Here’s how this ordinary green note can make your day a little extraordinary.
An RM5 note used to take us quite far – we could score things like 10 days’ worth of nasi lemak from the school canteen and a few hours of internet browsing at the cyber cafe. That is no longer the case though. The value of money has decreased quite a bit since our school-going days. Today, even the minimum hourly car park rate in the city centre costs RM5!
Before you bemoan the fact that today’s RM5 will soon be the new 50 cents in a couple of years, there is actually a tonne of stuff (and experiences) that RM5 can buy you.
Unlike what is glorified by social media, happiness does not always lie in a fancy getaway where you post photos of your bikini body or designer cocktails on a Friday night. While these luxuries may help take the edge off during a stressful day or week, they could cause a huge dent in your wallet as well.
Instead, why not explore other pick-me-ups which cost RM5 or less?
Sounds too good to be true? Give these suggestions a shot:
1. Have a hearty (cheap) lunch of economy rice
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but lunch keeps us going with the energy needed to get through the rest of the day. Economy rice, or better known as ‘nasi campur’ and ‘chap fan’, is a typical Malaysian lunch favourite due to its endless options and reasonable price. RM5 will get you a plate of rice with a fish or chicken dish, along with a green veggie or two.
Look around for stalls which take extra care in healthy food preparation, they do not necessarily have to be more expensive!
If you are the sort who must have your daily dose of nasi lemak, this works too! Just add an extra egg or throw in some kangkung to make your meal more wholesome. Rice is not always the enemy – in fact, it is a source of safe starch which is good for our body. It is also gluten-free and helps stabilize your blood sugar. Just remember to eat it in moderation and you will be fine.
2. Visit Muzium Negara
Judging by the number of shopping malls that we have across the city, museums and art galleries are not very popular amongst us Malaysians. Perhaps it is time to change that and pay our Muzium Negara a visit. The entrance fee is only RM5 which is much lower than the parking rate at our favourite mall.
A museum visit and a break from window shopping will help open up our minds and teach us something new. Muzium Negara also holds special exhibitions and events on a regular basis, all which you can attend at no extra charge.
You can check out their official website to see what is currently on their event calendar.
3. Treat yourself with a sheet mask
Applying a sheet mask daily or a few times a week is a beauty trend that started off in South Korea. Our Asian neighbours use these masks as a complement to their skincare routine. For beauty noobs out there, a sheet mask is basically a fabric mask fully soaked with concentrated serums that contain beneficial ingredients to rejuvenate the skin, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins. Contrary to popular belief, it is not very expensive. You can find a single pack of sheet mask from as low as RM3 at any Watsons or Guardian store.
You can’t go wrong with moisturising – them Koreans are onto something.
The sheet prevents quick evaporation of moisture and extends the time frame required for the ingredients to penetrate deep into the skin. This is why a sheet mask is a better option compared to the regular serum used in skincare. On top of that, the whole process of using the sheet mask is very relaxing. The most important thing is to find one that suits your skin type. Lay it onto your face, turn on some spa-esque music, settle down on a comfy armchair and tilt your head back. All it takes is about 15 to 25 minutes and your skin will feel as good as new!
4. Buy a song on iTunes
A song on iTunes typically cost around RM3.90. Unlike streaming (both on iOS and Android), purchasing a song will let you play it across different devices like your phone, tablet and PC without any monthly fees and internet connection. Not only does music has the power to soothe your soul, it is the perfect balm when you are feeling stressed at work or are out of sorts over a personal issue.
On days, where you’re in Sandra Oh’s shoes, you know what to do, take a deep breath and slip your headphones on.
Music’s ability to be an immediate stress reliever is proven by a research done by Robert Zatorre and Valorie Salimpoor through brain-scanning technology that shows how multiple parts of the brain light up when someone listens to music – simply put, music makes our brains sing!
5. Get a potted plant from Ikea
It is completely fine if you are not a pet person. There is another way to bring a living object into your quiet home. Start with a small potted plant that can be placed next to the window of your bedroom. Adding plants to your living environment is known to benefit both your physical and mental state, as they help clear the air of toxic chemicals and are great for reducing stress.
Plants like golden pothos remove chemicals such as benzene and trichloromethyl from the air and the best part is, it is very hard to kill, which makes it perfect for a novice plant owner. They don’t break the bank either; IKEA has a selection of potted plants that start from as low as RM3.30 depending on sizes.
There is one other impactful thing you can do and it is as easy as ABC:
Help build a home for the Orang Asli Community
You read that right, you can do your part in housing this sidelined community by crafting a simple message. All you have to do is to visit this website, write us a message telling us what makes Malaysia your home and click submit.
In return, iProperty.com.my will donate RM5 in your name to Epic Homes, an initiative project that builds relationships through the act of building homes for rural Orang Asli communities.
Nothing feels as good as contributing to a good cause and knowing that your RM5 will help make a difference for this overlooked community. Embrace that #SayangiMalaysiaku spirit and drop us your Merdeka message today!
Edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt