The RM10 Challenge – Surviving on Thin Air in Kuala Lumpur

Armed with just RM10, we sought to answer a tricky question: Could one survive a workday in the Klang Valley with only this much money?

It gives a whole new meaning to the Bahasa Malaysia saying, ‘makan angin’. We asked ourselves this question a week back and for an article on Yahoo, we attempted to survive in Kuala Lumpur with RM10. What we discovered was that it was beyond tough! The article has gotten the attention of many Malaysians: many saying it wasn’t possible and some saying it was but you would really need to tighten your belt.

Could you live on such a budget?

The Challenge Basics

Our writer was given RM10 to survive a work day. His commute wasn’t too far out of town (Kuala Lumpur to Petaling Jaya and back) and he only needed to survive the workday (no outings with friends!) where he was at an office that provided water and basic beverages such as coffee and tea. Admittedly, not everyone has such amenities in the office but we reckon if you truly had to survive on RM10 a day; you must cut corners.

The cheapest mode of transportation for his route was the bus service. A single journey from Kuala Lumpur to Petaling Jaya costs RM2.50. For two ways, it was RM5. That left our thrifty journo with only RM5 left to get through the day. He opted to skip breakfast for a good lunch at an economy rice stall which cost him RM4. With only RM1 left in his pocket, he was forced to go home and eat a pack of instant noodles for dinner.

As you can see, there isn’t very much to go on. With RM10, he had just enough to eat a few meagre meals and get to work. What meal could one possibly get with RM1 left for dinner? There was no extra for a good coffee, a prepaid reload or really anything else!

Readers Respond!  

The article on Yahoo! received some interesting suggestions. Armed with this we created a few possible scenarios in the infographic above on how one could survive in KL with RM10. The last one, we admit is a little extreme.

Some thought provoking responses include the following:

Simple, bring lunch to work. why must it be a rule that one needs to go out and have a meal? I bring sandwiches for lunch everyday that cost less than $1, drink coffee that is provided by the company ~ KelvinC

For all the the people that say that sandwiches and coffee are the solution, yes is good, but do it every day is not viable; the point of this article is for everybody to have a decent life, this include a variety and decent meals, entertainment, holidays, etc. and with rm10 a day is not possible at all... ~ Rud

Its all relative. There are people living in KL for RM1-2 per day. Is it a great life? No. Of course they are miserable. But others, spending RM1000 a day will also complain and whine and say they cant survive. Its not fair to ask if one can survive on any amount because yes they can survive on any amount. If just a matter of how they view the word surviving. ~ Whats Next

CANNOT lunch already minimum 5 to 6 RM...breakfast...RM3.80..just tehtarik roti kosong....habissssss.....bus..LRT..TRen....makan malam..kalau nak minum petang....minum air paip je....belum kira parking motor Rm1...kereta lagi lah..berbelas ringgit.. ~ Jaydee

Many readers also suggested home-cooked food. Next week, we’ll try out the home-cooking method to see if this really does save money, especially for single person households where bulk buying of produce doesn’t always equate savings.

The Verdict

The challenge was all in good fun but the results provide a grim picture. If ‘survive’ is taken as the operative word that may be just what you will be doing on RM10 a day: barely surviving and not very well! Of course, there will always be variables. A person who lives really close to work could choose to walk or cycle and save on the commute costs. A person living really far away will need to spend more than RM10 on transport alone! And you won’t be getting all the nutrition you need if you choose to live this way.

To break it down; you will be just surviving, not living. The sad reality is that if you do a little math, RM10 a day is not a small sum (it’s RM300 – RM310 per month) to a minimum wage worker who earns RM900 – RM1200 a month.  Imagine living like this every day. You won’t be getting the nutrition you need, will be exhausted from the public transport haul and you won’t have enough for rent or utilities. Let’s not even talk about recreation or any kind of social life.

The challenge, for us, definitely opened up more depressing realities than we thought it would. How did we get here? To the point where the minimum wage equates almost poverty? And even worse, whilst we have the opportunity to debate whether or not RM10 is enough – there are those (those earning minimum wage) who don’t have a choice.

Now there’s some food for thought.


Agree or disagree with this post? Questions? You also have your word!

  • Noneabove

    SOrry but your assessment are generally wrong. Let me correct u here.. Mee goreng is rm4.50 , Breakfast mee bungkus is RM1.50 (at least). Ur teh tarik is RM1.8-2. Ur Nescafe is RM2.0 -2.6 (Which u failed to include for your lunch and dinner set) . LRT PJ-KL (include pergi balik). Depending where u actually go. UR feeder/shuttle bus-RM1-2 PER-TRIP. Finally, Your healthy balance diet is PRICELESS. All above will only shorter your lifespan.

    • RinggitPlus

      Hi, thank you for your feedback. As the next commenter posted we did add a disclaimer about nutrition. Also, the prices we quoted are genuinely what we came across near our writer's office and home. Of course this will vary from area to area and shop to shop.

      Whilst it may seem like we are attempting to recommend you live this way: we are not. The harsh reality is that some people DO live on even less than RM10 a day. Yes, their nutritional intake and comfort suffers but until someone does something about wages or buying power: the lower income group has no choice.

      • zen

        wow....i would be be very grateful if i could get a nasi lemak or bihun kosong bungkus at RM 1......the cheapest is RM 1.50 here.....Shah Alam.....

        • Amin

          That's happening here in Puchong. Almost all the stall by the road side selling nasi lemak kosong at RM1

          • noss

            Get nasi Lemak here at Pantai Dalam for RM1. But they open late afternoon. Dono Where to find nasi lemak RM1 for breakfast.....

        • belinda

          in the long run with survival on these kind of food you will end up in hospital more likely.The prices which are indicated on are actually should be higher in the present situation.

          • eddie

            price of food varies location to location, and depends on one's choice of food. eat and live like a typical foreign worker in KL is possible. Can a person survive on RM 10? yes. Can a person survive LONG enough to see their own grandchildren, while on a RM 10 budget in KL... well, if someone manage to pull that one off, without condoning to whatsoever crime (doing and not getting caught is not defined as non-crime), I like to know that person and how he/she pulled it off.

            • haniza

              I would like to know that too.

