Expense Report: May 2015

May came and went rather quickly for me as I focused on my work. The team I was in now reports to a new head so that means we’re back to the drawing board to align on goals and objectives for the year.

Here’s some great news! Starting from this month, I’m receiving a pay increment on my monthly salary and a small bonus heading my way in the June. The increment is naturally going into my savings while I’m still planning the allocation of my bonus to spend it wisely.

Transportation: $42.83 down-arrow

Commuting charges on the B.M.W (bus, MRT, walk) is back down this month with only 2 taxi rides taken this month. In my efforts to cycle to work at least 4 times a week, I only took 16 train rides and 2 bus rides this month which continues to be way below the number of train and bus rides the average public transport commuter takes in Singapore.

Food: $301.65 down-arrow

Food expenses is higher than April but still lower than the 6-month MMAE Food Index. While I didn’t manage to accomplish the goal of dining in restaurants once a week, I kept expenses low by dining in restaurants at discounted rates during their promotion periods.

Groceries: $72.45 up-arrow

My grocery expenses has increased for the 3rd consecutive month now and my initial thoughts were ‘hey, it’s time to rein in on this spending.’ But as I scanned through my grocery list for the month, most of the items were essential for a healthy breakfast and packed lunch (I still leave it to my mum to cook dinners). I would want to control my habi of purchasing random (and often, premium) ingredients just because they are unique or on promotion. Because some times I ended up not using them as much as I thought I would.

The grocery price book that I started last month helped a little as I could easily use it as a comparison tool to evaluate if a particular promotion on my favourite vegetable is really value for money. Unfortunately as grocery product prices in Singapore do not fluctuate that much, I don’t think I would update the price book that often unless there’s a big change in price.

Shopping: $79.67 down-arrow

This month, I gave up on the bad coffee that they have been serving in the office and bought an Aeropress to make my own coffee with my choice of coffee beans. I also bought a new tupperware to pack food for lunch because someone has stolen my old tupperware at my workplace (don’t ask me why because I don’t know) and a shoe glue to mend the soles that were falling off my cycling shoes and a pair of button batteries for my bicycle lights.

Entertainment: $40.18 down-arrow

Entertainment expenses hit a new low for 2015 in May as I didn’t have to spend any money on drinks after work. That’s because we had 2 drinking sessions scheduled in the office this month due to special occasions. While colleagues splurged on expensive cheeses and hams to go with wines, I bought some ingredients from the supermarket and made canap├ęs so that saved me some money. Not to mention the fact that there were some leftover ingredients to they would be used for next month’s work lunches.

There was so much drinking that I kind of got sick of it. So I’m going to commit to making June, an alcohol-free month.

Miscellaneous: $72.10 down-arrow

I got a Fisher & Paykel fridge for free through the Freecycle community (freaking awesome!) and spent $60 to get movers to pick up the fridge and deliver it to my home. Apart from that, I just spent $12.10 on personal care.

Total expenses for May: $1500.16 (including fixed expenses of $891.28down-arrow

This month continues to be a frugal’s low spending helped to move the 6-month MMAE Index down to 2521.00.

The reporting format may change slightly next month as I will be switching to You Need A Budget (YNAB) to track my expenses. I gave it a try for a few days in May and I love the ability to update my expenses using both my laptop and mobile phone. It’s much more simpler and the reporting tool is quite useful. We should expect to see some charts next month.

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