Having recorded my expenses since October 2014, I am getting a sense of how I am spending my money. In this post, I will update some of the expense figures that have changed this year and re-classify some expense items as monthly expenses instead of fixed expenses.
1105 828 (CPF)
Late last 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. After due considerations (and calculations), I decided to change the refinance contract to reduce the monthly repayment amount and push the loan repayment period to the maximum possible, which is 23 years.
This is quite the opposite from my initial refinancing strategy because I did more calculations and found that if I maxed out the loan repayment period, the surplus CPF monies would allow me to achieve my Minimum Sum by the age of 41.
Update: I have changed my refinancing contract in March 2015 to reduce my monthly repayment amount to $828 and extended the repayment period to 22 years.
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.
$154.48 (excluding Medisave premiums)
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 with a slightly higher mortgage insurance premium.
Update: With the new changes made to my refinancing contract, the mortgage insurance premium had to be increased due to the increased term.
Income: $137.66 (till Mar 2015)
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.
Property: $12.53 (till Mar 2015)
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 got myself a VPN subscription and 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.
Update: I decided to renew my Astrill VPN and Hulu subscriptions on an annual basis so I’m transferring them from Fixed Expenditure to Monthly Expenses because I only pay for them once a year.
Astrill VPN: $8.65
SingTel Fibre 100mbps Internet: $37.29
SingTel Mobile: $26.97
Hoiio Main Line: $10
True Fitness Gym Membership – $43.25
Update: Having moved to a new office location, our gym benefits were terminated because there isn’t a True Fitness gym nearby.
$888.83 (Cash) and $846.17 (CPF/Medisave)