Expenditure Update: October 13

The start of a new month also means that all the expenses for the previous month is in and so it’s time for another expenditure update. I understand that this is unlikely to be the most interesting post to most people. But well, at least you will know when to avoid my blog, right?

I just read Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich (again) and he mentioned that most personal finance writers who advocate budgeting or recording expenses are living in a utopia of their own because readers would just gloss over their advice. But seriously, it isn’t that hard to record expenses, right? I mean, I have been doing it for at least 3 months already?

With the total expenditure figure of $4,229.28, we actually exceeded the target of $3,500. But it’s alright since this can be explained by the vacation we took two weeks ago. And after including the past couple of months’ expenses, the running average stands at a much more reasonable $3,694.

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

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Eating Out: $618.90

Somehow, we aren’t cooking as often as we should. Guess we are really creatures of habit and it’s time to increase the frequency of healthier home-cooked food, which should also reduce the amount we spend eating out.

Hawker ($269.25) – Lunch expenses take up most of the budget. Maybe it’s time to explore bringing lunch to work once a week? Maybe some fruits and nuts?

Fast Food ($16) – 2 Mac meals for me and one for her. Good progress to cut down and eliminate junk food gradually.

Restaurants ($333.65) – Considering we spent a weekend away from Singapore, it’s really a pretty high figure. But the amount is inflated by the fact that whenever we eat out at restaurants with our families, my wife would pay since she has the Citi Dividend card (2% cashback). The 2 meals at Ding Tai Fung and Dian Xiao Er already set us back by $150 so perhaps we are still not that extravagant over here.

Groceries: $190.10.

Supermarket ($168.20) – Bought some simple goggles from NTUC as we started going swimming and some groceries since we did cook a few times and hosted wife’s colleagues during a weekend.

Wet Market ($0) – Brought this up just to reiterate the point that we really should cook more often. And I do miss the wanton noodles at the Kovan Market.

Bread ($10.80) – Most of it spent on red bean bread from the neighbourhood bakery.

Baking ($11.10) – One of my colleagues left and my wife baked cupcakes for my colleagues as a farewell treat!

Beverages & Snacks: $58.85

Beverages ($14.20) – Sometimes I would find myself buying a honey tea-o with my colleagues when the queue at this Old Tea Hut place is short. Talk about succumbing to peer pressure. Wife bought a couple of bubble-teas too.

Snacks ($44.65) – Ice-cream and shaved ices with a couple of treats here and there. Surprisingly high but it’s likely a one-off?

Utilities: $148.93

Electricity, Gas & Water ($90.20) – The out of pocket payment is actually lower due to some subsidies provided by the government. But $90.20 seems pretty reasonable for the 5 room flat.

Cellphones ($58.73) – Two M1 iPhone Value+ plans. No excess usage. Maybe it’s time to park it as a fixed cost if this persists.

Transport: $150

It’s 2 EZ Reload top-ups for her and one for me this month. No cab trips, yeah!

Departmental: $222

Clothing ($162) – Two dresses and one pair of pants for the Mrs.

Personal Items ($60) – The Mrs spent this amount of money at the recent Watsons sale. There were some one for one deals and it was time for her to stock up on some basic supplies.

Miscellaneous: $870.50

Vacations ($800) – A 4 Day 3 Night trip to Bangkok for both Mrs 15HWW and me. This trip happened because we won some travel vouchers from Chan Brothers so that’s why it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Will talk more about this trip in the next post.

Others ($70.50) – Bought three e-books from Kobo as there was a 30% discount. Some colleagues left this month (one was especially close) and thus contributed quite a bit to their farewell vouchers and gifts too.

Total: $2,259.28

Overall Total: $4,229.28 (included fixed expenses of $1,970)

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    4 thoughts on “Expenditure Update: October 13

    1. SG Young Investment

      Hi 15HWW,

      I really enjoyed this kind of posts by you. A very detailed breakdown of your expenses. On tracking expenses, I’ve been tracking my expenses for 3 years already since i started working. It will just become a habit. I would say its not hard at all. :p

      Your expenses are pretty low already. The fixed expenses are still the main bulk which i guess you can’t avoid especially the mortgage. I have to say this again: In Singapore, a family income of $5000 is just enough to live comfortably. If have kids, its just enough to survive and maybe not. Without it, then better not form a family.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi SGYI,

        Agree with you on the habit part. I think most “budding” personal finance bloggers like us are pretty hardcore in terms of recording expenses. =p

        Yes, considering our expenses, $5,000 would be comfortable and even allow us to set aside further savings at this point in time. I think if one earns less, then just got to make more adjustments? After all, I grew up in a family where the household income rarely breached $3,000 (and for a family of 5).

    2. B

      Hi HWW

      I wouldn’t avoid this type of posts. I think its great to learn from peers, either good or bad lifestyle 😉

      I must say given Mr and Mrs HWW both working and some of your fixed expenses that are paid via CPF, your cashflow is coming in and in and in 😉

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi B,

        I think these posts would become a monthly staple since they give me more motivation to maintain my records. They also serve another purpose for me since over time, the posts should accumulate to form a useful database for analysis.

        Whether it’s gross or take-home salary, we are saving close to 60% of our salaries. Although we are definitely not spending as little as you and Mrs B, or saving as much as Ak71 (80%!), hope my lifestyle is still “good enough” for a personal finance blogger who “preaches” cutting expenses. =p