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Malay Idioms Plan Finance Singapore

Alhamdulillah. Since year 2007, I have been privileged to advise thousands of Singaporean Muslims on planning their finance in Singapore.
And of course, there were many concepts
that I used to make my financial planning presentation more vibrant, relatable and meaningful. 🙂

Helmi Hakim Financial Planner AMP Takaful Singapore

(Alhamdulillah. Blessed to have the opportunity to share my financial planning ideas recently with our Brothers and Sisters in Pasir Ris Punggol.)


I love to use Malay Idioms (Peribahasa) in my financial planning presentations.

I love Malay Idioms because they are evergreen and full of wisdom that transcends ages.
Peribahasa that were commonly used during the P Ramlee time of our Pakcik Pakcik, Makcik Makcik
Still applicable today in the “Instagram/Tik Tok” year of 2021.
And will be also be applicable in the future years to come!
Insya’Allah! 🙂

Amongst them,
these are the 7 most popular Malay Idioms that I use to help my clients plan their finance better in Singapore.

1) Sediakan payung sebelum hujan

Prepare yourself an umbrella before it rains.

Payung 1024x768 1

In my professional opinion, you must not only prepare yourself an umbrella before it rains.

You must make sure that your umbrella is BIG ENOUGH so that you and your family don’t get wet when it rains.

In financial planning context,
how do you prepare and ensure that your “umbrella” is BIG ENOUGH to protect you and your family when in need?


Firstly ensure that you have at least 3-6 months of emergency funds in your bank account at all times.

Halal Emergency Funds 1


If you spend $3000/mth.
$3000 X 3 months = $9000

You need to ensure that you always have $9000 in your bank account at all time.

If you fall sick, you need to see the doctor.

Doctor 683x1024 1

To see the doctor, you need money.
You dont want to susahkan your family members by borrowing their money.


And tomorrow, nauzubillah if suddenly you got retrenched,

Retrench 1024x685

at least you can survive 3-6 months while looking for another job…..

Got some space to breathe. Not kancheong!
This is very important my friends.

Because we don’t know how long this Covid19 pandemic is here to stay!
So make sure that you have 3-6 months emergency funds with you at all times! 🙂

Secondly, you need to make sure that both you and your family are comprehensively covered with a HOSPITAL INSURANCE PLAN.

In my many years experience as an Islamic Financial Consultant in Singapore,
I realize not all people are in debts due to poor financial management.

Some of them are due to victim of circumstances.
Family and loved ones hospitalised and saddled with hefty medical bills.
And they started maxing their credit card debts to pay those bills.

The reason why they did so because they weren’t eligible for any financial assistance based on their income.
They then face difficulties in paying off their credit card bills.

My friends. A simple hospital insurance plan can help save you from this kind of situation.

A hospital insurance plan can help cover your bills.

Islamic Financial Consultant Helmi Hakim Hospitalised 1024x576



Helmi Hakim Hospital Bill 1024x576

                     (I was hospitalised in year 2019 due to a viral infection.)


Alhamdulillah my hospital bills of $29,144 were taken care by my hospital insurance plan!


If I did not have a comprehensive hospital insurance plan in place, I can look you in the eye and tell you.
Koyak beb my pocket! 🙂





2) Alah bisa, tegal biasa

Alah bisa, tegal biasa.
Something difficult will become easier if we always do them repeatedly.


As an Islamic Financial Planner, I always share with my clients that there are 2 types of money habits.

Good Money Habits


 Bad Money Habits




Examples of Good Money Habits

GoodSave 1st, then spend.
Have enough emergency funds
Have Hospital insurance plans.
Prudent and responsible financial management

 Examples of Bad Money Habits

BadBoros. Spend more than you earn.
Borrow other people $$$ and never pay back.
Pay your bills late
Failing to plan for your future



Sometimes when we have been so used to BAD MONEY HABITS for many years of our lives.
It becomes difficult to CHANGE that bad money habits to good money habits.

I always share with my clients.
Alah bisa, tegal biasa.
Something difficult will become easier if we always do them repeatedly.



Alaaaaaahhhh….. It is like when you first learnt to ride a bicycle.

Bicycle 683x1024 1

You lose your balance, you fall.

You rise up back!

You fall again and again… But you never give up!!

Soon riding a bicycle becomes a 2nd nature to you.
Anytime anyone gives you a bicycle, you can ride it easily.

Alah bisa, tegal biasa.
At first difficult…..
You do it repeatedly… After that, it becomes easy and becomes a 2nd nature to you!

My friends,
From my research, if we do something 21 days repeatedly, a new habit will be formed…

I want to help you install a POSITIVE money habit!

Everyday we go out.

We spend money.

We spend money at the market. We spend money at the coffeeshop.
We spend money at the shopping malls.
For the next 21 days, what I want you to do is that I want you to leave the dollar notes in your wallet.

And take out all the coins and put in a tabung…

Halal Biscuit Tin Coin Storage 768x1024 1
(If you don’t have a tabung, you can start with biscuit tin first! Most importantly, start doing it today! )


Do it for 21 days consecutively and Insya’Allah you will find yourself installing a new POSITIVE money habit!
Saving money everyday becomes a 2nd nature to you.
Alah bisa, tegal biasa! 🙂




3) Sedikit sedikit, lama lama jadi bukit

Hill 1024x1024

Literally, bit by bit, after a while, it becomes a hill!

