The end of the year is very often the equivalent of the receiving of AWS for “perm-staff”, which many also know as annual wage supplement or year end bonus. KECHING time!
I was having a casual chat with a colleague of mine over lunch this week when he remarked – “Hey have you checked your bank account yesterday?”
“Hmm? What for?”
I guess I wasn’t one of those who was very anxiously waiting for AWS to be banked into my account. He, on the other hand, had just bought a new car. Hmm.
Gone In 600 Seconds
That night, I took out my trusty little notepad and scribbled on it. My AWS was gone, just like that, in 10-minutes. I mean, most of the money is still sitting in my bank account unspent, but I had already budgeted it and given each dollar a job to do, which means I can no longer touch them.
A quick check online coincidentally landed a post by BULLy the BEAR who also tried the same app. Looks like there are a few common points between us haha!
I’m a big fan of budgeting and as a positive side-effect, I’m 99% sure of what expenses I’ll be incurring in a single year.
Budgeting Means Letting Loose
To me, budgeting means I can splurge on a nice dinner guilt-free. It means I can go crazy shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (but really, I only got a Jaybird wireless earphone on sale off Amazon and a 1-year paid hosting account for a ridiculous low price of US$1.16)
Budgeting doesn’t simply mean cutting back. On the contrary, it means letting loose on the things we really care about. In fact, I had just booked the flights for my trip next year!
Next year, I’m going for a 10-day, Tokyo/Kyoto/Taipei trip. If your first reaction is “Wah, so rich? Two countries!” – hold on for a minute.
With low cost carriers (LCCs), air travel is no longer as expensive as it used to be. Between my wife and I, three pairs of one-way tickets with 20-kg luggage inclusive and extra leg-space (Scoot “stretch” seats are incredible value for money which offer even greater seat pitch than full-fledge flights) on the two longer segments of travel (SIN/NRT, TPE/SIN), they cost a grand total of S$690 per pax – right smack in the middle of super-peak cherry blossom period. Not that bad huh?
Likewise, few months back, I travelled from SG > Bangkok > Phuket > SG. On the Bangkok to Phuket leg, I flew for a mere S$75 which served food and drinks on-board. Why visit only two places when I can do three?
Besides saving and investing any spare money that comes into my possession, I have a weird habit of budgeting for a lot of my upcoming expenses. Stuff like expenses for Chinese New Year, income tax (I always make full payment), yearly replacements for glasses, contact lenses and dental checkups etc.
This time round, I have also decided to set aside 18 months worth of premiums for my low-value AIA whole-life policy that is reaching its 20-year mark in June 2017, after which I would be surrendering it.
I’m basically on a mission to lower my monthly cash outflow to the bare minimum. Wish me luck!
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