How much I can save out of my RM16500 in KL

Hi All,

I joined a company in KL with an offer for RM16500. Now I am alone for the time being and planning to bring my Wife and 2 Kids (5 Yrs and 2Yrs Girls).

Is it wise to bring family and manage the expenses expecting good amount of savings ?

I am not expecting high class life here. Can you please help me to understand where I need to be more careful while spending money in KL or any other tips.

Currently I am staying in sharing unit (RM800/Month).


Hi NMReddy,

That's not a bad salary package at all! Do consider housing. With a family, if you're looking for a modest apartment, it could set you back about 2k per month at least. Cost of living is quite good, since you mentioned you're not looking for the high life. We have our famous 'mamak' stalls - good and relatively cheap food. If you're not looking into putting your kids to a 'high end' international school which, as you can imagine, be quite expensive, you could be looking at saving at least 30-40% of your salary.

Hope that helps!

God bless!

Thanks Jonathan.

I am looking for special education school for my elder daughter. She is down syndrome baby. Do you have any idea about this schools availability?

Thanks in advance.


Hi NMReddy,

There are some schools that cater to special needs education. I don't have a specific name that I could share. You could google and check special needs schools that specifically cater to Down Syndrome kids.

All the best!

A wife, two kids, special schools, thats going to eat money fast. But at 16500 you will have more options opened to you. "Kids" and "school" are fairly horrifying words to me, financially speaking. But like you say, if you can stand to live in an 800 apartment while you pay more for a special school, then it will be OK. Through those give-and-take balancings things can work. But.....savings? Hmm...thats very tough to answer.After you pay income taxes, too......personally I cant envision any savings out of 16500.

Would it be possible for you to be alone in KL for at least the next year? If you can get 16500, and after you pay taxes, you could easily save 5000-8000 a month.  That could give you 80000 in the bank by next year. Then the family comes and for any shortage, you have money to draw on. Thats the sort of thing id do if I were faced with this.

Another idea is to have them all come now and, assuming your wife wont be working, homeschool both kids. That will allow immediate and sharp increases in your savings account. Personally, I dont have a high opinion of the schools here. Would a special needs school overcharge and then basically be baby-sitters because they see a Downs child as having nothing to offer? If I had a Downs kid, i want him/her treated the same as any other kid and i'd be pushing him/her just as hard. To ensure that, i wouldnt mind to homeschool. It saves a FORTUNE and gives the kids the attention, love and bonding they need.

Off topic but as for Downs, i love Downs kids and see them as special in a good way. Locally, they are seen as having a sad disability and treated that way, pushed aside. If I had a Downs kid id push him hard and raise him to be a warrior in this world, to his delight and to the shock of everyone else.

road side stalls thats all.. just get your stuffs in malls for the time being till yiur get used to the price.

Hi NMReddy,

KL is not the most expensive city to live in. With an RM16.5k salary, you won't be doing bad for yourself. There are many cheap and relatively-hygienic foodstalls around the city that offers really tasty food. If you guys are planning to cook - NSK, Giant, etc offers groceries for a very reasonable price. Just avoid all those high-end grocery stores unless you are looking for specific imported items.
As for your child, I send my kids to Brooklyn Smart Academy in KL Trillion. They are a low-profile private institution that offers individualized programs. I don't know whether they cater to special needs children but I did remember seeing a couple of Down's kids. IMHO, your child is better-off with an individualized education as opposed to a "special"-labeled program. You can contact Dr Faizul (doctorfaizul[at] / 013 7200 677). He is the founder and a very kind gentleman. I'm sure he will be happy to meet you.
Good luck with your expatriation. Cheers.

It all depends on you.

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