PETALING JAYA: Private sector employees have scoffed at an EPF figure of RM1,930 as being the minimum monthly expenditure needed to lead a “meaningful and sustainable life” for a single person without a car in the Klang Valley.
They said the amount is only enough for living at “survival” level.
Released last Tuesday, the EPF Belanjawanku guide states a RM1,930 budget that even includes monthly savings of RM250, besides expenditure for rental, medical needs, transport, utilities, personal care, social participation and discretionary expenses.
According to the guide, a single person without a car in the Klang Valley is estimated to spend RM610 a month on food, RM370 on room rent, RM30 on healthcare, RM140 on transport, RM90 on utilities, RM70 on personal care, RM90 on ad hoc expenses and RM150 on social participation, with a personal saving of RM250.
However, private sector employee Fatah Suhaimi said there were no fixed prices for expenses such as room rent and transport.
Fatah, who works in Taman Tun Dr Ismail but resides in Cheras, said his minimum monthly expenditure was RM2,300.
“My room rent is around RM400 per month. If I want to find a room near my workplace, the cheapest would be RM600 to RM700 per month,” he told FMT.
He said although he used public transport, the expenses could be as much as a monthly car loan payment, if not more, as his rented room and workplace are not located near a rail transit station.
“I have to use e-hailing services or taxis from home to the station and from the station to the workplace, which costs around RM32 per day,” he said.
Another private sector worker, Nur Asyiha Ariffin, said the cheapest rent for a “comfortable and safe” room in the Klang Valley was between RM400 to RM600 a month.
Eating out could easily cost at least RM20 a day or more as some eateries charge RM20 for a meal. While those using public transport could save money, prices fluctuate depending on the mode of transport used.
“Living in the Klang Valley with RM1,930 is only enough for survival. Saving is not possible,” she said.
Ammar Farham Shukar Nor, who works for a private company in Cyberjaya, said those who could use the LRT and MRT to commute to work were “fortunate” as there was a RM50 monthly pass for the services.
Nevelin Majil, who works in the media industry, said the EPF’s RM1,930 estimated monthly expenditure was sufficient but only if landlords did not increase monthly rent rates and if the home and office were located near LRT or MRT stations.
The Belanjawanku guide includes minimum living costs for various sizes of households in capital cities. The highest minimum is in the Klang Valley while the lowest is Alor Setar in all the categories which are differentiated by those with cars or using public transport.
The guide was carried out in collaboration with the Social Wellbeing Research Centre of Universiti Malaya to provide estimates of minimum monthly expenditures on various types of goods and services for different households.