By: La Papillion

On the advise of HH, I had started on this detailed tracking of my expenses and cash inflow at the start of this year. At first, the process seems very ‘xiong’, because everytime I spent a cent (including buying drinks/food and snacks), I’ll record it on my handphone. Towards the end of the day, I’ll record it on my excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet have all the details broken down into food items, transportation, entertainment, bills, clothings and so on.

The idea here is to figure out where am I in this struggle to reach financial independence. If I do not know how much I spent nor how much I earned, it’s hard to figure out where I stand. Most people (including me, in the past) will use a sort of mental accounting, like I spend roughly $5 on food everyday, or I spend roughly $80 per month on transport etc etc. After tracking my expenses for close to 7 months now, I have an excellent idea on what my spending patterns and percentages are.

Didn’t some wise person say: What you track, you’ll improve? Yes, I agree fully. There’s even a graph showing how much I spend vs how much I earn for the months I tracked so far.

Whenever I see that the blue graph is catching up on the red graph, I’ll work harder to increase my cash flow in and to decrease my cash flow out. I think it works nicely so far.

I’ve been tracking my total portfolio too. Total portfolio is what I define as the summation of all the money in my bank accounts, Poems MMF, SG stocks (at market value), HK stocks (at market value), Insurance (inclusive of bonus declared) and CPF. The only item I did not include is the money in my wallet and the coins in my coin pouch.

It’s rather satisfying to see that, like the graph above, my ‘coins’ are stacking up slowly but steadily. Perhaps, like what many had shared with me, that upon marriage, my coin stack will drop one time and upon having a family with children, my coin stack will drop another time.

A few things came out of this exercise: