I am a firm believer that if you track everything you spend, the knowledge will help you manage your money better.
Taking a leaf from My 15 Work Week, I’m also starting to log my expenses on my blog so that it shows my readers, and most importantly MYSELF how I am progressing towards my retirement goal.
Mortgage: $963.22 (CPF)
Like most Singaporeans, my mortgage loan is the biggest liability in my monthly expenditure. Coming from a poor family background, we have been living under the roof of a relative for the longest time after my father’s business venture failed. When my father passed away, we used the money we received from his CPF account to make a down payment for a 3-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh. Since then, I have been paying the mortgage loan from the bank every month.
This year, I did a refinance of my mortgage loan to get a lower interest rate and reduce the number of years of my loan repayment with a higher monthly repayment amount of $1105.
Parent Allowance: $500
My mother retired many years ago after her leg started giving her problems. On top of the monthly payouts from her CPF account, I have been giving her some allowance each month. $500 isn’t very much but that said, she isn’t spending much as well. I try my best to manage most of the household expenses so that she doesn’t have to pay for any of them.
I did an evaluation of my personal insurance portfolio recently and surrendered my investment-linked policies, switching to several term insurance policies for a much more well-rounded insurance coverage.
Health: $18.17 (Medisave) and $22.75 (Cash)
I feel that health insurance is very important (especially when medical costs in Singapore are very expensive) so I took up a PruShield plan (highest tier for government hospitals) with my insurance agent a few year ago.
As part of my mortgage loan refinance, I was required to take up a mortgage insurance policy with Aviva.
Working in Singapore requires me to pay taxes for my income once my salary exceeds a certain limit. Last year I did not make full use of tax rebates to reduce my income tax. This year, as I left my previous job and did a 6-month sabbatical, next year’s income tax should be quite low.
One of the perks of living in a 3-room HDB flat in Singapore is that the property tax is very low. While I expect property tax to increase along with our property annual value figure, it is still minute compared to all my fixed expenses.
Here’s where things get a little tricky. I’m a big TV buff and instead of subscribing to an expensive cable subscription, I went with a VPN subscription together with a Hulu Plus account. I also have a premium Spotify account for music on the go and in the gym. I’m grouping everything under utilities because I deem them as essential services. Some may argue that I can easily reduced my utilities through piracy but I believe paying for premium contents (just not as much as the crazy prices our cable subscription cartel is charging). I also keep a Hoiio Main Line subscription to maintain a private number for my side business.
Astrill VPN: $8.65
SingTel Fibre 100mbps Internet: $21.40
SingTel Mobile: $28.86
Hoiio Main Line: $10
True Fitness Gym Membership – $43.25
As part of my employer’s health benefits, employees can sign up a 12-month gym membership with True Fitness at a lower corporate pricing and on top of that, the company subsidizes half of the membership fees. It’s a no-brainer for me because I was previously paying $180 per month for my Fitness First gym membership.
Total: $919.60 (Cash) and 981.39 (CPF)