Friday, January 02, 2015

(Some of) My 2014 expenditures

Finally after using YNAB for 1.5 yrs, I have a full set of expenditure data from Jan 2014 to Dec 2014. This is a software that enables me to track my spending to a great degree of accuracy. No faulty mental accounting nor mistakes here, so it's as good as it gets.

These are some of my expenditures:

1. Food/restaurants : $424 per month, or $14 per day ($4 per day for restaurant, $10 per day for foodcourt/hawker/coffee shops)
2. Utilities bill: $50 per month for my share, so it's about $100 household (subsidies included)
3. Clothes/shoes: $30 per month
4. Gifts/ang bao for others: $126 per month
5. Mobile phone: $42 per month
6. Household internet: $45 per month
7. Personal insurance (whole, term, disability, mortgage, h&s rider) :$470 per month
8. Car related expenses (monthly installment, fuel, road tax, maintenance all in): $345 per month

I realised that my own spending is very little by comparison. All the things that I do for entertainment throughout the year (exclude food), which includes shopping for clothes, shoes, movies, books, gadgets, works out to be $53 per month. Maybe it's a bit unfair, because usually my wife buys the stuff I want and I do the same for hers. So I should include gifts/ang bao, totaling about $180/mth. That's more like it.

I also realised that I need to set up a household fund. I spent $430 on house related stuff, like replacing my letterbox lock, aircon maintenance, little repairs here and there. I already budget that in for year 2015. Should have less surprises there for this year. I also set up a car repair fund after I realised that I spent $540 in 2014 for car related repairs and maintenance. I guess after about 2-3 yrs worth of hard data, it'll be harder to surprise me for unexpected expenditures.

The year 2014 is a fantastic work year for me. It's the highest income I've ever earned in 10 years and to put it in context, 2013 was the worst I had in 10 yrs. Maybe it sort of even out. I saved about 63% of my income, which is something I don't expect to repeat year after year. This is partly because of the increased income rather than the decrease of any expenditures. My expenditures are fairly constant, especially after I settled the first two bombs of my life (wedding and housing/renovation).

For self reference, I begin Jan 2015 with a net worth of $229,285 (not inclusive of housing loans and current valuation of house but net of other debts). My half of the portion of housing debt is $217,123, so my net worth is $12,162. It'll be a fantastic year if I can end 2015 with a net worth of $72,000, which is essentially a savings of $60k, or $5k per month.

Let's go.


Anonymous said...

Don't treat wedding and housing as "bombs". The misses won't like it.

la papillion said...

Hi anon,

Nah, she won't mind :)

I've blogged about this before:

In that post, I talked about 4 financial bombs. It's called a bomb because it blows up your savings, so I'll describe it as it is. Not that I mind though...getting married and having a house done by nicely is one of the best things I've ever done in my life. No regrets over there :)

Rolf Suey said...

Hi LP,

Good set of expenses and your savings are applaudable! You sure work hard to earn in 2014!

Like you, I also do not have much expenses on myself excluding needs. Guess that is what happen when you age, that sometimes you forget about yourself.

As for the bombs, I also read your previous articles on the 4 bombs. Bombs sound scary but after been through all in repeat times myself, it is actually enjoyable after you see the fruits!

As for kids, perhaps it is not just financial! It will be time and mental in exchange for different kind of Joy.

Let's go... in 2015!


SS said...

Hi LP,

Your net worth is impressive, and to set out to save at $5k a month is really enviable. :)

Hope you can achieve your goals set out for 2015. All the best!

Unknown said...

Good job for 2014!!

May your 2015 goals be fulfilled!

la papillion said...

Hi Rolf,

Ya man, I never worked so hard in my life! But interestingly, it's a different sort of 'hard' compared to in the past...though I worked shorter hours in the past, I moved around a lot. Sometimes I feel like I'm a soldier route marching to one spot and do battle for 2 hours, then move to another and another. Very tiring. These days, I just sit at home and wait for the battle to come to me LOL

I agree with your reflections about the 'bombs'. It's really not that bad. But I guess we must align our spending with our intention, only then we'll feel happy. Sometimes the very act of having been through the bombs will allow us to transform into someone better ;)

la papillion said...


Nah, I won't be too concerned about networth. Net net, it's not worth much LOL

Aim to save $5k per month is different from saving $5k per month hor! It's like those property prices where they say they are asking for xxx. Asking only mah, not sure if they will get HAHA

la papillion said...

Hi CY,

Haha, thanks bro..may your business huat huat huat too :) Hopefully you'll be perplexed by your tax problems this year, like 2014 too! That means you huat until taxation is a problem :)

secretinvestors said...

Hi LP,

May I ask your profession currently? Also, I notice you didn't include overseas holiday expenses? It sometimes can be a bomb too!

Anonymous said...


I have been following your posts lately. You are such an inspiration to all with how focus you are in terms of reaching your financial goals.

