Continuing on the expense tracker series, as well as writing on urban inflation and spending. index
After trying various online expense tools, I fell back and used Microsoft Excel to track expenses by a simple spreadsheet. It's easier because I can work offline to add entries unlike the online offerings - and so far I have five months of data, tracking discretionary spending. These are payments made voluntarily – not statutory ones like taxes, pension, loan repayments of which I have no control.
less than 1 %
- other expenses0%: These are various uncategorized or one off expenses that don't full into any category
- Bank charges 0%:There are actually higher but since I am on a flat rate account plan, only pesa point charges appear on the radar.
Recreation 1%: Very low, but I have avoided the golf course so far this year
Education 1%:only registration fees for 2008 and will be much higher next year
Personal 1%: haircuts etc.
Repair 1%: no car service done yet owing to very low mileage over the period (more on that later)
Clothing 1%: Men don't shop for clothes, but this will actual be proved incorrect later
Newspaper 2% - shockingly high. When you realize that you've spent a few thousand shillings on newspapers in just 5 months, the daily habit of reading newspapers seems rather expensive, for information that is available through so many other means.
Communications 3%: Again, men are different than women I'd argue and our Safaricom/celtel costs are much less for men than women in the same occupation. In fact a typical bill airtime unit will be spent as follows 50% text messages, 25% phone calls, 25% phone Internet browsing & e-mail). Cyber cafe charges also fall under this category.
Groceries 3% : rather high considering that groceries/food are not in my docket.
Electronics 3% one off purchases
Utilities 3%: water, electricity can remain low if you know what to look out for and understand/adjust your habits.
Investments 5%: The figure is much higher but this only captures discretionary, not automatic investments and share repurchases.
Dining 7%: like with newspapers, another shocker, because a lot of it is so unnecessary and could be easily avoided and should be reduced.
Drinks7% The reason EABL will over time make more money than Safaricom, and why you should buy more shares. So much of our social life, and networking in Kenya is fueled by a round of drinks.
Transport: Early on in the first month i realized that car parking was going to be a major unnecessary expense, while driving to work was sometimes inconvenient (leave early & return late or sit in traffic with 100,000 other cars ) - so i chose to use public transport more - and relax, read, watch music videos etc. and leave the driving headach to others. Also with the increasing cost of petrol (89 shillings [$1.40 ]per litre this week) this week, and with further increases expected, driving is an evening and weekend activity. The low mileage means no car service incurred, despite pestering calls from the garage/mechanic. Results are over the months are Parking 2%, Transport 4% (matatu/citi hoppa/KBS – but also some holiday travel) and Fuel 7% .
Relatives: men don't shop for themselves, but adding up the cost of giving in cash and kind tends to others can add up - and I had no idea it would be this high. Gifts 2%, Charity 4% and Family 5% means 11% is going out - mostly to relatives.
Rent 39% : You could argue that this is not discretionary, but it is and shows why i can't afford a mortgage now, which will cost about another 20% of my funds.
Off to next year, and to capture increased education and recreation expenses some things will have to cut back.
From wazobiajobs.com: a job with Cisco Systems as a Global System Integrator Channel Account Manager in Nairobi.