Do small things. Repeat over and over again until it becomes big.

Some people complained to me.
“Helmi. Difficult lah for me to save money.
Kais pagi, makan pagi.
Kais petang, makan petang.”

How to save money?

I always share with them.
No money today does not mean no money forever! 🙂

So how can you kickstart your journey to save money bit by bit and until you have a substantial amount?

Introducing you the 52 week Money Challenge

Takaful Singapore Halal Money Challenge 1024x1024

For those who do not have emergency funds in your bank account,
you can do this as part of your new year resolution to be self sufficient.

1st week, save $1.
2nd week, increase. You save $2 for that week.
Following week, increase some more $3 for that week.
Sedikit sedikit, lama lama jadi bukit.

By end year 2021, you would have saved $1378 Cash!

Add this money to the money you save in the tabung for strategy No 2,
you will start to realise that
Alhamdulillah you have finally saved up
your 3-6 months emergency funds!



4) Genggam Bara Api Biar Sampai Jadi Arang

Genggam Bara Api Biar Jadi Arang 1024x678 1

Genggam Bara Api Biar Sampai Jadi Arang.
When you are doing or starting a challenging task, you need to pursue it until you have reached your goal.

My friends,
A lot of people can begin something. But not many can finish it.

One of the characteristic of successful people.
They begin something and they make sure they see it through the end.
They finish what they started!

My friends,
There is no magic pill that you swallow and suddenly you have a lot of money.

Success comes in a package of hard work.
All the sacrifices that these super successful people go through.

Iceberg Theory Helmi Hakim

And the most important thing is never give up.
Work until you achieve your goals.
You do things nonchalantly, you will get meagre, lacklustre and nonchalant results.

My friends,
Success takes time.
No one in this world gets married today and gets a child tomorrow.

It involves process. Be patient.
and trust the process.

People who give excuses. Their lives will be full of excuses.
You give your best, you get the best!

Successful people begin something and they make sure they see it through the end.
Genggam Bara Api Biar Sampai Jadi Arang! 


5) Melentur Buluh Biarlah Dari Rebungnya

Literal translation “To bend a bamboo, start when it’s a shoot.”.

Bamboo Shoots 768x1024 1


Teach your child good money habits when they are young.


Helmi Hakim Spend Save Singapore

To me, this is not the right way of educating our children on money.

Stop doing that.

If you have been doing that….

Save First Spend Later

Save first and then spend.

When you inculcate this good money habit of, “Save First, Then Spend” to your children.

When they grow up and start working, that is what they are going to do when they receive their paycheck.

Save first and spend! Alhamdulillah….

We fulfil our obligations as a financially educated parent.
And what is the most beautiful part?
They will then educate their children of the same money principles,
“Save Money First and then Spend.”

Masya’Allah…. You are inculcating good money habits not just for yourself or your children.
You are inculcating good money habits for your generations to come! 

Melentur Buluh Biarlah Dari Rebungnya! 🙂


6) Ukur Baju Di Badan Sendiri

Measure 911x1024 1

Ukur Baju Di Badan Sendiri.
Spend according to your kemampuan (affordability)

My friends,
we need to differentiate between needs and wants.
Needs… Keperluan.
Wants… Kemahuan.

Needs is MUST HAVE.
Essential. Something that you must have to survive.

Wants is something good to have.
Not essential for survival.

Example of needs…
House, transport, insurance, food

Example of wants…
Staycations, Entertainment, Designer Clothes, Dine at expensive Restaurants

My friends,
In order to be financially stable, we must be prudent with how we spend our money….
Don’t Spend Money that you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.

Ukur Baju Di Badan Sendiri. Spend according to your kemampuan (affordability)



7) Air Dicincang Tidak Akan Putus


Air dicincang tidak akan putus.
‘Blood is thicker than water’.

I am a firm advocate of this peribahasa.

Because why?
Because I always believe that there is rezeki in silaturahim.

We know the financial planning strategies already.
At the same time we know that rezeki is all from the source.
Allah S.W.T.

If our parents are still alive, we are very lucky.

Always ask blessings and doa from our parents. They are our keramat hidup.
Redha dia, redha Allah.

And maintain good relationship with others.
If sometimes, you quarrel with others, do your very best to forgive and mend that relationship.
I know its difficult, but do your best.
Seek forgivesness and mend ties.
Because why?

Because there is rezeki in silaturahim.


Helmi Hakim Parents


Helmi Hakim Family

(Me and my family)

This is my family. Alhamdulillah, they are super supportive of what I do. I regard them as my strength.
As my BIG WHY to persevere in what I do! 🙂

Air dicincang tidak akan putus! 🙂


I would like to wrap my presentation with a serangkap pantun.

Kusangkakan panas sampai ke petang
Rupanya hujan di tengah hari
Berjimat cermat bila ada wang
Supaya tenang di kemudian hari

Thank you my friends! 🙂


Now… I hope you have benefited from my personal sharing, 7 Malay Idioms To Help You Plan Your Finance Better in Singapore…

If you are seeking a mentor, coach, consultant to share with you practical aspects on how you can plan your finance, the shariah compliant way in Singapore, I am always ready to help you.

You can always whatsapp/sms me at 96520134 to schedule a FREE consultation.
Or perhaps click here to schedule an appointment.

You will want to schedule it asap because I can only accommodate 5 slots for the following month.

Click here to schedule your FREE consultation today!

Take Care!  ?


Helmi Hakim