            • kash

              Yea right.. bt it'll be cheap if you go to stall

              • Tan soo lin

                u should be replacing your drinks with air som, right ? to cut cost
                Write your comment...

                • What about the drinks? You need to drink at least 3 times a day. And where the budget for entrance to toiler too?

                  • isaac

                    I would like to know which workplace are you staying at that charges you to go to the toilet. =/

                  • zzc

                    public transport is never on time
                    the food shown can kill - i know that someone at 28 years died due to eating instant noodle daily
                    totally unrealistic scenario

                    • sdagadrfgh

                      Walk to work < good exercise too to keep you at the pink of health (find work near your home), eat pantry food, McD lunch set RM5.95, eat at home = RM5.95 per day... including a bit of taxes


                        Breakfast : Office-Tea & biscuits
                        Lunch: Decent lunch from ecomic rice shop/home food
                        Dinner: Bread & fruit

                        You will survive-get smart

                      • Yojimbo

                        In reply to the comment above, I think you've missed quite a bit of the part where it says "you won't get the nutrition you need, will be exhausted from the public transport haul...". I think you missed the point of this article. It asks the question, "can you survive with 10 ringgit a day?" and they found out the answer is "no".

                        • KELVIN

                          RM10 to survive a work day, joker only say like that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
                          morning breakfast will cost about RM2 for mee goreng . For lunch we can eat RM 2 nasi lemak. For dinner we can go to get free dinner from kitchen soup. For travel we walk so is free of charge . total is only RM2+RM2=RM4$ for a whole day . less than RM 5

                          IF you want challenging one we can also try this for morning we can drink a cup of Milo or coffee from your company as it is free . for lunch we can drink 3cup of Milo or coffee from your company as it is free too.For dinner we can go to get free dinner from kitchen soup and for travel we walk so is free of charge so total for a day is RM0 so why u said RM 10 is so difficult to live in kl and about the lower income group has no choice???????
                          You can try this, i am sure that you can save a lot of money .

                          Some company in kl give breakfast, lunch, and dinner,transport to work and a place to live for free so is also RM0 .

                          Please don't say Your healthy balance diet is PRICELESS. All above will only shorter your lifespan.the lower income group has no choice.can you survive with 10 ringgit a day?" and they found out the answer is "no".

                          For me i can sure to say you can live in kl for RM 0 a day. why not.

                          • Zack

                            Try doing that everyday. And imagine yourself like the others who have to take lrt or bus to work. Eg: Kajang to KL.

                            • quasimodo

                              its easy to say than do bro.....think of this can u survive for the rest of ur life like that?rm0 impossible and crazy.... here let me educate u. first of all..mornings especially morning u need really heavy foods for u to survive the whole day if u can. so will need to take nasi goreng and coffee. rm3-rm4. afternoon u can skip. but ur tummy will plead u. so take 2 sets of roti bakar + milo. rm3. already rm7. dinner again u can have either bread or capati. rm3. so there u have it. rm10. but dude sometimes we crave for something else coz its boring to have a same meal every day. the fact that our body need nutrition. so where to get calcium?protein, magnesium and others? fish and meat?when to get those?c'mon...i'm sure on saturdays and sundays u will try to find rm10 for weekdays...rm240 a month. weekends can cook urself. let say rm8, times 4 rm32. grand total a month is rm272. so max is rm300. now thats only on foods. so minimum wage rm900. balance is rm600. others like rent, gas, transportation...really challenging...

                              • kristine

                                I definitely agree with that...

                                • Nila Meras


                                • Tan Soo Lin

                                  Talk is also free. U are talking nonsense which is even better Write your comment...

                                  • Lehmin

                                    This is the dumbest opinion i have ever read! Do you think milo/coffee is enough for a balanced nutrition?!

                                    • Paul

                                      Lehmin, you think the McD, KFC and Nandos you chomp in is nutritious for you bro? You get more disease in the long run man.

                                      Plus, one more thing, what Kelvin just said is indeed possible. well don't go to the extreme on spending RM0 everyday! that's stupidity at its best. At some days, spend RM0, at some days, RM5 and some days RM10... Take and average and you'll be spending a ballpark figure of about RM5 per say after averaging out your spending. A person who can't afford and spends RM20 everyday is a fool (disclaimer: if this is out of his affordability)

                                • Fara

                                  I'm still an IPT student and i can live with less than RM 10 a day , for breakfast, it cost RM 1.40 for nasi lemak + RM0 for plain water , for lunch food cost around RM 3-4 +RM 0 (plain water), while dinner food cost around RM 3-4, with less than RM 10 , I still get all the nutrients that i need daily, i cycle daily to IPT ( around 5km) so it saves my budget

                                  • Linda

                                    Sorry Fara, don't agree with you on 'I still get all the nutrients that I need daily'. With nasi lemak & Rm3-4+ for lunch & dinner, you're far from minimum requirements of good quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables needed everyday. The kind of meals you're taking probably only gives you refined, processed carbohydrates which is bad for health.
                                    Yes you can SURVIVE with Rm10/day in KL but at the expense of your health and wellbeing

                                    • Anonymous

                                      Dear Fara, apparently you were buying food in IPT's canteen and you are way of the topic here. The issue is working in KL with just $10.

                                      • unknown

                                        And then what about all the other hidden cost for living in the long term? The utilities of your hostels? The phone bill? Other amenities like toilet papers, and things? And what when your bicycle brokedown? Seriously, don't tell others that you are an ipt student. Such a disgrace.

                                        • Amin

                                          Wait till you start working.....

                                          • curious

                                            Are you live in kl?

                                            • zzc

                                              if ur food comes from the uni it is subsidized.......

                                            • The Net Surfer

                                              RM900 to RM1200? I can't believe there is still exist of this working group. Do not count on the foreign Bangla or Indo, majority of them live next to the work location which provided hostel by their employer.

                                              • Teh

                                                Please do not be so ignorant. There are in fact Malaysians that are in this working group. Ever wonder how much waiter/waitresses are paid? What about fast food restaurant workers? Cleaners? What about those supermarket cashiers? Supermarket sales person? These are only a few examples of jobs that are in the RM900 - RM1200 working group.

