Wednesday, 5 March 2014

February 2014 Expenditure Tracker

This month was a much more 'normalised' month from an expenditure perspective. Although I didn't save as much as I wanted to because I was paying off credit card debt from last month's expenditures (related to setting up my house) I managed to keep every other account under control.

One of the reasons I continue to track my personal expenditure is that I actually earn a very good income and the one problem that comes with this is that your standard of living and the amount of money you spend typically increases with how much you earn.  This year I have several aggressive financial goals and tracking my expenses and budgeting is an important part of my journey.

Below you can see my detailed expenditure tracker for this month.  As discussed in last month's post I have totally changed the way I track my expenses to give a great degree of clarity on where I am falling behind or am ahead.

Item Feb 2014 Monthly Target Perf. vs Target
Accommodation / Living expenses $2,116 $2,246 -$130
Car expenses $296 $692 -$396
Health / Well being expenses $478 $566 -$88
Entertainment / Personal expenses $1,352 $1,230 +$122
Travel expenses $100 $675 -$575
Other 'big' expenses $2,100 $3,508 -$1,408
Savings / Investments $1,238 $1,051 +$187

  • Accommodation and living expenses
    • These were just below my target for the month and benefited from lower than normal utilities bills.  My utilities bills (gas and electricity) get charged on a quarterly basis so in months where these do not fall due I would expect to outperform this category
    • Groceries were also marginally below my target as I continued to use credit card points to pay for my groceries - I have used most of my points so I do not expect this to continue in coming months
  • Car expenses
    • These were lower than I expected because I was meant to service my car this month but I never got around to it - this is something I need to do soon so expect next month to be a bit higher than this month
    • My fuel bill was lower than expected as my girlfriend moved closer to me so I don't have to constantly drive for an hour to catch up with her
  • Health / well being
    • I did slightly better than forecast but this was due to a mixture of factors - on one hand I had a sport membership fall due that I had not budgeted for at all but on the other I played a lot less squash so avoided the cost of court hire
    • I am going to look at my health insurance cost in the coming months to see whether I am paying too much
  • Entertainment / Personal expenses
    • Although I underperformed where I was meant to be this month, this is typically the area where I tend to splurge and lose most of my money - the fact that it was only ~$100 above where I would expect it to be is something I am very happy about
    • I spent far more than I wanted to on pure entertainment / going out at night and on gifts for others however I saved several hundreds of dollars by stopping buying breakfast every day
  • Travel
    • My travel expenditure was lower than budgeted which is expected because I am not going to see real expenditure here until I book my overseas holiday later this year
  • 'Other expenditure'
  • Savings / Investments
    • This amount was marginally higher than expected which was entirely due to my employee share plan which gets automatically deducted from my wage each month - I did not put anything towards my home loan this month
I am reasonably happy with this month.  I have several big expenditures coming up in March which may (though hopefully wont) blow up my budget.

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  1. The "other expenses", did you fall $1,400 short of your savings target?

    Have you decided on when you want to buy the big purchases?
    Just wondering if you can push one of them back so your savings target can be more realistic if it's too difficult to hit your target.

    1. When I did my budget this year I also included an estimation of my annual cash bonus (I needed to include it to fund everything I wanted to do). Unfortunately this only gets paid in one hit at the end of the year so it makes my budget look 'strange' every month.

      In terms of what I'm saving towards the "other" also includes a cheaper sports car which will be fully funded out of the budget. I'm actually currently pretty much on track to purchase the 'big item' in July/August.

  2. Great job mate! Keep it up.
    Unfortunately I'm going to have to start tracking my expenditure soon. Very depressing...