To have greater clarity of where my money is flowing to and the purpose it is used for, I decided to re-categorise my expenses. I had a sudden thought to change the category from noun to verb and it does make the budgeting exercise a tad bit warmer when I know why I am spending the money for.

  • Fueling the body is food and groceries
  • Powering the house is utilities and maintenance
  • Connecting with others is internet connection and mobile devices
  • Moving around is transport cost
  • Appreciating the family is allowance for parents and spouse
  • Schooling the children is cost related to school and enrichment lessons for children
  • Feeling and looking good is medical, dental, grooming and attire
  • Celebrating and recharging includes festivals, birthdays and vacation
  • Insuring against misfortune is for various medical insurance
  • Contributing to community is for various taxes and donation

The following image shows the annual budget for the upcoming year in descending order. In total, it adds up to about 90k! That’s even higher than last year’s expenses after excluding car loan. A few exceptions this year include cost for daughter’s braces and possibly overseas vacation. Also, it might end up lower if less is spent on household maintenance and mobile devices.

The other category that is up for review is insuring against misfortune. While I am definitely keeping all the hospitalisation plans, I would be reviewing the AIA Guaranteed Protected plans (critical illness). I do not regret taking up the plans 8 years ago as the situations were different then. However, now that I am no longer having a regular job, it will be good time to review if they are still relevant.

Talking about insurance, I thought this episode of Money Talks podcast on insurance with Christopher Tan from Providend is informative. In fact, I would say this series of Money Talks podcast is pretty good.

With inflation, I re-started tracking my expenses last year and I will continue with it for one more year. There will be expenses that will overlap in different categories but I won’t get too anal about it. In a gist, I want to know roughly my spending habit and that should be similar for the next few years.

Lunar New Year is round the corner, wishing all a prosperous Rabbit year ahead!