Expenditure Update: May 14

The fiscal impact of our holiday to Taiwan was fully felt this month as it added an estimated $2,800 to our May expenses. This also helps to explain the overall hefty expenses of $6,000, which is another record high! Urgh…

Including the air tickets, this 11-day trip helped to set us back by $3,500. But it was well worth it as both of us badly needed to catch a breather from work. And this trip was made even sweeter by the fact that it was freaking hot and humid in Singapore back in early May. =p

Most of us love to travel but I wonder if this love is innate or driven by a desire to “escape” something unpleasant (for this trip, read work and weather). Thus, even though I ain’t a big fan of the typical vacation, I have to admit I enjoyed this escapade. But weather aside, there is a strong likelihood that I would equally enjoy such a long break in Singapore. I am about to find out soon, and I guess that’s for another post, another day. =p

Anyway, below is the detailed breakdown for this month’s expenses:


Eating Out: $611.30

Hawker ($212.40) – I love my basic hawker fare and have to admit that sometimes, it’s cheaper to eat out at hawkers as compared to cooking at home.

Fast Food ($25.20) – I love the McDonalds Surprise App which gives me a chance to enjoy Coke, french fries and hash browns for free occasionally. It’s time to cut down on Subway as they have massively increased their prices for my favourite Subway Melt. Urrgh…

Restaurants ($373.70) – A mother’s day treat and Mrs 15HWW’s dinner treat for her brother’s birthday plus the habitual 2/3 restaurant visits to Ding Tai Fung, Sushi Tei, Old Town White Coffee etc every week.

Groceries: $74.20

Supermarket ($10) – Just a short visit to the supermarket as we needed to clear up the stuff we bought from Taiwan first. And I am amazed at the amount of gift vouchers we still have left.

Wet market ($37.90) – A couple of trips to the Kovan wet market for some simple cooking.

Bakery ($4.30) – Cut down quite a bit on bread as breakfasts were a combination of fruits, nuts and (drum roll)… super-fattening pastries from Taiwan!

Baking ($22.00) – A good friend of ours was having her ROM ceremony this month and Mrs 15HWW baked some cupcakes as a surprise for her lunch reception.

Beverages & Snacks: $59.95

Beverages ($11.55) – Some treats to my subordinates during work chat sessions

Snacks ($48.40) – The culprits were the $30 worth of macadamia nuts, cashew nuts and pecans and a small mothers’ day cake bought at a neighbourhood bakery

Utilities: $167.54

Electricity, Gas & Water ($108.81) – $30 higher than the most recent bill as we started switching on the air-con at night for a better sleep on some of the more unbearable nights.

Cellphones ($58.73) – As usual for the both of us.

Transport: $65

1 cab trip and just 1 EZ Reload transactions for her. Reduction in cost since we were away for the first 1/3 of the month.

Departmental: $11.00

Personal items ($11.00) – A trip to Daiso and a replacement for our shower head.

Miscellaneous: $3029.60

Gifts & Treats ($136.00) – Two ROM invitations for the Mrs.

Others ($93.60) – A hen’s night, some assessment books for my student and a cheap haircut for me.

Taiwan Trip ($2,800) – A really good estimate based on the amount of currencies we exchanged and the accomodation we charged to our credit cards

Total: $4018.59

Overall Total: $5,988.59 (included fixed expenses of $1,970)


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11 thoughts on “Expenditure Update: May 14

    1. My 15 HWW Post author

      Hi Richard,

      I am actually pretty ashamed of my low expenditure in the groceries section. A mantra that I believe in is appended below:

      Eating out expensively < Cooking at home with expensive groceries < Cooking at home with efficiency

        1. My 15 HWW Post author

          Hi Richard,

          Guess I would have preferred a praise regarding my low beverage expenses. LOL.

          I definitely wouldn’t mind a feature if you deem me interesting enough.

          1. Richard (Invest Openly)

            Hi 15 HWW, hahaha.. ok, your beverage expenses is rather low too 😉

            Great to hear (for opening the potential interview post), will send you an email of the questions soon.


  1. Jasmine Ye

    Hi 15HWW,

    Thanks for the update! I find myself looking forward to your monthly expenses update as a basis of comparison, as we are both married and around the same age group.

    Kudos to you for keeping your expenses low and manageable. I have been trying to do the same as well but it hadn’t been easy, mainly due to the fact that my hubby drives, and that my parents have retired.

    Up till now, we are still managing our money separately as we do not have common expenses yet (HDB flat will only be ready next year). Will ask you for tips when the time comes!


    1. My 15 HWW Post author

      Hi Jasmine,

      The expenditure update is supposed to be a diary of sorts and I am seriously surprised that there are people looking forward to it. =p

      Expenses are actually climbing compared to when I first started these updates many months ago and I agree that it does take some effort in our materialistic society to keep it down.

      We handle our expenses together (although she is too lazy to input it in her phone) and this literally means everything. And apparently, this makes us a very odd couple among our friends. =)

  2. SGYI

    I’m missing my Taiwan trip from last year. It was lots of fun. But i only spent $2800 for my whole family of 4. 😉

    1. My 15 HWW Post author

      Hi SGYI,

      Kudos to you for achieving that!

      $3,500 was also much higher than our previous trip to Taiwan almost two years ago. But as we were covering more ground this time, we spent quite a bit on the booking of cabs. And it’s definitely more economical to travel in a bigger group. =)

  3. Alex

    Hi 15HWW,

    It is not easy to keep track of spending every single month ! Really salute to you for being so disciplined. I tried to keep track using mobile app but always forget after awhile so I just budget an amount of what I want to spend on stick to that.

    Can you share on what you spent in Taiwan as well ? So readers interested to go Taiwan will know what to expect 🙂

    1. My 15 HWW Post author

      Hi Alex,

      I understand that even though it’s simple, it’s not easy for most. But guess just like brushing teeth twice a day, it just takes some discipline to make it a habit. =)

      You can do it!

      For Taiwan, I can only give you a brief breakdown below since I didn’t really record diligently. =p

      Air tickets: $700

      Travel within Taiwan: $200 (We went to Tai Chung, Qing Jing, Yi Lan and then Taipei)

      Daily Expenses & Shopping: $1,100 (11 days)

      Accomodation: $1,200 (11 days)

      Souvenirs & Tidbits: $300