Monday, January 9, 2017

Expenses Review 2016

That time of the year when i look back at my expenses in 2016... and see how much better or worst did i fare financially...

I really only started tracking my expenses in 2015 when i got YNAB, and my first year expenses were recorded in 2015 expenses review.

It was pretty interesting to see where my money went to. I guess it would be even more interesting (for me that is) to see where i stack compared to last year.

Car Expenses: $31,687.88 (2015: $33,198.99)
Pretty consistent here. The slight disparity was because I did without a car for slightly under a month where i sold off my fancy ride to get a more down-to-earth vehicle. I expect the expenses in this category to drop in 2017.

Fixed Expenses: $17,792.31 (2015: $14,234.21)
This category is getting higher, and boils down to me increasing my insurance cover as described in here. Also taxation is higher (if i recall, there is a 1-off relief previous year) due to slightly higher income. An area which i can manage better, with SRS, topping up with CPF perhaps. I have been putting this off because I kept some cash on hand to fund my home. Now that that is out of the way, I can look to reducing some income tax expenses.

Monthly Bills: $2,322.48 (2015: $2,943.24)
Phone bills, gym membership. Slightly lower this year, as I managed to get reimbursement for my gym fees late last year as part of corporate benefit. Also my phone bills gets transferred to my 'family account' as part of a total package from Singtel. So likely i will drop this category in 2017.

Daily Expenses: $7,566.51 (2015: $9,081.47)
Total family expenses goes here (food, entertainment etc). Went down due to a conscious effort to cook more at home. Although in the grand scheme of things - it didn't look like it helped much. Maybe savings of $100 a month.

Holidays: $2,839.81 (2015: $8,239.05)
Too busy to take a break - a good thing for the wallet!

Personal Expenses: $6,538.75 (2015: $6,175.5)
Somewhat similar to last year. Was higher this year because i cabbed everywhere when I was without a car. Surprising to me though - because I thought I DID try to watch my spending on other areas like office meals and social entertainment expenses.

Bringing me to a total of $68,747.74 (2015: $73,872.46)
So, after a year of belt tightening, I cut my expenses down by $5,000 p.a. Which is about $600 a month.

Total essential expenses would be $43,897.57 [$31,897.57+$12,000 family expenses] (2005: $42,140.98)

And the daily maintenance expenses would be $3,500. Approximately same as last year as well. Having said that though, I still need to factor in the mortgage of my new house. So in reality, the figure per month is higher.

Overall, I think it is quite surprising to me. Looks like the efforts I have put into cutting my expenses did not bear as much fruits as I thought it should. It certainly felt like I put in more effort than satisfaction I get in the return for the savings!


  1. Probably that is because your CAR expenses took a huge chunk. For property I will take the the interests portion as expenses and exclude the principal as that is for the physical asset down payment.

    1. Hey Cory,
      Yup, seems like the car indeed took up 50% of my total expenses. No matter how i tighten other areas, the impact is just not going to be felt much i think.

      For property, i do 'cash' accounting instead. Just treating cash outflow as expenses - even though i know this is accumulating 'capital'. It's a fixed outflow so i prefer to think of it that way.