For my very first entry with some financial content, I would like to go in-depth analysis of my financial spending habit in 2017. I would do this type of financial analysis every quarter (March, June, September & December) in the future. Just for this time, I will go through my 2017 financials which is from July until December 2017. (I just started tracking my spending in July last year).
A little bit of story, I am a keen tracker of my spending habit since university days but they are mostly periodic: 2 months on, 1 month off and then another month on…you get the idea, I was lazy and never consistent. But last year, after I blew my one-month worth of salary on a smartphone, I felt terrible of not being financially responsible. (In my defense, I really need a new phone as my current one, at the time is totally dead. The cost to repair the phone would be more than enough for me to get a new phone). Since then, I was determined to control my financials. It’s been over 6 months now since I’ve started and I’m still continuing my tracking. It really does get easier with time and after 2-3 months of dedicated tracking, it becomes my habit.
First things first, how do I track my spending? I used Wallet apps for Android but they are also available on iOS. I’ve tried a few other apps before, but Wallet apps for me are cleaner, easier to use and offer the options to categorise my entry under more detailed categories and labels. On top of that, they are free! The premium options do exist which includes advanced charts and graphs. But for my basic spending tracker, the free option is sufficient.
Wallet Apps on Android, Check it out here. With that out of the way, let’s dive into the analysis!
All in all, I’ve spent a grand total of RM 6,251.89 in the months of July to December 2017. This gives an average of RM1,041.98 spent per month. I originally set my budget spending of less than RM1,300 per month. So, from July until December, I definitely achieved my target.
The breakdown of my spending in each month:
- July – RM886.17
- August – RM1,039.84
- September – 800.40
- October – RM1,231.05
- November – RM 1,244.78
- December – RM 1,049.65
My lowest spending was in September which is RM500 below budget. Looking back, there were about 4 to 5 public holidays during the month which contributes to the decrease in my spending. whaaat? Contrary to some people’s spending habit, I do not frequently go for shopping or activities during public holidays. I found that the malls, theme parks or cinemas are unnecessarily overcrowded during this period. For September, lesser working days = lesser money spent on fuels and Touch n Go = lesser money spent on eating out during lunch = saving to the MAX!
October and November, on the other hand, is my highest spending month with RM1,200++. But they are still within my spending budget. November probably has the least public holidays and I’ve also done a trip to KL within that month which explains the extra spending.
Out of the total RM6,251.89 spent;
- 25% goes towards fuel.
- 25% goes towards food.
- 15% goes towards Vehicle Maintenance, Touch n Go, and parking fee.
- 10% goes towards medical.
- 10% goes towards bills (Internet and Phone).
- 7% goes towards groceries.
- 8% towards misc. items (haircuts, clothes, occasional splurge, etc.)
From this breakdown, 40% of my expenses or roughly amounted to RM2,500 goes towards my car! This includes fuel, Touch n Go, vehicle maintenance and parking fee. Luckily for me, my car is an old extra car at home, meaning I don’t have to pay the monthly instalments. Owning a car is a real money sucker, especially in Malaysia and ones should really think of long-term gain when choosing to own one. Remember, car loans is Malaysia’s no 1 cause for bankruptcy among millennials. As for the Touch n Go, I can’t really avoid it since I’m using the highway for my daily commute to work.
RM1,562.75 was spent on food, roughly translated into RM260.46 per month. For food, I’ve set my budget of RM10 per day or a total of RM300 per month meaning that my food spending is still within budget. I’ve spent RM437.63 on groceries which includes snacks, sweets, drinks frozen food and canned food. To be honest, my groceries and food spending are fairly minimum mainly because I stayed at home with my parents. So, I am able to save quite a lot in this category.
10% or RM600 was spent on medical checkup which is compulsory for my new job. This is a one-time thing and won’t be incurred again in the future. In addition, I’ve also set aside RM200 per month for occasional splurge such as weekly futsal fee, bowling with friends, eating fancy food once in a while, coffees and haircuts once in 1.5 months. In total, these adds up to about 8% or RM500. Still within budget.
My overall income from July to December 2017 was RM18,374.50 which includes salary and a few sales that I’ve made online. Subtracting this with my expenses of RM6,551.89 gives me a positive cashflow of RM11,822.61 or approximately RM1970.44 per month. That’s quite good for a start, I think.
With this analysis, I can track my spending habit as well as assess on my financial decision. Expenses related to car remains the biggest contributor to my expenses. Given the recovering world’s crude oil price, I don’t think the situation will improve this year (2018). Maybe going out less? (ouch!)
Anyway, this is my financial analysis for the 6 month period. I’m glad that I’m still within my budget target. I Hope to maintain or improve my financial this year. Of course, this is not applicable to everyone and my cash flow is only unique to me since we all have different circumstances and work situation. Perhaps, I will share more on budgeting and money-savings in the future entry. I hope some of you can take something from this analysis or give you a basic idea on how to track your spending. Keep hustling!