                                                • anti.douche

                                                  Not everyone is blessed with a high paying job like you. So, yes. Don't be so ignorant and be like "there's still people paid that much arr??"

                                                  • zzc

                                                    even then the hostel is just barely livable.....

                                                  • Syu

                                                    i had a chat with indonesian worker who work as a cleaner in my office with earning RM900/month.she do part time cleaning during weekend and guess what?her take home income per month is RM2500.she said only lazy people will live in poverty in malaysia.

                                                    • Tosyu

                                                      I chat with a young security guard about a month before the min wages rule take place. His pay is RM600 and for every three hours of OT he does at night, he gets RM0.20. To earn more he OT whenever he could. He's not lazy but he has no choice (unless of course someone educate him to find a better job).

                                                    • Nor

                                                      I drink beverages from office. Eat biscuit or eat bread from OFFICE, ... (U have to pay RM15 per person per mnth for pantry money) . Lunch cold water from pantry, buy lunch from 1 Malaysia café .. Rice+1 vegy+ 1 dish meat/fish=RM 4.50. Dinner, bread with fruit... Buy 1 loaf if bread for 5 days...

                                                      Next day, fasting. Ur food need to rest too. As muslim this is additional 'ibadah'.

                                                      • Nor

                                                        Ur stomach....

                                                        • KWG

                                                          Just might possible...

                                                          Rapid Bus U68 (Home to Interchange and back) RM 1.00 x 2 = RM 2.00
                                                          Rapid Bus T505 (Interchange to Office) RM 1.00 x 2 = RM 2.00
                                                          Breakfast (2 x Gardenia Delicia) RM 0.70 x 2 = RM 1.40
                                                          Lunch (2 x Gardenia Delicia) RM 0.70 x 2 = RM 1.40
                                                          Dinner (2 x Gardenia Delicia) RM 0.70 x 2 = RM 1.40
                                                          Total = RM 2.00+2.00+(1.40x3) = RM8.20
                                                          RM 1.80 for Balance

                                                          • Tokwg

                                                            I did this during uni. My parents got so scared they bought me other foods. Think about it I wouldn't want to get back to the life where there's no life. Along the way, I see my friends in Hong Kong sees their pricy water going down in price,good grade sushi can be half the price here. And i see how country protect their food supply chain, setting up real minimum wages, even allowance so no one will work without real pay. I end up asking why am I living here? Don't get me wrong, this is the perfect country to do business, you can made lots of mistakes and run an inefficient business and still earn, for obvious reasons.

                                                          • CalvinC

                                                            Instead of saying rm10 a day, Rm300 a month would be better i think. We are human beings, we need to compliment ourselves once in awhile. Who doesn't like to have an awesome meal once every month? Everyone does! Spending rm15/20 for a better meal today and cut down the day onwards and end of the month netting u of rm10 a day sounds more rational to me. Which will you prefer? being given rm10 a day or rm300 straight for the whole month. I personally would prefer being given rm300, that way i can spend my money however i want and what matters is that im nett with rm10 a day end of the month. If you were to conduct an experiment, i think this could be a better choice rather than limiting yourself with rm10 a day during working sessions.

                                                            I personally think that it will be rather impossible for most of the people to be achieve that because i know i cant. Most of the places i go are not within walking distance and no bus stops. Couldn't even find an economic stall that cost me below rm5 for 2 dishes near me. Yes mamak available but no nasik lemak bungkus. Eat wheat stuff everyday for lunch? I don't think i can do that for even 3days. The only way can i think of surviving with rm10 a day is by working in a restaurant where food is provided.

                                                            • Eddie

                                                              Makes a fair amount of sense, however a monthly type survey would mostly be beneficial for those among us who actually earn a monthly salary. There are also higher management who only get their salary once every quarterly, once every half-annually and once every annually. This particular survey reveals not everyone has the LUXURY of monthly income. There are many (perhaps too many (blue-collar type and a fair number of white-collar type also) ... statistics were never meant to be factually accurate or the particular government would have long been overthrown by emotional citizens) who live on a daily or a weekly wages; i.e. taxi drivers, hawkers, local construction workers (you know, a chinese baked in the sun on a construction site looks very much like a foreign worker - at least until they speak), logistic folks (truck drivers, lorry drivers, etc. get paid per load most of the time), fishermen, farmers, etc.

                                                              • desmond

                                                                I strongly believe that the so call monthly can be save today spend tomorrow which make up the 300.

                                                              • quasimodo

                                                                i agree with you. we r just human beings...easily get bored on something...and malaysia has plenty of restaurants, u have pasar malams, stalls, food advertisement...ull be crazy if u dont buy and eat those.

                                                              • Mahurenki

                                                                It is indeed difficult to live with RM 10 a day. Not all companies provide drinks/food. These days drinks cost more. One way is to buy instant oats, a big pack lasts quite long. Instant coffee is another option. Go vegetarian, rice costs lesser meatless and healthier too.

                                                                • eddie

                                                                  True, pure vegetarians, in general, easily outlive meat eaters by a long shot. However, doesn't really work for men. As men, we - don't have to like it but - we NEED cholestrol - its part of our testherone composition. zero cholestrol diet will result in higher brain-functions reductions and our lil' twin friends down there SHRINK - think eunuch. Fixing it later due to cholestrol deficiency is going to cost an arm and a leg, and a 'eat pill till you die' life. Might be workable for men planning for sex change or having absolutely no plans to have a family of their own biological genetics. Otherwise, its very much a womens' luxury over men ^_^;

                                                                • kelvin

                                                                  Live like this for a month and get diabetes

                                                                  • survivor

                                                                    Rm5 for 3 meals in kl is doable. Ofcourse its not going to taste good. Basically u need to start off the 1st day with a loaf of gardenia bread. 3 pcs for breakfast. Drinks?? Hello..drink plain water. Its healthier and most importantly its free. Another 3 or 4 pcs for lunch and chomp down as much as u want for dinner but if you are a true survivor, you will save a few pieces for tomorrow breakfast. Thats like rm3 for 1 whole day plus next day breakfast.

