Monday, 25 March 2013

January 2013 Expenditure Tracker

I haven't posted my expenditure trackers since the start of the year for a variety of reasons (some outlined before - see my posts on travelling to India and my blog posting hiatus) however as outlined last week I shall be catching up on all those regular posts over the next few days.

I originally started doing my expenditure tracker posts as a budgeting exercise.  It provided discipline for my spending and also forced me to think more carefully about how I was allocating my funds.  In my 2013 Financial Goals I outlined what my expenditure tracker goals were for the year.  As a refresher they were

  • Invest $2,000 per month in the stock market
  • Pay my home loan down by $3,500 per month
  • Limit my personal expenditure to $2,200 per month
In January 2013, I underperformed against all my targets.  My Share investments and home loan accounts were both significantly less than I had budgeted for and I had spent much more on personal expenditure than I had budgeted for.  This was for several reasons (some of which I outlined in my January 2013 Net Worth post)

ItemDec 2012TargetOver/(Under)
Share Investments+$1,032+$2,000-$968
Offset Acct.+$1,281+$3,500-$2,219
Personal expenditure+$4,014+$2,200+$1,814

If I look at the 3 accounts in turn over the month:
  • Share Investments
    • In January the only share investments that I did were as part of my regular employee share investment plan
    • As I was overseas for much of the month I did not have time to find or research other opportunities
  • Home Loan Offset account
    • As I had over-spent on the personal expenditure front, I did not have as much money to save into my home loan offset account this month
  • Personal Expenditure
    • A significant portion of my expenditure from my overseas holiday was put on my credit card and this fell due in January 2013
    • In fact, my credit card bill alone was higher than my target expenditure for the month and this does not include the amount I transfer for my rent and other personal expenditure
Normally I would include a cumulative table for the expenditure tracker but as this is the first month of the new period it is identical to the table above.  

I confess that I am slightly disappointed at the start I had to the year - it never feels great to set a goal and then have trouble achieving it from the outset.  I will be posting my February 2013 expenditure tracker performance tomorrow and it does not get any better from there.   However that is the purpose of these posts - to highlight what I am doing with my money and show that you really do need to keep track of your funds on a pretty regular basis to know where they are going

Have you ever set a budget and then had it blown out of the water very soon?  I don't think I need to reset my expectations just yet but I certainly hope to get it back on track within the coming months.

You May Also Be Interested In:
2013 Financial Goals
Expenditure Tracker Posts - All
January 2013 Net Worth: $346,000 (+3.8%)
Profiting from your employee share plan

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