It is a life skill to be financially literate, so that you may make sound financial decisions, and also save up for retirement. Many Malaysians believe that they are managing their finances well, but it turns out this isn’t the case.

RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey 2019

In this years edition of the RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey 2019, in partnership with Visa, found some rather staggering results. It turns out that close to 70 percent of survey respondents indicated that they are in control of their finances. However, 53 percent of the participants admit that they are not able to survive more than 3 months on their savings, if they lose their job.

On top of that, 43 percent of Malaysians don’t save part of their monthly income, and may even spend more than they make. Compared to the previous survey, this is a 10 percent jump, which is rather worrying. Meanwhile, 37.1 percent of those who earn less than RM 2,000 (B40) do not save at all. 89 percent of all respondents say that EPF savings is not sufficient for retirement, and despite this, 34 percent of the respondents do not have a retirement plan.

Out of over 8,000 responses gathered throughout the survey, only 32.4 percent know the importance of a credit score, and the need to check it regularly. For some context, a credit score is a statistical number that evaluate a persons creditworthiness and is based on credit history (whether you pay your bills / debts on time). Banks and lenders use credit scores to evaluate  the probability that an individual will repay their debts. From the aforementioned explanation, it is clear that credit scores are important, especially when it comes to obtaining a loan.

The Reality

The survey makes it clear that there are gaps in the financial literacy of many Malaysians, which need to be addressed. It is time for Malaysians to take action, and get their personal finances in check. Their are many ways to learn proper financial management, from education websites such as RinggitPlus, to government bodies like Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK). If you would like to view the complete results of the RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey 2019, head over here.