                                                                    So now u have rm7 for the remaining 2 meals in day 2. Reward urself with a pcs of roti canai.Basically you can forget about ordering any drinks watsoever. Bring ur own water tumbler. Feel shy to not order drinks?? Frown and cough abit and just point to them ur water tumbler. They will understand. Rm1.20 and best part is u get unlimited amt of dhal. Drink it like its soup. U need as much nourishment you can get and with such budget..dhals a great source for it.

                                                                    Rm5.80 left for dinner. Roti gardenia again la. U get to start the 3rd day with rm7.80 plus half loaf of gardenia roti. With this trick..the meals gets better as u go futher. U dont just survive but your life actually gets better and better. I eat good food everyday never tried this but logically it should work.

                                                                    • Harley Johnstone

                                                                      Cook rice, and eat with some freakin cucumbers and some chilli and kicap. All day all night. Less than a RM5 daily. Drink plain water. Go VEGAN.

                                                                      If it gets tougher than this, move to Kangar.

                                                                      • Emie

                                                                        Totally agree...Go Vegan and you will save a lots of money...:)

                                                                      • jasa

                                                                        RM 10 a day in KL.. huhu try live in Putrajaya where the bus fare is 50 cent per ride and you are living in quarters provided by the government.. just have lunch yesterday with a bowl of rice, half portion of fish, some veggies and a glass of nescaffe ice.. that cost me Rm10 already..

                                                                        • Srawakian

                                                                          live in Sarawak is much better than live in KL. i'm an IPT student. i can live with only RM5 per day or less than that (Rm 5 is actually quiet big amount for me per day. i actually only use rm3-rm4 per day for eating only). in the morning i drink plain Milo without sugar with bread which cost me less than Rm1. I dont really eat snacks because i'm on diet (only when i'm craving for it). for lunch, i eat a 1/2 cup of rice with vegetables and any protein i could find on the cafe which only cost me Rm2 to Rm2.50. for dinner i dont take rice while i substitute it with Milo/Coffee and crackers or bread which cost less than Rm1. and I ride motorcycle to class which is only took less than five minutes from campus and i only use rm10 for a week for the petrol.

                                                                          • coco

                                                                            I think Survival means the basic neccessities: Lodging, food, clothings. So use monthly budget / 30 days to know how much daily value.. In KL/PJ/urban dwellings, commuting to work/babysitter,etc, costs to include basic lifestyle costs include telephone/internet/cellph charges besides daily makan (not nasi lemak everyday, thats not real?), if its a young parent then his/her daily costs shd fairly include the kids / parent .. my oh my ... rm10 is impossible

                                                                            • desmond

                                                                              This research is based on single worker. Not family if I am not wrong.

                                                                            • yoyo

                                                                              I cooked nasi goreng for 10 meals and packed them separately and keep in freezer.. it cost only rm10. Just unfroze a portion for each lunch or dinner. Believe me its much healthier than cup noodles..

                                                                              • Zara

                                                                                Thank you for the RM10 challenge. In the Syariah Cour it has been a common calculation that it only cost RM10 a day to feed, clothe, house, educate and keep some aside for medical needs of a child after the parents have divorced. Divorce has been on the rise in Malaysia over the years, especially among the Muslims. As our society degenerates morally we are also degenerating physically by not eating healthily.
                                                                                It is most certainly time to reassess our living standard requirements versus our financial needs.

                                                                                • Selina

                                                                                  If you were to go on an extreme to walk to work, you will have to rent/buy somewhere nearer to your office. Is it worth it to pay a hefty amount on rent if you were to work in the city just to walk to work? The meal plans that was suggested has no nutritious value in them as well. To spend RM10 a day by eating instant noodles, breads and such, we are actually ruining our health by not having enough protein(meat) or fibre (vegetables). The suggestions given is too extreme.

                                                                                  I believe that living on RM10 a day is possible, but there got to be a healthier way to go around.

                                                                                  • ntah

                                                                                    Petrol - rm6 per day, motocycle - 120km, car will cost rm25 inc toll
                                                                                    Bfast - 2 half boiled eggs and sauseges, nescafe 3 in 1, free from pantry
                                                                                    Lunch - rm4 rice with meat and vegie + ribena cordial drink in pantry
                                                                                    Dinner - rm6-10

                                                                                    • carolina

                                                                                      Rm300 a month for daily expenses makes more sense. U can buy one whole month grocery item for ur daily breakfast lunch and dinner in less than rm150. Buying raw ingredients for daily usage is more cheaper and healthier than eating out. If u plan ur trip and ur meal wisely, u can live healthy and stress free at the end. Planning is key.

                                                                                      • Hamba Allah

                                                                                        If u think of buying meals everyday, rm10 is just not enough (even for food only, not including bus fare etc.).. i'm a single parent (with 2 children) living in KL, everyday i cook simple meals for my children, & bring some packs to d office, we have this 'breakfast sale' @ our office pantry for those who want to buy breakfast @ economic price (e.g. nasi lemak/beehoon/sandwiches @rm3/pax), so in this way i have my children fed/packed with healthy cooked meals & eventually make some 'side-income' daily..!

                                                                                        • topeng

                                                                                          That is for today....wait till next year and with GST....mati semua! betul betul makan angin.

                                                                                          • surviving KL

                                                                                            Groceries list for 5 days (buy in bulk promotion items for greater saving)
                                                                                            rice RM 2 (RM 25/10kg x 0.16kg/day=RM 0.40/day)
                                                                                            vege RM 2 (Go for carrot/ broccoli/cabbage that can last longer)
                                                                                            fruits RM 3.50 (Apple/banana /orange)
                                                                                            bread RM 2.50
                                                                                            protein RM 10 (RM 20/ 10 days -egg/chicken/Fish)
                                                                                            Anlene powdered milk RM 5 (1 serving 30g ) (RM 34/1kg x 0.030kg = RM 1.00/day)
                                                                                            other cooking ingredient RM 2.50/5days (RM 10/month-cooking oil,salt, soy souce, etc)
                                                                                            Total RM 27.5/5days

                                                                                            Transportation RM 4.50
                                                                                            Breakfast RM 0.00 (eat at home left over dinner)+ plain water
                                                                                            Lunch RM 2.20 ( 1 serving of fruit +2 slices of bread+1 serving milk)
                                                                                            dinner (2 serving) RM 3.30 (rice+vege+protein+other ingredients)

                                                                                            • commoner

                                                                                              I had lived like this for a few years in kl; working full time and studying part time, putting myself through college on a salary of RM 750nett ( minus EPF, socso, etc) . most money goes toward meeting education and transporatation needs- fees, travel, materials.Food like nasi lemak is a luxury then. Food ration for a work week is a long loaf of bread, and margarine and kaya which is to last for a month. That's RM3O for a month for breakfast and lunch, and sometimes OT in the office. Daily travelling using public transport is RM 8. Whatever remains goes to education. Lucky i was still staying at home so dinner and accomodation is still covered. Though where there us will, there's away- but doubt if I will ever be able to do this again.

