It is always good to track your expense and savings as you will be able to better plan your finance. Below is a rough breakdown of my monthly expenses. I am not quite done with it, but I do think it reflects an 80% accuracy.
Lunch at workplace: $6 daily x30 days =$180
Restaurant: $20x4=$80 (Weekly)
My workplace provides cheap food for us as we are lowly paid. I spend an average of $80 dining outside. I do not have a girlfriend (no time and opportunities) and this is probably why I spend so little on dining. Dinner is usually at home with parents.
Parking: $65 (HDB) +$20(outside home)=$75
Maintenance servicing: $20
Road Tax: $80
I have fully repaid my car loan earlier to save on interest, hence there is no loan expenses on it. I live near my workplace and that explains the low cost on fuel. Parking is free in my workplace. I go to comfort delgro for cheap and good servicing. To me, a car is a workhorse, so it will not be shiny and be doubling as a fishing rod to pick girls up.
I give 10% of my gross monthly salary to my parents.
Cable TV: $40
Clothing expenses: $30
Hair Cut: $10
I do not buy clothes every month, but probably every 6 months when the sale is in town. Hence, that explains the low cost I spend on fashion (averaged) monthly. The cable TV hubstation has bundled together complimentary broadband and home line. The actual amount incurred on telecommunications and TV is slightly lower as my cable TV costs me merely $25 monthly (promotion price).
Movies plus dvd/drama series rental: $10
Books and magazines: $10 (including reserving from library @$1.50)
I go on tours once or twice a year and spend about $2400 annually. I love to read and will reserve books online at least once a month to satisfy my craving for knowledge. I do not like to buy books as they take up space and I rarely read more than twice for any 1 book. Also, I tend to procrastinate reading books that I buy. Borrowing makes me ensure I finish reading the book by the 3 weeks deadline. I subscribe to the Edge Magazine for weekly market updates
Total expenses per month: $1725
Total expenses per year: $20,700
One thing I did not include is my $30k Masters fees. If I were to factor it into my monthly expenses, it would be $840 monthly (considering I need 3 years to complete).
This would increase my monthly expenditure to $2565. This is a hefty sum that would require me to earn at least $3,500 monthly to fuel the monthly expenditure. However, I have already prudently set aside a sum of money for my studies and hence, the “one off” expense will not be factored into my monthly cash outflow.
There will be occasional indulgences like buying a new handphone or laptop. However, I abstain from buying such “wants” as I would rather invest my money (in stocks and education) for future returns. My current desktop is bought in 2001 by my father when I entered university. I am proud that I am still using it. The only upgrade I given it is an additional RAM and Windows XP. My company provides a powerful 4GB Ram and 1GB graphics card laptop for work. I do not own much technology gadgets as I prefer very much to keep life simple at the moment.
It is therefore conservative to say I am able to invest $46,000 cash per year from my career income after taxes. It is worthy to note that due to the nature of my work, it has helped me to attain huge savings. If I were working in the CBD area, I believe I will spend much more on food, clothes and leisure.
I am sure many people would deem me as stingy. But this label is only applied when they compare Sg Blue Chips relative to themselves. I have no issue with anyone spending his/her pay to the last cent as I respect that it is their way to demonstrate passion in life. It just so happens that the pleasures that I obtain in life are just so affordable and simple.
These days, reading a good book, the Straits Times, Edge Magazine or Economics and Finance textbooks together with a cup of green tea at starbucks have eaten away many of my weekdays’ nights and weekends’ afternoons. The pursuit of quality education and knowledge can be enjoyed rather economically. Ostentatious goods are still not quite my kind of indulgence. I would rather people admiring me for being knowledgeable than having a sports car, anytime.