Money Diaries: Tracking and Year 2020 Financial Goals
Ten years ago, I opened an excel file and started recording my expenses. That did not motivate me to spend less. It’s like a mindless record, something I do when I am bored.
Then money became a deciding factor if I would stay in school or drop-off, and each penny matters to me. I installed a wallet app on my phone and have since recorded my expenses in detail, diligently, to the point of obsession.
I became quite financially savvy. Debatable. Tracking makes you better with money. Undeniable.
To beautifully track my expenses, I’ve used Money Lover, then Wally and finally now, Spending. It’s not that I adopted new ways to count, but most great apps do not last long. Wally replace the app with the mission to make the most patient person on earth, cranky.
Along the line, I started writing money diaries. Despite the love-hate relationship I have with overly exposing money numbers, writing money diaries made me feel like the site is still financially relevant. But the reality is, it wasn’t. Lifestyle inflation kicks in, I started binge eating and convinced myself that I am still in control.
The person who likes duit and writes about duit, is no longer a duit guru.
At the end of Dec 2019, I upgrade my phone and the old wally app is no longer functioning. My last record of expenses – total spend of RM68,200 in 2019. This includes RM4,000 in giving, RM6,800 in travel trip, RM2,500 for gadget, and RM3,000 for PRS fund.
Moving to TPC, I think it’s time to halt the monthly money diaries. I will still diligently recording my expense but every time I hit the publish button, there’s a pressing question that I have to answer: How does it help me or my readers?
Here are my year 2020 financial goals
A. Eliminate rental by buying a place .
My monthly rental is now
RM1,600 RM1,200. It makes sense if I can find a unit near or below the range. I don’t want to go higher because once you buy up, it’s hard to look down.
B. Meal prep with simple recipes
Coming in second place, food that harms. I spent about RM2,500 for morning sandwiches and coffee in 2019. A foolish habit when I realized how I can easily pre-made sandwich fillings. Food delivery is not a wise decision – cooking is much easier than how artisan describes the art – like brewing the perfect tea.
C. Continue to grow for financial independence .
I have been focusing too much on savings that I neglected investment. The average return in 2019 is a mere 5.7% (mostly in fixed deposit and some dividends). It’s slow-growing. Too slow-growing.
D. Take actions that create value . .
This is partly a financial goal, and partly a life purpose goal. I know I need to do this but it’s something I yet to define. I can hardly do so until God gives me a word.