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KUALA LUMPUR, 14 March 2017:
Civil servants must have heaved a huge sigh of relief when their salaries were credited into their bank accounts on Feb 23 – a good 35 days after getting their January pay.
But after the October wage is paid on Oct 11, civil servants will have to brace themselves for a long wait – 42 days to be exact – before their subsequent salaries are paid on Nov 23.
The gap between the June and July paydays is also relatively long, at 40 days.
More bearable are the 33-day and 32-day gaps between the March (23) and April (25) paydays and the August (24) and September (25) paydays respectively.
Public service employees are usually paid on the 25th of each month but payday is brought forward in the months when a festival is due for celebration.
Hence, salaries for January were paid on the 19th – a week earlier than usual – in conjunction with Chinese New Year and soon after that, Thaipusam.
February wages came after an interval of 35 days, five days longer than the usual 30-day duration before the next salary is due. It would not have been too surprising if many civil servants had to tighten belts last month.
This year, civil service salaries are being paid in advance three times – in January (Chinese New Year), June (Hari Raya Aidilfitri) and October (Deepavali).
The remuneration for June is expected to be paid on June 15, that is, 10 days ahead of the scheduled payday. For October, salaries are expected to be in by Oct 11, or 14 days earlier than the due date.
For the months of February, March, August, November and December, salaries will be paid a few days before the 25th.
This is because if the 25th falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, wages will be paid on the Thursday closest to the date (salaries for civil servants are only credited into their accounts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday).
Granted, getting paid early is welcome when we have a festival to celebrate as the money will come in handy, but bear in mind when the next payday is going to be.
This is crucial as civil servants have to manage finances well so that, hopefully, none will have to resort to visiting the pawnshop or eating instant noodles until payday.
There are various measures one can take to ensure one’s finances remain stable. Here are three relatively easy ways to ensure that you never run out of money – spend prudently, put some money aside as savings and seek additional sources of income.
Prudent spending, particularly in respect of the months when salaries are paid in advance, means spending as you would normally do and refraining from touching any of that “extra” money that has come into your bank account in the middle of the month.
In fact, some people also suggest the money be transferred to another account to avoid the possibility of it being withdrawn “accidentally”.
However, this may be easier said than done, more so during a festival when one has to spend on preparations for the celebrations and transportation back to the hometown or kampung. Then, there are those “angpows” to hand out.
It is for this precise reason that people are encouraged to save some money every month. Muslims will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri in about three months’ time and now is a good time for them to start saving for the festival.
They must also make sure they do not spend unnecessarily when shopping for Hari Raya because their religion forbids them from doing so.
Unfortunately, the rising prices of essential goods can make it difficult for some people to save money. The prices of fish and vegetables at wholesale markets keep increasing, and there seems to be no sign of petrol prices going down.
In the world today, there are many ways to generate an extra income. All you have to do is choose which one you like.
Those with an inclination for business can choose to do it in the conventional way or take it online. If you do not have your own product to sell, then you can opt for drop-shipping, which is gaining popularity these days. (Drop-shipping means providing goods by direct delivery from the manufacturer to the retailer or customer.)
Many women employees are supplementing their income by selling home-made cakes and meals for lunch. There are also many women selling cosmetics, health products and kitchen essentials.
Then, there are those who become part-time tutors, tuition teachers, translators and tailors to earn some extra money. And, not forgetting ride-hailing applications like Uber and Grabcar that have received good response from people who use their cars to ferry passengers for a fee.
In the final analysis, every civil servant should understand it is for their convenience that their salaries are made available to them earlier during the festive season. But it is entirely up to them to manage their finances well until they get their next paycheck.