It's amazing how housing loan is the biggest debt for many of us. I guess I have a low net worth as well. Thankfully, I have no more housing loan left to pay. So I guess it's up up and away from here for me.

Renewed investor

la papillion said...

Hi secretinvestors,

You can read about me here:

I didn't include because I didn't go for any holiday in 2014! No time! I don't go to any extravagant places though..sad right? Usually SEA resorts, 3-5 days to recharge, that's all. But if I know I'll go, then I'll budget for it accordingly :)

la papillion said...

Hi renewed investor,

Thanks for reading my blog :) I'm just very normal Singaporean with extraordinary ambitions!

It's true, isn't it? Housing here is very expensive. I read about how in other countries, housing is about 20-50k, but here, it's easily 10 or 20 times as much. Oh well, lamenting about it won't change anything, might as well make the best out of it :)

You're the inspiration, not me! Wow, no more housing debt to pay..I think I'll take another 15-20 yrs before I can achieve that lol

Life begins for you now :) Enjoy the adventure!

Anonymous said...

Hi LP,

Just wondering, do you have a joint account with your wife?

I have one with my wife and we contribute an equal amount every month. And we deduct all the household related expenses from there, eg grocery, kids items, helper allowance, etc.

Just wondering if such an arrangement may make sense for you and your wife.


la papillion said...

Hi naro,

Yup, we each have our personal account and also a joint acct. Like you, we put in an equal sum every now and then to be used for our joint expenses. But for gifts, it's from our personal accounts :)

It's a great system.

My 15HWW said...

Hi LP,

Think just like you, my expenses are pretty "standard" and there's no deliberate attempt to lower it further.

Somehow, it's just become rather manageable and standard although I do detect a little of lifestyle inflation from time to time.

Just curious, do you pay for your own share of internet? Cos $90/month seems pretty ex.

Turtle Investor said...

You're probably the only person I know of who uses Ynab. Awesome tool, I can't imagine living without it now.

la papillion said...

Hi 15hww,

Haha, we're alike in this way :) I thin lifestyle inflation is okay...we naturally want to spend more on ourselves and others as our earning power increases. But as long as the lifestyle inflation is less than the earnings inflation, everything is fine. We have to hedge against a short, unfulfilled life too :)

Oh, for internet, I paid the entire household bill. Somehow I didn't split this up with my wife (I'm not sure why too).

la papillion said...

Hi TI,

You too :) I saw your ynab ad in your blog, haha :)

Great tool, I really love the seamless integration of the mobile and desktop application. Been using for 1.5 yrs, never regretted since :) Saves me a lot of time manually bringing over what I recorded on my mobile phone to desktop! And error free too!

Can't ask fore more haha

Unknown said...

Hi, i chanced upon your blog. Good job with your focus on financial security!

Your networth is grossly understated - as you simply net off the loan without taking into consideration the asset value, but i guess since you stay in it, you do not wish to be those typical asset rich, cash poor folks. =)

la papillion said...

Hi Joel,

Hey there!

Ya, I didn't include the value of my home because when the lease is over, there's no guarantee that there'll be any value left (by law it's 0 value), so I might as well treat it as such. I have no intention to sell it, so no need to 'fatten' up my own networth. Got to be honest :)

Thanks for visiting!

ladykiller said...

you appear to be a very thrifty person actually, judging by the quantum of your expenditure! that's awesome, and may the forces of the universe work to assist you further.

thank you for introducing the app. could help sort out my life.

la papillion said...

Hi ladykiller,

Haha, I always have problem spending but was told that I'm much better now.. It's my insecurities with money lah. I suppose as I get more and more wealthier, I should loosen a bit more :)

Thanks for your well wishes!

It is really a fantastic app! Try it... There's a full feature demo function. No harm trying!

secretinvestors said...

Hi LP,

Read through the link you sent about yourself. I believe you are ahead of your peers financially and its definitely good to unwind once in a while. I think SEA resorts is good enough as long as you enjoy it :)

la papillion said...

Hi secretinvestors,

Heh, sometimes it's better not to know about how others are doing in comparison to me.. If I'm better, I might get arrogant. If I'm worse off, I might get depressed. May success or failures never shift me off my equilibrium :)

SGYI said...

Hi LP,

Thanks for breaking down your expenses. Now I know what to expect for expenses if I were to start a family. Haha. Yours looks quite manageable to me.

la papillion said...


No problem :)

I didn't include a few items like parent's allowance, food, groceries, etc..and the big ones are mortgage. If you include this, I think will easily hit about $2k to 2.5k and above on a household level. That should be the guideline actually.

Intraday Tips said...

Will this software be used for tracking my spending to a great degree of accuracy.

Unknown said...

If you expend the same money with by using forex tips for trading in forex market than you can earn good amount in return.

Unknown said...

i don't expend more on personal requirements as I think Intraday SGX Signals does a lot profit for a newbie trader like me.