Understanding my spending

What gets measured gets managed.

It isn’t surprising that I apply a bit of what I do professionally into my personal finances – analytics. In order to understand my spending habits, I decided to track my monthly expenses to derive some insights so that it can be managed!

Background and setup

  • In July 2018, when I first started my new role, I was trying out various budgeting apps to see which would the simplest to track my expenses
  • I eventually settled on Next, and tracked my spending over the next few months

Here are the results:

Some insights from the graph

Like most people, I spend most of my money on food and drinks (including bubble tea!), averaging $678 monthly. Most of it comes from dinner with friends and coffee. Hopefully it continues trending down.

If you see some spikes in the gifts section, they are usually one-off special expenses I made to splurge on various wants. In October I upgraded my phone to an XS Max and in December I kinda bought a brand new TV and a PS4.

Thank god in March I managed to cut back significantly on my spending thanks to reservist! Even though I spent a bit of money on my dad’s birthday gift the overall expense impact is still manageable.

and….. implications?

Based on this very simple tracker, my average monthly expenses are around $1k (without mortgage and other loan repayments). A $240k asset portfolio yielding 5% annually would give me the ability to be cash neutral every month – so the immediate step is to accumulate towards that goal within the next few years.

Derrick is a digital native, finance geek and avid photographer. He loves spontaneity but is a control freak at the same time.

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