Smart Living Tip: Budget Spending

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Hesitated if I should put this under Travel Tip, instead, but thought this is beyond just travels. Even though I feel like I am always travelling nowadays. I don't seem to stay in the same city for more than a few weeks now, whether I come back or not. Most of them are work-related, but things like eating out and continuing rent all mean more spending. Which equals less saving.

Eating out all the time is expensive.

Trying new foods are without a doubt one of my all time hobbies, and the main reason of this blog's continual existence, for sure. However you will start seeing more home cooking posts and travel tip posts here, on top of the usual cafe/restaurant reviews.

In order to save more, I need to look into a few factors:

  • Where is my money going?
Housing and food, definitely. Luckily I work at home so I save a lot on transport, but after rent, food takes up the bulk of my income. 
  • Where can I cut back on?
Again, it's either housing and/or food. I love my house and the people I live with, so this won't change. For now. The only other option, then, is my food spending. This is largely divided into: eating in, eating out. Eating out costs a lot more than eating in. 
  • How can I spend/save better?
- Have a goal
Having a goal helps immensely, instead of saving/spending blind. Set targets with definite due dates. A few of my goals are paying off my student loan within the next five years, saving for the future (house, wedding, etc.), next holiday abroad (Spain, Portugal and Morocco). Big goals, but no worries. One must dream big. I'll get there, eventually. With careful planning, I'll get there on time

- Stick to the budget
I actually have a spreadsheet where I write down all my incomes and expenses, average spending for the week and month... but haven't really took time to absorb the results lately. My budget has categories like groceries, living expenses, entertainment, eating out, savings, and emergencies. I'm going to see Wicked the musical in two weeks. So excited, cannot wait! It's a little bit over my set spending budget though, so I will be cutting back leading up to it. Got to stick with the plan and be more strict with myself!

- Spend less
 Having classified eating out as my number one culprit, I will try to limit my cafe adventures. One coffee out a week. We do have a coffee machine, at home, after all. I could just practise my rusty barista skills. One dinner out every fortnight. If you want to hang out with me, come over to my place. I'll share my meals with you, if you can trust my cooking. They will only get better. 

- Save more
By spending less you will naturally save more, but there are additional ways to help you towards your goals more quickly. How are your banking situations? Are your accounts working for you? Perhaps you have one too many credit card than necessary? I have two savings accounts, one with a 2.5% base interest rate and another with 3%. I'm thinking of merging the two together into the latter account so I get better interests at a higher rate.  

I am already a careful spender with a minimalist approach to material possessions. Save a little more on food, and I will be off on my next travel adventures before you know it! Here's to a rich(er) future!

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About Life

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist -

About Food

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own -

About Dreams

“Savoir, penser, rêver. Tout est là.”
- Victor Hugo -