                                                                                              • Reevan

                                                                                                At least,some people including my family are not rich.Please do decrease the prices on all items,food and vehicles.When I was 8-9 years old,I can get roti canai and air kosong for RM 1.00.Now,after 8 years,it's Rm2.00.Come on,don't you feel pity towards the non rich people?
                                                                                                The price of cars in Malaysia is the most expensive,comparing to other countries.Malaysia is an amazing country but everything is expensive.
                                                                                                I cant imagine how expensive everything has gone up.In fact,I think I'll have to beg for money in the future.
                                                                                                Please reduce the prices.I'm just a 16 year old boy,suffering from brain cancer,who wants happiness.

                                                                                                • Reevan

                                                                                                  What is nasi lemak?Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and "pandan" leaf commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish.A nasi lemak is served with nuts,an egg,anchovies,cucumbers and sambal.But these days,some restaurants serves with few anchovies(sometimes not cooked well),a small amount of rice,no nuts or cucumber.And they ask a very expensive price for that.

                                                                                                  • I pray that u get well soon, son. yes Malaysia is getting unbearable because of the prices.

                                                                                                  • Sid

                                                                                                    Wow.Macam macam jawapan.Near Medan Tengku,1 roti canai 1 glass of tea=Rm1.00.Brickfields,eat as much as you want,vegetarian food,RM4.00.Behind Federal Hotel,rice,veg,chicken RM4.00.Brickfields,2 capaties with dal RM2.00.Brickfields,rice,fry egg,egg sambal,veg RM3.00. Best drink in the world is WATER.You cannot go wrong.Oppisite Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka,chicken rice RM4.00.Let see. KTM from Subang Jaya to KL Sentral RM3.20 return.(I am sure you can make breakfast at home before going to work.If you can't,something is wrong with you).Lunch RM4.00.Dinner RM3.00. Opps total RM10.20. Huh.20 cents extra.Where did I go wrong?

                                                                                                    • Vijay

                                                                                                      (2 x Gardenia Delicia) RM 0.80 x 2 = RM 1.60- Updated Price

                                                                                                      • Vijay

                                                                                                        Updated price - roti cream

                                                                                                        • desmond

                                                                                                          The main point is budgeting. If the planning go well, you can save up some money in weekdays and spend more on weekend. ^^

                                                                                                          My extreme is 1 meal a day with a lot of plain water. Add in some bread and biscuits to fill my stomach as they are lasting with water to create expansion in the stomach.

                                                                                                          Live healthy if is affordable, survive when necessary. Experience get you better pay.

                                                                                                          • Pito Hui

                                                                                                            When one is really so poor that can only afford RM10 per day, there is always a way to do it more nutritionally.

                                                                                                            My suggestion for those that need to rely on that budget:
                                                                                                            1. For transportation, car pool, preferably with a colleague, compensate some money monthly as a return. Say you compensate RM60 per month, that'll cost you RM2 per day.
                                                                                                            2. For breakfast, I buy myself biscuits that cost about RM2.80 per pack that contains 7 smaller packs (45g per serving). Eat on pack of biscuits per day (RM0.40 each) and drink coffee or tea from company pantry. If free drinks not available, can replace with plain water brought from home. Making yourself oats as breakfast will cost roughly the same.
                                                                                                            3. For lunch, locate for vegetarian mix rice restaurant that sells at RM2.00 flat price per serving (rice+3 choice of vegetables) if possible, else try to get a plate of mixed rice with only 2 vegetable within RM4.00 from normal food stalls.
                                                                                                            4. For dinner, it's actually healthier to eat less heavy, so that your stomach can rest when you sleep. My recommendation is to cook yourself a big bowl of nutritious soup. My personal ingredient lists would be an omega egg (RM0.40), half a pack of enorki mushroom (RM0.50), one Ayamas hotdog (RM0.30), some strips of cabbage or any other cheap vegetable you find in stores (less than RM0.05), water and seasoning (less than RM0.05). You'll get balanced nutrition with just roughly RM1.30.

                                                                                                            Daily total: RM2.00 + RM0.40 + RM4.00 + RM1.30 = RM7.70

                                                                                                            The daily total spending will only be RM7.70, leaving you with RM2.30 extra to be accumulated to spend on other areas. The above living methods might be boring and pathetic, but when one doesn't have a choice, they can only try to make the most out of what they have. I've been through times when my daily budget was only RM5.00 per day for food, and use bicycle to get to places. I experienced myself the adverse effect of lack of nutrition on my health. That's the reason I made some adjustments to my old meal plans and give a bit more attention to nutrition intake. I hope my version of menu can help more people who need it to actually survive such a tight budget.

                                                                                                            • Peter

                                                                                                              problem here is that maybe you can survive, but its a doubtful definition of survival on rm 10 per day. Any food thats was mentioned that is available within this price range has very little proper food value and these kind of diets are what has lead to a health crisis in Malaysia. If you buy your own food and prepare at home its going to cost you a lot more, and I shop at NSK and you dont get much cheaper than that! According to one survivor above apparently you do but Ive yet to find it, all the wet markets and pasar malams seem to be even more expensive than the regular supermarkets like giant and carefour?

                                                                                                              I refer to their list which must have been written ten years ago, (with my comments RHS)

                                                                                                              rice RM 2 (RM 25/10kg x 0.16kg/day=RM 0.40/day) Dont eat rice as processed white rice has very little food value. Pasta or noodles a slightly ......................................................................................................................better option.

