Let’s start the new year by looking back at 2019 — or more specifically, on how I spent my money last year. To be honest, my spending was not at it’s best last year due to several big-moment purchases. In hindsight, those purchases were necessary (marriage!) but maybe they could be better managed. Oh well..
If you read my earlier post in 2018, you knew that I am a keen tracker of my spending. And that habit continues well into 2019 and still going strong up to this day. My primary method of tracking my spending is still using Wallet apps as they are awesome and functional. Maybe I’ll blog about the apps and how to make the most out of it in the upcoming post. So, here we go..
Subtext: June graph was wayy higher than it appears to. I had to truncate the graph for sizing purposes.
All in all, I’ve spent a grand total of RM 58,235.43 in 2019 which averages to RM 4,852.96 spent per month. Of course, the average didn’t really picture the real situation as there are two months (June and July) which I spent way extra on the big moment purchases.
The breakdown of my spending for each month:
- January – RM 2375.31
- February – RM 1845.96
- March – RM 1718.41
- April – RM 2006.16
- May – RM 2542.37
- June – RM 19,769.88
- July – RM 8748.02
- August – RM 4933.26
- September – RM 3419.14
- October – RM 1987.94
- November – RM 4021.23
- December – RM 4368.25
May marks the first month that I moved out of my parents house, start my new job as well as living on my own. This, couples with my marriage on July, skyrocketed my spending starting from May all the way to December. October was a little bit of anomaly, perhaps due to me forgetting to log in my expenses. Not entirely sure.
My lowest spending was in March which was RM1718.41. I used to have RM 1500/month budget but since the start of 2019, RM 1500 per month was no longer sufficient as I had to make trips to Kuala Lumpur from Penang each month (January to April).
My highest spending was in June and July — a whopping RM 19,769.88 and RM 8748.02 respectively which gone into misc. wedding preparation. Yes, marriage is a big life event and would consume you a lot of money if not properly planned and managed. More true if you are a Malaysian. I think I still manage to keep the expenses to a minimum at the best of my ability while not compromising quality. Having to spend that amount of money in one go was quite a shock to be honest, even if you are well-prepared. Haha
Living on my own and starting a new job means a lot of new expenses that I had to take care of: rent, electricity bills, water bills and tolls (new workplace, new route). I have yet to decide on my new monthly budget as I am still in the process of tracking, analysing and optimising my new monthly expenses but they are close.
Out of the total RM 58,235.43 spent;
- 47.1% goes towards life events (wedding related)
- 24.6% goes towards rent and utilities (Electricity, Water & Internet)
- 8.0% goes towards vehicle (Maintenance, Touch n Go & Parking)
- 6.4% goes towards food
- 5.8% goes towards fuel
- 5.6% goes towards shopping
- 2.1% goes towards groceries
- 0.3% goes towards misc expenses such as haircuts and occasional splurging.
From this breakdown, almost half: 47.1% of my expenses or roughly amounted to RM 27,428.88 goes towards life event which consists of wedding preparations such as venue booking, decorations, gifts and honeymoon trip and a trip to Nepal on February. It was the bulk of my spending in 2019 and they were both once in a lifetime experience. I guess it was okay to splurge a little bit, right? Or no?
Rent & Utilities
24.6% or about RM 14,325.92 goes towards rent and utilities which was quite high, in my opinion. I just recently found a way to cut down on my electricity and internet bills. Yay. So, this category will definitely be trimmed down further this year.
6.4% or RM3727.06 was spent on food which translated into RM 310.59 per month or roughly RM 10 per day (taking 30 days per month). Which for me was very good. I am surpriese by this achievement myself. Most of the saving was due to the fact that I ate home-cooked food a lot. Perks of getting married. 😀
Fuel & Vehicle
5.8% or RM 3377.65 was spent on fuel. Gulp. This translated into roughly RM 281 worth of fuel every month. I can’t really negotiate on fuel as I have to commute about 80 km per day to work. Riding motorcycle would be a risky and taking public transportation would means losing an extra two hour just for commuting daily. Hey, as long as I can earn cashback and/or reward points on fuel, it is acceptable.
In contrast 8% of my expenses last year goes to maintain my car, paying for Touch n Go and occasional parking fees. It was quite high to be honest, but this is due to two major preventive maintenance: new set of tyre and replacing my aging absorber.
Groceries & Shopping
I’ve spent RM 1222.94 on groceries or RM 102 per month. Spending more on groceries could mean lesser eating out. It was about balancing between eating out and home-cook.
5.6% goes towards shopping. I definitely went overboard on this. Full stop.
Income & Cashflow
My overall income in 2019 was RM 54,972.30 which includes monthly salary and a few ringgit that I’ve made selling my used stuff online. Subtracting this with my expenses of RM 58,235.43 gives a total net cashflow of negative RM 3,263.13. Ouch!
To be honest, I had foreseen the negative cashflow for 2019 so I was mentally prepared for that. Definitely have to improve in 2020!!
Making this analysis always gave me an insight on my spending habit and how my new lifestyle affects my financial. In 2020, I would like to improve my overall net cashflow, that is by both increasing my income and cutting back my spending. My personal target is 15% saving with positive cashflow. Also, I would like to come out with a monthly budget that works now that I am married.
Anyway, this is my analysis on how I spent my money in 2019. I hope you guys could read and gain some benefit into implementing your own style of budget and analysis.
ACTIONABLE TIPS: Budgeting really starts from tracking your own spending and then try to improve bit by bit from there. You won’t know how to improve your spending if you don’t have a clue on what to improve first. So, start tracking your spending!
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