My Personal Expense in 2015

Do you know where your money go? I kinda know where my money go because when I graduated college, I was like “Oh no. No more allowance. Will I have enough every month?” I remember during that period, personal financial management was a hot topic among my peers as we embarked on this new journey. We started off with how to do budgeting and in order to stay within budget, a few of us frantically recorded our expenses every day.

So I did that with the help of a mobile app (I use Expense Manager by Bishinews) every single day for quite some time. I get lazy from time to time and probably miss out more transactions as days pass but at least I have some clue of where my money go; and touch wood, I haven’t need to borrow money from anyone yet to make ends meet even during this Big-C treatment journey.

I’d probably talk about my cancer treatment financing next time when things are sorted out because it’s still all over the place. Today, let’s take a glimpse at my personal expense before Big-C started, to reflect personal expense of an average 24-year-old marketing executive with 2-3 years working experience who is not married and living with family in Klang Valley in 2015.

personal finance management malaysia
Tadah~! Here’s a topline breakdown of my expenses in 2015.
monthly personal expense management
This is monthly category breakdown of my personal expense. The black line reflects the monthly total spending.
cost of car ownership malaysia
Breakdown of my biggest spend: Transportation.
33% on Transportation

Majority of my money went to Transportation! Is that a surprise in Malaysia? According to iMoney, one should spend about 15% of disposable income on transportation but mine was 33%. I lived in Klang and worked in Puchong (first half of 2015) and Bukit Damansara (second half of 2015). About 40% of my Transportation expense went to financing my car loan (Perodua Myvi) and another 45% was for petrol, toll and parking — that’s a very high cost to get to work I know but if I move out, I’d incur more cost elsewhere. Can’t wait for the MRT line near my office to be completed though I suspect there’s not much savings. FYI, my car maintenance cost was low because Perodua offered free service for 3 years.

13% on Family

I’m quite pleased to find out that my second (or third) highest expense went to Family because I always feel I don’t give my mom enough. In 2014, I gave my mom a big ang pao for CNY because I received bonus at work but last year I didn’t so I couldn’t match back. So Feb expense was higher because of CNY. May was because of mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day. And June was because RK bought a phone for my mom and I ended up paying him back. Haha.

13% on Insurance

I should be glad I spent so much on Insurance last year, shouldn’t I? Prior to Nov, I was financing a medical card and investment-linked life insurance on monthly basis via my mom because she bought the policies for me since young. In Nov, after months of procrastination and shopping, I bought a new policy myself which I paid one off (and my wallet hurt SO BAD). I’d talk about my insurance for my Big-C next time. In the meantime, go get yourself a medical card at least if you don’t have a personal medical coverage yet.

13% on Savings (Adj. ?% on Savings)

Whoa I had 13% savings. Not bad considering Forbes advises to save 10% of income, right? Except this 13% was actually short-term savings to finance my Travel expenses. LOL. So where is my actual savings? The truth is, even though I record my expenses and HAD a budget, I’m not disciplined enough to set aside a fix amount on monthly basis to build an emergency fund. Also, based on my budget, I kinda don’t have much left for additional savings *cry*. In other words, I do not have a savings plan and only save whatever that is left at the end of the month, which is not recorded just because. I can’t just take my total income minus total expense recorded because not everything was recorded. It’d be too complicated to try to figure out how much I actually saved last year so let’s just keep it a mystery.

6% on Travel (adj. 19% on Travel)

Wait. This actually means that my second biggest expense should be Travel because my Savings = Travel, making Travel 19% of my 2015 expense, right? Probably. In Jan, I went to Langkawi. In March, I renewed my passport. In July, I went to Hong Kong and in Oct, I went to Perth. I was pretty stressed up last year about the trips to Hong Kong and Perth because they were not super budget third-world country travel destinations. But thankfully, the expenses were still manageable because we were frugal. Because of the two high-cost destinations last year, we didn’t book any high-cost travel this year. And coincidentally I can’t travel too so I’m now glad that we spent the money and earned those experiences last year. LOL.

11% on Food and 11% on Others

I could have spent less on Food over weekends but oh well… Thankfully I didn’t need to change my phone last year so Telco cost was minimal — I pretty much change phone every year because my luck with phone is like that. Otherwise, I’ve learned that cost for phone should be included in Telco budget because it’s a significant expense.

That’s it! Isn’t it interesting to look at these stats and learn about one’s personal finance? I find it fascinating to churn out the charts and study my own spending behavior #nerd. Hope this fascination will keep me motivated to continue recording my expenses as much as I can.

Now let me go find my budget and see how I’ve been sticking to it.

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