                                                                                                              vege RM 2 (Go for carrot/ broccoli/cabbage that can last longer) A single carrot is around 50 sen and broccoli 1.75 per piece , hard to stretch for 5 days

                                                                                                              fruits RM 3.50 (Apple/banana /orange) Bananas 75-1rm each, oranges and apples also. less than 1 fruit per day?

                                                                                                              bread RM 2.50 4 slices per day cheap bread, good wholegrain or other 3.50 or much more.

                                                                                                              protein RM 10 (RM 20/ 10 days -egg/chicken/Fish) rm10 is about3 servings,chicken or cheap fish,other meats or quality will be much more.

                                                                                                              Anlene powdered milk RM 5 (1 serving 30g ) (RM 34/1kg x 0.030kg = RM 1.00/day) Fresh milk has more vitamins and you probably shouldnt take too much .................................................................................................................................................anyway

                                                                                                              other cooking ingredient RM 2.50/5days (RM 10/month-cooking oil,salt, soy souce, etc) Should only use olive oil on a regular basis, salt and soy sauce also ..........................................................................................................................................................use very sparingly. Limes, garlic , chilli and ginger better flavouring ..........................................................................................................................................................options but limes,lemons and ginger are expensive.

                                                                                                              Total RM 27.5/5days Dubious at best or a very small eater?

                                                                                                              Food with good vitamins and protien without lots of sugar,fats and msg is very hard to find on the street and if you do its not going to be for rm10. Nasi lemak,Roti chani,Teh Tarik , might as well just shoot youself now haha!

                                                                                                              • Patricia Foo

                                                                                                                I earn several K a month but I spend abt RM300-RM350 a month and cook fish & 2 vege for dinner so RM10.00 a day is no big deal. Lunch varies from RM4.00 to RM12.00 but strictly no extra drinks as I take boiled water from office which costs nothing.

                                                                                                                • Kathleen

                                                                                                                  I don't see why spending RM10 a day is bad. Transport and food can definitely cost less than RM10. Food depends on what you order and if you are a big eater, do not comment on saying that its 'bad for health' and so on. Not everyone can eat and pay for so much. I use to live on only RM5 a day and that, I'm still healthy. So, please don't say it'll shorten lifespan or whatever it is. Keep in mind that not everyone can afford to buy food. Be fortunate that you can still survive with RM10 or less a day.

                                                                                                                  • botak

                                                                                                                    10bugs only for lunch and breakfast la included

                                                                                                                    • Andrew Lau

                                                                                                                      Why such spending when you can earn more? Seriously, you can't be kidding me!

                                                                                                                      • karfeng

                                                                                                                        Dun worry..try this (^∇^)

                                                                                                                        • Radha Krishnan

                                                                                                                          Where is the shop where you can get mee goring for RM3.00.i WANT TO GO THERE

                                                                                                                          • leonora peers

                                                                                                                            Just reflect on our pevious generations...they lived through one or even two wars. They lived off mainly what they could grow themselves. My grandmother-in-law used to make her own noodles, use almost every part of the banana plant in her cooking. Grew vegetables, kept poultry. They certainly did not eat out - no such thing! And I must say, she lived till a ripe old age of 104 and just passed on this year. Having to struggle and find ingenious ways to make ends meet - this makes you strong!

                                                                                                                            • Office_job_boring

                                                                                                                              I used to live this "simple" way b4 when i worked @ Mid Valley.
                                                                                                                              there is discounted price for staff at the Makan Place , Oasis..
                                                                                                                              and actually i was much healthier those times compared to current job...
                                                                                                                              now i can afford various menu for every meal, but lost my time to move the muscle..
                                                                                                                              *rm10 - rental or other commitment not included.

                                                                                                                              • shafiul islam

                                                                                                                                Talking about 10 rm a day..... i am a foreign student from bangladesh.... i am doing my bachelors in IT.beside that i work in a small shop and get paid 950rm. I save 500rm for my tutuion fees.200 my rental.i travel everyday to kl fron pj by train. Around 120 rm.for food i am left with 130rm. For 30 days its rm4.30 sen i got.dont remember the last time i had a good meal.i miss home.i miss moms cooking.but i m happy i still gey to eat.there are ones who dont.i am grateful.

                                                                                                                                • Syarif

                                                                                                                                  Please ask our leaders (PM, ministers, political leaders both both sides of the political divide) to live like this for 1 week... I doubt many can barely survive one day...

                                                                                                                                  • a_Lad

                                                                                                                                    I think the way to save or even to live a "10 bucks per day life" is not that impossible to be achieved; depending on individual effort. Reduce external purchasing and live with ur own effort. E.g. Buy thing in bulk, stick to a routine, make ur own lunch box and etc.

                                                                                                                                    I have personally tried this way to experiment a frugal life. Buy a loaf of Gardenia and spread some fresh vegie and protein. One of the example is as below:-

                                                                                                                                    1 loaf of gardenia - RM 2.4
                                                                                                                                    1 mid size cucumber - RM 0.8
                                                                                                                                    6 gred C egg for RM 1.8 (average of RM 0.30 per piece)

                                                                                                                                    The above meal spend will average on RM 5 for the whole day. With remaining RM 5 for max ride for return trip for LRT PUTRA (Rm 2.5 per trip).

                                                                                                                                    Of coz the above does not take into consideration of other expenses. But RM 10 to cover basic transportation and meal (not that bad in nutrition and not a superb one) is not something not achievable. Rotate the menu to get more bangs to your bucks. Scout for discounted food materials from hypermart and you will be surprised to find things cheap.

                                                                                                                                    • arshad

                                                                                                                                      maggi can be a choice at night.. but not on lunch... uhh.. sorry

                                                                                                                                      • Zul

                                                                                                                                        Who need kain pelikat gajah duduk cheap, pm me. Tks.

                                                                                                                                        • Mr. Rich

                                                                                                                                          Stupid chart! U bugger! I can afford anything I want in kl! Thanx!

                                                                                                                                          • Jason

                                                                                                                                            Why should we even THINK of surviving on RM 10 per day? Are we a third world nation? We work so we can have a better quality of life, NOT to cut corners till we can't even EAT healthy.. might as well go live in a kampung and grow our on vegetables and rear our on animals if we want to live on Rm 10 per day. Which is not really bad, I mean what is the point of living in the city if you cannot afford it? Cost of living is getting higher and higher our income should increase with it too. This is what our goverment and us should aim for.

