Third month into my expense tracking and I already missed doing it on time! I got caught up with the holidays and celebrations that I forgot to update my blog. Luckily I continued to enter my expenses conscientiously on my mobile phone.
My total expenses for December is up to $4397.53 (including fixed expenses of $1900.99). That’s crazy high and above my salary! You must be thinking, ‘How could you overspend your budget like that?’ Well, fortunately I made a decent fortune in the mahjong sessions over the past month so a good portion of my expenses were covered by the winnings.
Party party party! I indulged in several gatherings with my friends this month and shopping expenses definitely hit an all time high this month. I look forward to reducing all these expenses next month. I started planning a bicycle commuting route to my new workplace making use of the Park Connector Network (PCN). While transportation costs form a small percentage of my overall expenses, I hope to see it get reduced and get myself fitter with the physical exercise from all that cycling.
Commuting charges on the B.M.W (bus, MRT, walk) went up this month because I took a few more taxi rides at nights.
I was surprised I didn’t spend more than $700 in December considering the fact that I was out with friends a lot more. Awesome!
Groceries went up compared to last month because I was back on my regular diet and cooking more often.
My only excuse was that it’s Christmas so I spent more money shopping online and pampering myself. Time to cut that down after December.
Entertainment expenses was pretty mild considering the festive season.
I bought Christmas presents for the gift exchange at parties but I did not splurge on expensive presents.
Second month into my expense tracking and I’m starting to get use to doing this. My total expenses for November is up to $3151.21 (including fixed expenses of $1900.99). While I didn’t manage to reduce my variable expenses by half like I wanted to, I’m glad to find that many one-off expenses were greatly reduced. November’s challenge was a partial success because while I failed to reduce the costs of eating in restaurants (for good reas0ns), I managed to reduced my shopping expenses to ZERO!
The biggest impact to my expenses this month was going for a Tonsil operation to remove my defective tonsils that have caused me to fall ill on several occasions. I chose to do the operation this month because it’s the quieter part of the year where there wasn’t a lot of work to do and I could spend 2 weeks on medical leave, working from home. The best thing was that my insurance agent informed me that the operation would be 100% covered by my shield plan because I had bought a rider on top of the basic shield plan previously. As I was spending half of November at home recuperating, expenses should be reduced by quite a bit.
Commuting charges on the B.M.W (bus, MRT, walk) went down a little this month due to my 2-week medical leave and working from home.
I thought that I would spend less on food after the operation but because the tonsils hurt so much, I spent more money on soft food and desserts.
I didn’t buy much groceries this month because I couldn’t eat any of them anyway.
Woohoo! I actually didn’t do any shopping this month at all. I’m pretty proud of myself for not spending money buying anything I don’t need.
Entertainment expenses went up quite a big this month as a Japanese friend was visiting Singapore this month so I brought him to a nice dimsum restaurant for some food. We also had a birthday celebration for a friend of mine so we treated him to dinner.
Birthday gift ($40) – I contributed some money for a friend’s birthday gift. Well worth the price because he liked it very much.
IC Re-registration fees ($10) – I paid $10 to re-register my IC. Everyone has to do it at the age of 31.
Haircut ($10) – Got a haircut to look decent for a change.
A return ticket to Taipei in January 2015 ($282.56) – I saw that Scoot had a pretty decent promotion for flights to Taiwan and since I had to clear some of my annual leaves early next year, I bought a return flight to go for a well-deserved holiday.
I’m so glad that I made it through a full month of expense tracking. Taking a leaf from Mr 15HWW, I started tracking my monthly expenses on an app in my phone. It wasn’t all that difficult to do as opposed to being tedious. It’s all about taking my phone out each time I make a purchase and entering details of the purchase into the phone. If I were to procrastinate and not enter any data for a day, I would have to spend at least an hour the next day, trying to remember what I had done and spent the previous day (age is definitely catching up on me).
Total expenses this month chalked up to $3868.23 (including fixed expenses of $1900.99). The ambitious me would like to reduce the expenses by half, considering half of my variable expenses were one-time spends. With no prior data in hand, this month’s expense report will act as base data for next month’s analysis in order to determine how to improve my expenses.
I don’t own a car so this is just a log of my commuting charges on the B.M.W (bus, MRT, walk). Most of the costs this month is from my daily commute on the train, along with a single taxi ride.
Like most Singaporeans, my largest variable expense is food. I love good food and tend to spend quite a bit in restaurants. More than half goes into Japanese food ($283.86).
While my mother cooks most of the time and usually shops for our groceries, I still buy some of the groceries that I need, like fruits and vegetables for juices and salads, yogurt and nuts for snacks, etc.
Clothes ($79.90) – I bought a vest from Zara earlier this month. Admittedly, it’s not exactly the best use of money considering that Zara’s clothes are neither cheap nor of the best quality for their prices.
21 year-old single malt whiskey ($215.30) – On the way out of the airport from my business trip in Sydney, I bought a bottle of whiskey from the Duty Free Shop.
Slow juicer ($75) and a glass bottle ($3.80) – A visit to Coles in Sydney made me realised that the packaged juices in Singapore were sold at exuberantly high prices. I had the opportunity to buy a second hand slow juicer (made in China) that was only used twice from a friend of a friend for 25% off the price it was sold on Taobao.
Charity auction ($400) – My company held a small charity auction and I made a successful bid for a bottle of double barrel whiskey and a bottle of Japanese sake. The prices were high but it’s all for a good cause.
Google app purchase ($12.70) – I paid for an Android app to track my expenses. I could have used it for free but I want the additional features of cloud syncing and database export. It’s pricey but there are other apps that use a monthly subscription model which would cost much more in the long run.
Australia Business Trip: $537.10
I went on a business trip in Sydney, Australia for 10 days this month. Fortunately, most of the expenses on basic items like accomodation and melas were claimed under corporate expenses. For the extra days I have extended for my stay, I stayed in Sydney Central Youth Hostel which costs next to nothing compared to hotels and Airbnb apartments. The only splurge in this trip was having drinks with my colleagues at The Victoria Room but the live performances made it all worthwhile!