A Look at my Expenses for February

Well, the end of the month has come! I decided it’ll be good to review my expenses for the month in a similar way to how I reviewed my expenses in January (See How much does it cost to live on my own?).

So, how did I do?

Well, I’m glad I managed to keep my expenses down!

Here’s the breakdown:

Monthly Savings and Investments: $300.00
Insurance Premiums: $38.08
Rent: $750.00
Handphone Bill: $66.68
Transportation (Bus + Train): $40.00
Food & Other Necessities: $312.06 (includes expenditure for Valentine’s Day)
Non-Regular Expenses: $77.08 (School Fees: I’m on CPF loan which covers 90%, and I’ll have to pay the remaining 10% of the fees from my own pocket)

Total expenditure: $1582.90.

Total expenditure not counting the savings and investments: $1282.90.

Here’s a pie chart (because everybody loves pictures!):

chart

So what has changed since the last month?

Well, if you noticed, my non-regular expenses have gone down! The only non-regular expense was for my school fees for the semester.

Anyway, I decided to decrease the amount spent on my investments/savings each month. $400 is a bit too high for my own comfort. So now, it’s down to $300.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to lower my expenditure on food. Oh gosh… So much for wanting to save money and eat healthy. I have waved the white flag and surrendered. It’s just too stressful, not to mention miserable!

In an earlier post (See Eating Healthy, Saving Money), I experimented with trying to eat muesli with fruits on alternate days for lunch, and more vegetables and less meat for dinner. Oh gosh… That was the first and last day I did that! I was sooooooooo depressed and miserable! I was constantly yearning to eat fried chicken the entire day! Worse still, I kept feeling hungry and unsatisfied all day long.

Just before I got back home, I gave up and bought a soda just to make me feel a little better about life.

The next day, I decided to spend a little bit for a decent breakfast. It was kaya toast with soft boiled eggs and a cup of coffee. Oh wow… I ate my first spoon of soft boiled eggs and BAM! WOW! I felt soooo happy and satisfied as if I had tasted heaven with my very tongue!

You have absolutely no idea how much joy filled my heart just eating those ultra satisfying and heart-warming soft boiled eggs.

At that moment, I told myself: No more!

I won’t try to save money like this. It’s too depressing for it to be feasible.

I’ve also given up on eating cereal for breakfast and making my own coffee. The cost of such a meal (really healthy and nutritious cereal + milk + non-instant coffee) amounts to about $1.80-2. I can go to the coffeeshop near my house and enjoy a nice glutinous rice with coffee (or tea) for about $2.20. Or I can get a kaya toast set with soft boiled eggs and coffee/tea for around $2.20 too. For 20-40 cents more, I can get some variety, and save myself the hassle of washing up and stocking up on supplies when they run out. Personally, I think that’s really worthwhile.

Anyway, I’m pretty surprised at just how costly my handphone bill is. It’s strange. I’ve been paying about $63 a month for quite a while and it has never occurred to me that my handphone bill was rather high until I started monitoring my expenses. I guess a lot of our expenses just slip us by without us realising the magnitude of it until we begin to benchmark them against other expenditures.

I really should downgrade my plan.

The only reason why I have such a costly plan is because I had upgraded my phone plan to a free 300-minute plan. On average, my phone usage is always more than a hundred minutes. It’s usually around 180 minutes. Well, unfortunately there isn’t a 200-minute free plan. I upgraded from 100 to 300 because the cost of paying for that additional 80 minutes (or more) costs far more than subscribing to a 300-minute plan. I recently checked and discovered that there’s actually a cheaper 300-minute handphone plan. I’m scratching my head, wondering to myself how on earth did I end up subscribing to the more costly plan.

Well, unfortunately, I can’t do anything about my plan until May/June. I can’t wait to change to a cheaper plan, and maybe get a new handphone. *excited*

Oh well… Let’s see if I can do better for the month of March!