                                                                                                                                            • Its ridicilous.. How u can be survive only Rm 10 in a day..where can find nasi lemak Rm 1.00 pity on those who only get minimum wages struggle in KL..u all really rudicilious with the ideas.. Bunch of fool ideas..

                                                                                                                                              • Ridicilious..ideas and ridicilous topic..
                                                                                                                                                How can survive a day with only RM 10 in ur pocket.

                                                                                                                                                • BP

                                                                                                                                                  Syarif, I disagree with u that our leaders can't survive a day on rm10. Bet they can even survive with RM 0 coz their years of in-build fats will get them thru a week surviving just on water ;-)

                                                                                                                                                  • David Tan

                                                                                                                                                    RM 10 is survivable. RM5 for transportation. that leaves us with RM5 for food.
                                                                                                                                                    IF you pack your own food....
                                                                                                                                                    RM5 x 30 days == RM150
                                                                                                                                                    to survive you need
                                                                                                                                                    3 trays of 24 Egg.s average RM13 p/tray x4 = RM39
                                                                                                                                                    1 bag of rice OR 5 loafs of extra long bread gardenia or mix you get the idea etc etc... RM 15
                                                                                                                                                    1 Mayo Good Quality Praise coleslaw + Soy Sauce RM9 (because you dont use the entire bottle in 1 month right?)
                                                                                                                                                    1 pack sugar RM2.5
                                                                                                                                                    1 pack pepper RM1
                                                                                                                                                    1 pack carrots RM2
                                                                                                                                                    1 pack brocolli RM2
                                                                                                                                                    1 pack Cabbage RM4
                                                                                                                                                    2 pack frozen fish stick RM10
                                                                                                                                                    1 can Tuna RM5.70
                                                                                                                                                    2 can Red Beans or Cream Corn RM3.50*2 = RM7
                                                                                                                                                    1 bottle cooking oil RM10
                                                                                                                                                    1 box cornflakes RM12
                                                                                                                                                    1 bag small pack Milo refill pack RM14
                                                                                                                                                    RM 4 allocation for onion and garlic
                                                                                                                                                    total RM137

                                                                                                                                                    buffer RM13 a month for emergency or savings roll over.

                                                                                                                                                    light stirfry 2 eggs sugar and mayo. you get about 4 slices of egg mayo sandwic + milo
                                                                                                                                                    stirfry fried rice w/ fish stick or extra egg
                                                                                                                                                    snack on milo + cornflakes
                                                                                                                                                    Tuna SandWic
                                                                                                                                                    Rice with egg, Fishstick and Creamcorn or Beans
                                                                                                                                                    if you switch Tuna for Curry in Can.. then you get curry..
                                                                                                                                                    if you need something sweet during lunch.. pack a bottle of water with cordial. RM6 for lycee, mango etc etc.. stick it in the fridge in pantry.. and whip it out later!

                                                                                                                                                    • Vanben-c

                                                                                                                                                      Agreed ☺

                                                                                                                                                    • David Tan

                                                                                                                                                      heck if you buy some milk or coconut milk.. and grow some pandan.. and some salt.. whoala Nasi lemak!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                      • living with Rm10 is definetly possible i work in kl area and my daily budjet per day is Rm10
                                                                                                                                                        Rm3.40 for travelling by lrt
                                                                                                                                                        the balance is for meals i don't take breakfast and have heavy lunch which cost max is Rm5 and dinner i have gardenia twiggies which cost 1.40 i still can save 20 cents per day

                                                                                                                                                        • vinod

                                                                                                                                                          Tukar PM la .. lebih baik ..

                                                                                                                                                          • Doniv

                                                                                                                                                            I bet this is the most stupid comment here

                                                                                                                                                          • Kenny

                                                                                                                                                            RM 10 can survive in KL. Roti canai with tea tarik for 3 meals. And transport is by walking to work just start earlier and bath when you reach office. Good exercise minus the unhealthy foods will be square off.

                                                                                                                                                            • AL

                                                                                                                                                              Extreme Option 4
                                                                                                                                                              Walk to work
                                                                                                                                                              Breakfast - Office Biscuit
                                                                                                                                                              Lunch - Further Office Biscuit and Milo / Nescafe
                                                                                                                                                              Dinner - Da bao Office Biscuit and Milo back home to eat

                                                                                                                                                              Total cost - RM0

                                                                                                                                                              This is how we shud change our lifestyle.....

                                                                                                                                                              • Org kaya

                                                                                                                                                                who said RM 10 can survive...don't talk nonsenses laaa..

                                                                                                                                                                • Shuu

                                                                                                                                                                  Wonder how many people did actually "read" the whole article. Actually you can survive on RM10. But you can't call it a living with just only RM10. And the author didn't mentioned on how long did they experiment on this. And based on how many method they came out with it, the minimum would be 3 days. Which would be 1 method per day.

                                                                                                                                                                  Surviving means "to continue to live or exist in spite of hardship or ordeal", though that said, surviving doesn't means your health doesn't degraded overtime nor that one should continue on "surviving" for a long period of time. Try to fully understand the article before bash it over.

                                                                                                                                                                  If I offend someone with my comments, then pardon my insolence.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Org Kaya Raya

                                                                                                                                                                    Eh Helooooo...please ar...answer the question...survive or not only 3 grader...

                                                                                                                                                                  • Kittina86

                                                                                                                                                                    this is a depressing truth about living in KL.... Its like we're working just to survive and not to make it further.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Puspa

                                                                                                                                                                      Please do a write up on how to Survive in Johor Bahru as well. Our food expenses are slightly more than KL and transport system is not as good and more expensive. Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                      • die soon

                                                                                                                                                                        how much nutrition u get from instant noodles nasi lemak only everyday? you probably die young at age of 30.

                                                                                                                                                                        • chin

                                                                                                                                                                          if you walk to work, cook on your own, do not use h/p or internet, own a flat, spend your time a lot outside (to cut electric bill), get your entertainment from free channel only, buy second hand stuff including clothes, no insurance, no loan. yes, rm 10 / day is more than enough.

