Tuesday, 3 September 2013

August 2013 Expenditure Tracker

I reset my budget expectations last month as I had continued to underperform my goals and expectations and I thought it was best to be realistic about what I could save and invest.  I realised that I actually had much higher core expenses than I had first imagined and my new goals, while still tough seemed much more achievable to me.

ItemAug 2013Target (new)Over/(Under)Target (old)Over/(Under)
Share Investments+$1,094+$2,500-$1,406+$2,000-$906
Offset Acct.+$2,149+$2,400-$251+$3,500-$1,351
Personal expenditure+$5,592+$2,800+$2,792+$2,200+$3,392

The table above paints a pretty bleak picture of what I had achieved versus what I wanted to achieve however it is not as bad as it first looked.  I mentioned in my August 2013 net worth post that what I was starting to do was to smooth my credit card bills by saving into a high interest saver account every time I spent money on my credit card.  This was the first month that I did this which meant that my personal expenditure looks much higher than it would ordinarily be.  From next month this should normalise.

As I have reset my expectations I also have a measure of how I was performing versus my original goals and how I am performing versus my reset goals.  The major movements in my 3 accounts are discussed below:

  • Share investments
    • This month I only contributed the standard amount to my employee share plan and did not invest anything further in the share market.  This was for 2 reasons
      • I have not saved anything into my home loan offset account since the start of the year on a net basis
      • I am looking at restructuring my investment account to try a new strategy which I found particularly appealing - it was from a Joel Greenblatt book which I reviewed recently
    • The net result of this was an under-investment in my share account
  • Home Loan offset account
    • This month I managed to save some money into my offset account (though not as much as I would have liked(
    • Timing differences meant that I received 3 rental payments in the month (compared to 2) however I also had a water bill due which reduced the positive impact of this
    • Unfortunately I still marginally underperformed even my reset expectations
  • Personal expenditure
    • This was the real blow out during the month however as outlined above it is not as bad as it first seems because a fair amount of this went into a high interest account in order to pay of upcoming credit card bills
    • I have also started stocking away for other big personal expenditures which will be due in the distant future.  It is a strategy that I think will work for me and I'm going to outline it in an upcoming post
    • What it does in the short term though is make my personal expenditure account look horrendous
On a cumulative basis my performance can be seen as follows:

ItemAug 13 -Aug 13Target (new)Over/(Under)Jan 13 -Aug 12Target (old)Over/(Under)
Share Investments+$1,094+$2,500-$1,406+$15,093+$16,000-$907
Offset Acct.+$2,149+$2,400-$251+$8,678+$28,000-$19,322
Personal expenditure+$5,592+$2,800+$2,792+$37,494+$17,600+$19,894

As outlined in the headings the reset performance is from August 2013 and the original performance is from January 2013.  I will continue disclosing it in this way until the end of the year when I set my goals for next year.  I'm hoping to be able to get my reset expectations back in line by the end of the year although an upcoming overseas holiday is definitely not going to help.  Against that I still have my tax return and bonus which should boost the performance in the few months left in the year.

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