November was a month of firsts for us. We took our first international trip as a family of three and we started replacing the worn out and redundant stuff in our house after almost 8 years of marriage.
Before we get into the details of the month below is a brief overview of our expenses and investment strategy. The expense report is a way for us to be both accountable as well as transparent in our quest for financial independence and early retirement. We try to showcase our spending every month and understand how much of our money serves what purpose. I f you would rather just see the number jump below to the horizontal break
We use a basic excel to take care of our monthly tracking and have been trying to consciously elaborate on the categories. We need this since we also spend some amount in cash. If your expenses are predominantly on your cards and you don’t care for detailed information of the expenses Perfios might be a good option for you.
Rent is as always a big part of our expense since we live in one of the most expensive cities in the country. However, we are happy to call this rental home ours for as long as our work keeps us in the city. We might look into buying a property if we move to a city where the prices are not insanely high and if we expect to be there for atleast half a decade.
We currently are paying an EMI on the housing loan for a property in the previous city we lived in. the property is let out and earns us roughly half of the mortgage payment. We do not include the property price in our net worth calculation since the money is not readily available in case we need it. Loan against property is obviously a possibility but one that we are not inclined to consider.
We also contribute a sum to our parent’s household on one side.
What we track
Since the above three expenses are more or less fixed for a period of 11 months at least, the reports are not focused on these. We track in detail the household expenses we make every month. These include everything from food to personal belongings and utilities.
Our groceries are usually bought online through Amazon and Big Basket, but a decent chunk is also purchased at the nearest supermarket. We try to reduce our shopping trips which are usually once a week for fresh produce if we did not order the same online.
We are both big time foodies and we bought Zomato Gold membership to help us eat for half the price. In addition a Dineout free membership helps at the places that are not covered with Zomato. We order in using Swiggy usually with our Super membership. For those of you who are scratching their heads as to why we eat out this much or order in a lot of food, it makes our lives easier.
The expenses on eating out are consistently one of our major expense head and we are always trying to cut down on them. As new parents this has allowed us to be fed ad happy without moving our extremely tired body and mind. We also like to go out atleast once a week because that makes us happy and eating out is a big part of that for us.
We also spend a small sum every month to keep the blog running. This is charged yearly and may show in one report or the other.
As of December 2018 we have employed a house help to take care of daily cleaning tasks and that will be an added expense form January 2019 onwards.
We invest directly with the mutual fund houses even though there are now multiple brokerage houses that allow you to buy direct funds for a one-time fee. We would rather track the funds individually than pay a small sum each month. For anyone who would rather not do the tracking individually both Zerodha and Orowealth are a good option. Zerodha has very recently made the direct fund investment free using their Coin app.
We both had ICIC Demat account in the very early days and have since transitioned to no brokerage fee account with Zerodha. They have recently added AMC and DP charges on the Demat account but these come out to be still cheaper than the other options we studied.
We use Money control currently to track progress of our portfolio. We do not track investments other than the market dependent investments on the site. Below is the list of the instruments we invest our money in.
- EPF- employee provident fund is the best possible use of your money because the employer’s contribution is completely tax free and does not count in the 1.5L deduction bracket. It might be a part of your CTC but it earns the interest simply in terms of tax saved.
- PPF- this is our debt investment and we like to put a small sum in it every month.
- NPS- to increase out tax exempt bracket we opted for National Pension Scheme. It was a breeze to signup and every year we prefer to front load this to its maximum tax exempt amount.
- Direct mutual funds- We invest in mutual funds consistently as long as our lives allow for it. We buy mostly index funds and believe in invest it and forget it mantra. We peep in once in a while to get an idea on where we stand.
- Sukanya Samridhdhi Yojana- This is in addition to the PPF and other funds that we have. Exclusively meant for our daughter we will be investing in this for the first time in December 2018.
The Monthly Report
This month we were home for just 20 days but we spent far more than we should have. Obviously everything is accounted for but that doesn’t mean we were not shocked with the amount we ended up spending.
We restocked our pantry in November after spending a better part of last few months eating into it. Since we were out of basics like oil and rice being back after the vacation was a good time to beef up the pantry.
We still ate a lot of delivered food as well as a few meals outside. While we try to get back on our cook at home streak but it has been increasingly difficult. There is nobody to blame but us and our laziness along with mild sleep deprivation. We spent around a third of our household expenses in eating out which is definitely a sum that doesn’t make a lot of sense.
While we have most of the infrastructure in place our daughter does require a few regular expenses. These include consumables like diapers and wipes as well as things like clothes and shoes and other necessary expenses on doctor and a few supplements. Though this is usually a very small expense but is is consistent. We are quite mindful of unnecessary accumulating a lot of stuff. We finally bought another toy for her after the initial set of rattles that she is now starting to get bored with.
Taking advantage of the sales going around us we finally bought both casual and formal pair of shoes for Mr S after almost 3 years. Baby got some winter wear and I finally bought myself a pair of glasses. This was one of the major expenses in the month along with the furniture we bought.
Let’s get into the expenses
|Expense head||Money spent||Remarks|
|Grocery and household supplies||5187||With staples being bought this month this is fairly acceptable amount|
|Eating Out/ Ordering in||6102||This is just embarrassing!|
|Bike||1702||Includes puncture repair, regular service and petrol. We live quite close to work and now commute to most places using cab share services.
We do not own a car
|Appliance and Goods||6778||We bought some furniture and kitchen goods to replace broken and worn out things|
|Baby Gear and Consumables||1904||Includes toys, diapers wipes etc.|
|Other commute||779||Includes cab and auto rides taken during the month.|
|Business/Blog||177||Tiny amount to google for some blog stuff|
|Utilities||1521||Includes utilities and repairs for the house like plumbing for the month of November|
|Clothing and accessories||5036||This is a huge number but is not the last of expected expenses|
|Total||30747||This is over twice of our target goal|
As I write this expense report almost half of December is over and we have inched far too close to our desired budget. I am still really hopeful we will not end up with another such month. As we settle into the post baby life and with the added help I am really hopeful we will depend less and less on buying food.
How much did you spend last month?