                                                                                                                                                                          • mike

                                                                                                                                                                            Lol...this cant be true will need to add up additional 20cents to all the allocated item above...RON95 subsidy just reduced another 0.20cents recently

                                                                                                                                                                            • Vanben-c

                                                                                                                                                                              Haiya ...need to move to kampung tanam sayur & ternakan...

                                                                                                                                                                              • KY

                                                                                                                                                                                after half year all will meet up in the hospital wad and 1 year later prepare bungkus masuk tanah....

                                                                                                                                                                                • nc

                                                                                                                                                                                  nutrition waycook your dinner..saved up some to be bring to your lunch at office tomorrow and microwave it...breakfast-drinks your office coffee or milo supply..and maybe 2 eggs...

                                                                                                                                                                                  • RK

                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder why at d end, we rakyat r d 1 that need to suffer? Spending rm10 a day, just a temporal guideline. D expert should use monthly as benchmark to calculate it. Inclusive of electricity, water bills, rental $ etc. Beside this is individual expenses, what about ur kids? R u going to ask ur kids to come out n work instead? This is ridiculous!

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jojo

                                                                                                                                                                                      My girlfriend is a nurse with a diploma. And she gets only rm1000 at a private hospital. And many of her batch mates are still looking for jobs. Really a shame. We should have a proper minimum wage in malaysia like in Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • James

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Whilst it may seem like we are attempting to recommend you live this way: we are not. The harsh reality is that some people DO live on even less than RM10 a day. Yes, their nutritional intake and comfort suffers but until someone does something about wages or buying power: the lower income group has no choice."

                                                                                                                                                                                        Please, stop spreading nonsense like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Until someone does something about wages or buying power?
                                                                                                                                                                                        What's the point of writing this article if you do not recommend the citizen to live that way?
                                                                                                                                                                                        Disclaimer about nutrition?

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you want to be a responsible author, write what you do. If you're not living on RM10 a day, don't cock out an article like this. This article is greatly flawed and the author obviously did not do much research about it. Irresponsible to the bones.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • yinn_y

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't agree the fact that saving means u gonna eat Maggie mee, nasi lemak and mee hoon kosong. There are so many things u can do to have budget of rm 10 per day . What most importantly is that WE SHOULD EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY... not those junky food. For example, u can have oatmeal or cereal for breakfast.... some homecook food for lunch and some simple meal for dinner. Eat like a king for breakfast, like a prince for lunch and eat like a begger for dinner. Plus..u can carpool if u wanna save money.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Paul

                                                                                                                                                                                            Most people justify the inadequacy of spending with nutrition and talks as if they know a bunch about nutrition. Check out what you guys are eating first with those $$$ you have then talk about nutrition. Or else the hospital and clinics won't be so chock full of boys and girls in it everyday.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The truth is, on the average you do not spend a fix amount everyday. Try spending RM3 in a day, RM 15 another, RM 5 another, you will find yourself with an average of RM4++ in 3 days. You only spend what you earn. Learn to live with it. This is with relation to this article.

                                                                                                                                                                                            But having said that, I do agree that in Malaysia:
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Our salary isn't catching up with inflation
                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Prices of things are going uphill

                                                                                                                                                                                            • tini

                                                                                                                                                                                              hey everyone, am working women and would like to share my own inexpensive experience for daily food spending for 2 adults 2 Teens in a family. its with nutrition, might be not full but still.

                                                                                                                                                                                              one long loft of white bread (16 pcs), Rm3.40
                                                                                                                                                                                              one can of tuna/ ham/ sausages/ better wt kaya/ wt sugar /eggs, ect average Rm4.50
                                                                                                                                                                                              Make drink at home - milo - Rm33 for 2 kilo/3 in 1 white coffee - Rm13 for 15 packs /real honey from psr mlm Rm25 per bottle.
                                                                                                                                                                                              make it average Rm10 per day for 4 person, so its Rm2.50 per person.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Lunch/ dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                              cook rice at home Rm1.50 per kg
                                                                                                                                                                                              Vege Rm2.00
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tafu wt oyster sauce Rm1.50
                                                                                                                                                                                              Eggs wt onion Rm2.00
                                                                                                                                                                                              chicken/fish (optional)
                                                                                                                                                                                              oil sugar salt and other Rm2.00
                                                                                                                                                                                              Average Rm9, one person Rm2.25

                                                                                                                                                                                              Lunch/ dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                              yee mee or mee/ Rm3.00 per pack
                                                                                                                                                                                              vege/mushroom / carrot/ onion/garlic and other Rm3.00
                                                                                                                                                                                              eggs Rm1.00
                                                                                                                                                                                              oyster sauce. salt, suger pepper Rm2.00
                                                                                                                                                                                              Average Rm9, one person Rm2.25

                                                                                                                                                                                              of course meals changeable with ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Math Rm7 per person for 3 meals a day, we reserve Rm10 per person for food, transportation i leave it to your guys as everyone wt different way to work.

                                                                                                                                                                                              i cook very simple lunch/dinner and let my hubby bring to office to hit it up, wt package of his lovely white coffee. can get the steamer for it. cost Rm50. can use for long term and have hot food in office. its good for those who dont have microwave in office or dont like microwave.

                                                                                                                                                                                              here they way i prepare those meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Prepare all chopping garlic onion, vege, cleaning (meats) whatever so which can leave overnight at weekend or the day before. put in fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Breakfast, breads done it at night before next days. hot drink should be very fast done in morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Lunch/ dinner (40 min)
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Steam rice
                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Vege - water boil add little oil, put in vege for 20s, take out and put some oyster sauce wt fried garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                              3. fried/ steam eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                              3. tafu is ready from market, just put some oyster sauce on top wt some fried onion will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Lunch/dinner (20min)
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. fried all vege and eggs, take it out put aside for use later
                                                                                                                                                                                              2. water boil - put in yee mee/mee. pour out water, put same oyster sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                              3. mixed mee wt vege and eggs together.

                                                                                                                                                                                              What i have to do is contribute time for shop for food and preparation, cooking, of course washing as well. less one hour tv. :P. could not deny we will having dinner outside in weekend. We save in weekdays for weekends.

                                                                                                                                                                                              if dont like to cook everyday, can do it 1/3 or 1/2, its still save and healthier. hope its helpful.