Feb 2012 Report
You are reading a series of posts where I track my financial health over the months in the year 2012. You can access reports for other months via the main article, or compare my progress against my goals for the year.
Part of good personal finance practice is to keep track all your income & expenses, and use that in your planning of your financial goals. There are many benefits of knowing where your money is flowing; one of which is that it allows you to identify any cash flow problems early. Eg, if you wanted to purchase a home by a target date, its very important that you are able to project your cash flows and estimated savings to know if you can afford it.
There are many personal finance blogs that does regular updates of some form. Some provide an update of their income from various revenue sources, while others offer a peek into their expenditure. When I first started working, I had alot of questions about how much I should be spending on the various items in my life. I never quite got the answers that I needed, so I stumbled along and learned from my mistakes. In writing my monthly reports, I hope I would be able to provide some form of guidance to some of you in the same way as how I hope it could have been dispensed to me.
As for now, I will be tracking updates on my monthly expenses (with the main objective of understanding them better and lowering them over time), and also on my investment portfolio. This may not be the best way in tracking my finances, so I will be adjusting the content & format of my report over time. So now, on to my first report!
Expenses for Feb 2012
Total Expenses: $7072.66
Other than my usual spendings and upkeep, I had to spend more on my wedding preparations. When people tell you that weddings are expensive, do believe it! For our wedding, my spouse and I have a pool of resources that we labelled, “The Wedding Fund”. We usually dip into this fund for most purchases, but some items are, by tradition, to be paid for by the groom. This is the additional amount that I have allocated to the “Wedding” category of my monthly expenses. Months where I do not have any wedding expenses recorded does not mean that we are not spending anything on our wedding. It just means that we are spending from our fund where the total fund amount has already been written off.
This month also happen to be the month that one of my insurance policy deducts its quarterly payment, thus explaining the high amount in insurance payments.
If I take out the extra costs in wedding preparations, my usual monthly expenditure would hover around $4,500. That is the minimum amount that I would need to maintain my lifestyle.
For the tracking of my daily expenditure, I use iXpenseIt, a handy application that I use on my iPhone to key in every purchase I make.
Total Portfolio Size: $17,440.64
Total Cost: $16,000
Total Net Gain/Loss: +$1,440.64
Returns since inception (Sep 2011): 9%
Dividends received since Jan 2012: $110 (est 0.69% of cost)
The market has been rallying on and off, but, thankfully, the end result has been mostly positive. However, even if it has been negative, do remember that we are investing for the long run, and bad markets can provide you cheap and good stocks if you know how to find them.
Thanks for reading.
Cheers, and have a good March!
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