Expense Report: February 2020 ft. A New Job!

Part of the reason why I wanted to share my journey is to keep myself accountable. That means that I’ll be publishing every dollar spent, so as to be able to identify gaps and opportunities in my spending.

This would also hopefully help frame my spending habits, and aid me in looking for patterns and whether they’re good or bad habits.

To do this, I track my expenses manually using Spendee, as the likes of Personal Capital and Mint don’t link to my banks and cards directly.

Networking, lunches and coffees:

I started a new job in the second week of the month, and one of my goals is to get some time with everyone in the teams I’ll be working alongside with. The easiest way to do that is to spend time during lunches or coffee breaks.

I also didn’t want to deal with the logistics of needing to warm my food up/get the other person to have food in the office if they didn’t want to, so I made the executive decision to budget in some more money for eating out this month.

Fortunately, food can be quite inexpensive here in Singapore. Unfortunately, most of the food that fall under their category doesn’t quite adhere to my nutritional goals (high protein, lower carbs).

You gain some, you lose some, right?

The numbers:

These are all in Singapore dollars, with US$1 being approximately S$1.39.

Rent / Family$1,419This is made up of a fixed amount every month ($750) that doubles up as rent, with variable expenses making up the rest of it for things like medical bills, house repair, servicing, medical bills for my family etc.

It's a little higher this month for two reasons: 1) it was my dad's birthday, and 2) I'm having to order takeout for my mom's lunch three times a week due to COVID-19. It's not highly sustainable, but until I figure out an arrangement that she can work with (she's not very mobile and doesn't go out of the apartment much), it's what I have to deal with.
Eating Out $202Mostly the lunches with my new colleagues!
Groceries$120A direct correlation with eating out.
Insurance$210One of my bigger financial mistakes was signing up for an endowment plan. I've since canceled it, but because of a weird arrangement with the bank, I still have 5 more interest-free installments left on the payments.
Bills$72Cable and phone; pretty standard stuff.
Transport$127Public transport clocks in at $67, and I'll expect this to normalize to around $100 a month for that. The other expenses are for rides on Grab (a Lyft/Uber equivalent).
Taxes$161I actually forgot to include this in last month's report since I have it automated and paid monthly - this will last until March, and in April it'll go up to $186.
Others$36Got myself a haircut before starting the new job!
Total$2,347It's clear that I'm spending a lot on things that are outside my locus of control. I'm happy with my spending on the other things, though.

How did your February go?

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