What I spend on in a typical week

It’s always interesting to see where my money goes every day – from food and transport to even lifestyle apps like Spotify and Netflix.

Previously I shared how much monthly expenditure looked like – and the graph below shows an updated view almost a year later.

My monthly expenses – Jan 2019 to Feb 2020

As you can already tell visually, my expenses have been rather steady around the $1K mark, and sometimes it goes up very high if I spend lavishly on certain special buys like a brand new Apple Watch or on a spanking new 4K TV. These items are categorised as ‘Loves’.

Since I started my new job in a startup last week, I realised that I could save even more money! Thanks to twice-weekly company lunches and cheaper food compared to the CBD.

Typical Weekly Expenditure

On food items: I eat out quite often because nobody cooks at home, and it’s quite troublesome to prepare meals, although I should try cooking more often. When I eat out, my typical expenditure is on hawker or coffee shop food, not so much fast food.

Since moving from Suntec, food options here at Buona are much cheaper ($4-$5) and I was able to cut a third of my food expenditure. I used to spend around $8-$10 a meal when working in Suntec because it’s a mall! Food options there weren’t very affordable for me.

There’s also the occasional bubble tea on weekends which I’ll spend on too – and it can be my favourite Chicha Sanchen, KOI or TP Tea. It’s roughly the same prices but they quickly add up if I don’t control my consumption.

  • Breakfast: $2 coffee from Timbre+ x 5 days
  • Lunch: $5 from Timbre+ or nearby coffeeshops x 3 days
  • Dinner alone: $5 from around x 3 days
  • Dinner with friends: $20 x 2 days
  • Bubble tea: $5

Total weekly food spend: $85 ($340 monthly)

On others: On a typical weekend, I spend about $50 on dates with my girlfriend, that’s the minimum and it’s on the rather low end of the range. Sometimes it goes up to $100 but as we are together for a longer time, we don’t really spend that much outside compared to before. I also buy presents and gifts for people, and I use this fund similar to a coffee fund, where I usually ask people out and buy them coffee as part of networking. Since leaving the bank, this is much less used for coffees.

My transportation expenditure is mostly spent on public transportation, on MRT and buses, as I don’t take Grab often, unless I am stuck outside at midnight or I have to go somewhere very secluded. If I can, I will try to apply my weekly AIA Vitality voucher first, or consider GrabShare before choosing the JustGrab option.

I also avoid gym memberships, because they are quite ludicrously expensive – I mainly follow workout videos on YouTube or downloaded ones like T25. I can go for a jog, or use the ActiveSG gym (the newer ones are very nice).

Rounding up the others section:

  • Dates: $50
  • Presents/Gifts: $50
  • Transport: $20

Total weekly others spend: $120 ($480 monthly)

Finally, there are some expenditure that don’t come in on a weekly basis, but sometimes they roll in monthly as part of my lifestyle. My insurance coverage is $60 monthly, including hospitalisation, term life, critical illness, cancer coverage and disability. I think it’s affordable, and I might bump the coverage in future as my income grows.

My phone bill is $18 monthly on my Circles Life plan (unlimited data for 12 months, 100 SMS, 100 minutes talktime). I got it last December when they ran a limited time promotion. Unfortunately it’s only for the first 12 months before reverting to the base plan of $28 for 20GB. However, I plan to move to Starhub or Singtel soon as it’s a SIM-only plan and I can freely switch – M1’s cellular network is quite poor these few months with no connectivity.

I spend about $20 monthly on apps and entertainment services like Netflix and Spotify – I use the family plan or share an account so they cost actually less than that. As for app spend, I pay for iCloud ($1.99 a month for 50GB storage) so I can store every damn thing across my Apple devices on the cloud and find them easily.

The other apps I use currently that have a recurring subscription model are Bear (to take notes) and Sleep Cycle (to track Sleep).

  • Insurance: $60
  • Phone bill: $20
  • Apps (iCloud etc): $10
  • Entertainment (Spotify, Netflix etc): $10

Total monthly others: $100

So adding the everything together I’d get roughly $900 in monthly spend (maybe $1000 if I add adhoc and misc items like presents and clothes), which is a means I get to save a majority of my income now! I don’t have a mortgage to pay down and don’t have a lot of other expenses.

That’s just pure expenditure (pure outflow)!

Aside from paying others, I also pay myself through investing

I also have weekly standing instructions to my roboadvisors (StashAway | Endowus) for meeting my investing goals; monthly standing instructions to my Stanchart Jumpstart account to save for BTO; and I leave the rest in my Multiplier for a rainy day (e.g. take advantage of market downturns).

I wrote about automating your finances previously so you can read about that if you’re keen.

Recently, I’ve created a new investment strategy that builds on top of my ETF building strategy. I’ve decided to split my investable assets (net of emergency funds) into 3 buckets with a third of my portfolio in each.

I’d blog about this in a separate post later because I think it’s quite interesting.

Everyone’s spending is personal

I am not sure if my spending is typical of a 27-year old. But I thought maybe I’d just put it out there for you guys to see and maybe benchmark against your own.

I think people don’t talk enough about money because it’s a rather personal thing, and not many people feel comfortable talking about what they spend on, and how much they spend on things etc.

But I think if more people talk about money and share some of their secrets in saving, building wealth while maintaining a great quality life, I think it’s worth sharing and inspiring others about.

What’s your spending like? And how would you like to change it?

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