Friday, 10 February 2012

Friday night budget blow outs

As indicated in my January 2012 personal expenditure tracker post, I am broadly keeping in line with my investing goals however my personal expenditure was far away from my goal and this month is actually looking significantly worse.

As a result I have been keeping a fairly close eye on my personal expenditure and there are several reasons that this keeps happening which include

  1. I blindly pay fees for services I don't really need or because I'm feeling lazy. E.g. I will go to the closest ATM to withdraw money (and incur a $2 charge as it is not my bank) instead of walking for 2 - 3 minutes and getting it for free. As I normally only withdraw $50 - $60 at a go this really starts to add up

  2. I spend a LOT on eating out. For me to spend $60 - $80 on a dinner is not unusual. I think there is a pressure to go to the best places and not worry about the cost because I am seen to be earning well (and my professional friends tend to have the same attitude.

The biggest thing that tends to throw my personal budget out however are Friday nights. As I prepare to leave work currently for a Friday night out I just did a quick calculation of how much I would probably spend which I've outlined below

  • $30 - $40 on dinner

  • $50 - $60 on drinks at a bar somewhere

  • $60 on a taxi ride home (I live quite far out of the city as this saves me a lot of money but costs me on Friday nights)

The above represents a standard to a quieter Friday night and there is $140 - $160 of expenditure right there. That could easily go up to $250 if I am going out partying. On a monthly basis this works out to ~1 / 3 - 1 / 2 of my monthly personal expenditure without including things like memberships (gym etc), charities, hobbies, rent etc.

Over the next month I'm going to see if I can exercise some self control and will post about my progress.

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