Expenditure Update: September 13

“Wake me up… when September ends…” Yes, it’s time to wake up to the breakdown of our discretionary expenses as September has ended!

Expenses-wise, this is a pretty good month as we spent $3,153, which is also well below the target of $3,500. And even after including last month’s higher expenses, the running average is still a healthy $3,427. A case of what gets measured gets contained? We shall see in the next few months. =)

Below is the detailed breakdown for this month’s expenses:


Eating Out: $622.30

Since we rarely cooked in September (helping my parents-in-law with their house-moving preparations), this category was slightly higher compared to the previous month.

Hawker ($261.45) – With 53 entries, the average is about $5 spent per meal. This doesn’t tell much since we often have dinner together. But the Mrs has started to appreciate the cai peng stall near our place. ^5

Fast Food ($60.40) – 2 Mac lunches and 1 Mac breakfast for the lady. The rest of the money was spent at Subway with a hefty meal for 5 setting us back by $30.

Restaurants ($300.45) – This is a huge amount again and is proving to be a big indulgence for the both of us. But I would say no big extravagance here since there are 10 entries with none of them over $50. 3 of them were at our neighbourhood Zhi Char stalls too. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of fat to cut down (if we ever want to) since the statistics show that on average, we dine at a restaurant every 3 days.

Groceries: $131.35.

Supermarket ($84.90) – Six small visits to the supermarkets. Thrice at NTUC and another 3 times at Sheng Siong (to take advantage of the 10% discount offered by POSB Everyday Card).

Wet Market ($29.10) – Just one visit to the Kovan wet market this month

Bread ($17.35) – Instead of buying a loaf of bread from the supermarket (but only having soft bread for the first two days of the week) and applying kaya/peanut butter/Nutella for breakfast, we bought more of those “atas ones” from bakeries instead. It’s an increase in the cost of breakfast (more Coffee & Toast which went into the Hawker category) but we realise we don’t exactly value it. Since her parents will be moving somewhere close to us soon, we can go back to those Gardenia loaves by sharing it with them.

Beverages & Snacks: $16.45

We are managing this category well, I guess.

Utilities: $136.91

Electricity, Gas & Water ($78.18) – It’s surprisingly low, and not because of any rebates given. (Rebates are not accounted for in our budgeting exercise as part of the margin of safety.) Our guess is that it’s probably due to PUB’s policy of coming down every two months to take the records and they had made a slightly bigger estimate of our consumption the previous month.

Cellphones ($58.73) – Two M1 iPhone Value+ plans. No excess usage again. (The revenue from phones sold as stated in our cell phone ownership strategy is part of our margin of safety too.)

Transport: $172

It’s 2 EZ Reload top-ups for me and one for her even though mine should be lower since I exit the train station before 7:45am and qualify for free transport to work. (I woke up late on a couple of occasions and it’s also about the timing of top-ups.) One cab trip that costs $22 is included too.

Insurance/Medical: $6

Visited the doctor as I was sick in the middle of the month. I paid less than 20% as the rest is covered by my workplace’s medical benefits.

Miscellaneous: $98

Farewell gifts, donations and a baking lesson ($45) for the Mrs.

Total: $1,183.01

Overall Total: $3,153.01 (included fixed expenses of $1,970)