How much does it cost to live on my own?

Last month, I started this habit of tracking just how much money I spend. I think it’s important because ever since I’ve been living on my own, I noticed that my bank balance has been draining very very very quickly.

Well, I just collated all the data, and boy was I in for a shock!

The total amount of money that leaked out of my wallet for the month of January was…. *drum roll* SGD$2099.33!!!

WOAH! I’m horrified!!! No wonder my wallet has a hole!

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Having spent so much money, I think the message on my wallet is very apt:

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Shoo! No money inside!

Anyway, I need a new wallet. The hole in my wallet has been rather annoying. It’s been scratching my skin whenever I walk around with my wallet in my pocket. The problem, however, is that wallets are expensive. I’ve been on the lookout for wallets – decent ones that won’t damage too quickly. But the ones I’ve seen cost from as little as $40 to as high as $200! That’s a huge turn-off! Even the thought of buying a $40 wallet puts me off. I have no idea why anyone would buy a $200 wallet when it looks exactly like a $40 wallet in the same departmental store.

Anyway… Wow… SGD$2099.33! Where did all the money go? Well, here’s a breakdown:

Monthly Savings and Investments: $400.00
Insurance Premiums: $38.08
Rent: $750.00
Handphone Bill: $64.00
Transportation (Bus + Train): $40.00
Food & Other Necessities: $316.25
Non-Regular Expenses: $491.00

Here’s a percentage breakdown:
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Ok, to be honest, this month’s expenditure is extraordinarily high because of what I call, “Non-regular expenses,” which includes a short holiday to Batam, the cost of repairing my laptop, and of course, my anniversary celebration.

If we don’t count the non-regular expenses, and if we don’t count the amount set aside for savings and investments, the total amount spent is: $1208.33. This is comparable to what a friend of mine (single and renting) spends a month.

Furthermore, if we don’t count the cost of renting a room, then my regular expenditure for daily necessities (food, insurance, transportation, handphone) is only $458.33 for the month. Not too bad, I think.

If you’re wondering how on earth I managed to spend only $40 on transportation, here’s how: I walk to school everyday! It also helps that The Girlfriend drives. If we go anywhere together, we’d usually go by car.

That being said, I think it’s still pretty scary how fast $40 runs out just by taking the MRT. In January alone, I took the train about slightly more than 10 times?

Anyway, I think the reasons why I’ve been able to bring down my expenditure on food (to $316.25) is primarily because school has started and I’ve been eating in the canteen, plus the fact that I’ve committed myself to eating cornflakes and brewing my own coffee almost every morning (I’d die of boredom if I eat nothing but cornflakes every morning, so sometimes I’ll walk to school and enjoy a plate of fried noodles), plus the fact that I’ve been eating with The Girlfriend’s family every now and then (I’m soooo grateful for their hospitality!).

Some statistics: If I eat lunch and dinner in school, my average expenditure is about $7 a day (including the occasional coffee). If I eat both lunch and dinner outside of school, my average expenditure is about $12 a day.

I’m still contemplating whether or not I should pack and eat cornflakes or some kind of cereal mix for lunch. I wish I could cook and pack my own meals. That would really bring down the cost of food even further. Too bad cooking’s not allowed at where I’m renting. Oh well…

I wonder if I can bring down my expenditure further without making life too miserable. Suggestions, anyone?