live and travel in vans, cars and other types of automobiles. It’s perfect for those who like the idea of travelling to beautiful destinations while always having accommodation with them.
15. r/Vegetarian. One of the best ways to quickly cut back on spending is to cut back on meat. This sub makes it fun to try out new recipes. It’s also funny to see how white people get overly excited over tofu and tempeh.
16. r/ZeroWaste. An environmentally-conscious sub that promotes buying in bulk and bringing your own water bottle, among others. And save money at the same time. It’s amazing how little trash some of them generate.
Tips to make the best of these personal finance subreddits
Step 1: Don’t worry about reading ALL of them. Let your own interests guide you. Pick a sub that sounds the most interesting, then click on the link.
Step 2: You’re automatically in the “Hot” section in the subreddits. That means there are some conversations going on at the time. Browse through them.
Step 3: If you want to read the top posts of the sub, which is highly recommend, click on “Top”. A good place to start if you just want to read the best parts.
Step 4: Rinse and repeat for the other subs you find interesting. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll learn something new in each of them.
Step 5: Set-up a Reddit account. Now you can also upvote, make new posts and reply comments.
Step 6: Help contribute your own personal experiences to r/MalaysianPF and help make it less “dead”.
This article first appeared in ringgitohringgit.com
Suraya is a corporate writer-for-hire and the blogger behind personal finance website Ringgit Oh Ringgit. She is more of a minimalist, less of a consumerist, a konon DIY enthusiast, a let’s-support-small-businesses-over-big-corporations kinda girl. Prior to her current role, she worked in various capacities within the non-profit industry.