With more time on my hands these days, I did a quick calculation to find out exactly how much money I spend per year. Seriously, before one puts it down on paper, it’s easy to think that you don’t spend so much. I used to think that I spend less than $500/mth on food. I mean $3 for breakfast, lunch and dinner each plus $1 just for goodwill equals to $310 per month. The remaining $190 is enough for almost 8 restaurant meals of $25 each (2 visits per weekend). Sounds reasonable right?
What we don’t realise is that the little extras matter as well. I love to have a cuppa at Killiney Kopitiam, Yakun and Toast Box. What about the mandatory chocolate bars or for that matter, the chocolate cake when I walk pass Coffee Club, Coffee Bean and Starbucks? Worst of all are the supermarket visits where I go berserk and buy up all the stuff I think I’ll eat but never do. A box of cereal here (healthy living heh!), a litre of milk, some cheese, milo and hey that Haagen Dazs ice-cream is on discount!
After factoring these all in, plus transport, internet, hand phone bill, insurance, clothes, entertainment, I discovered I potentially spent a whopping $22,000 in 1 year!!!!! And this is still only an estimate and not a tabulation of actual expenses! And it doesn’t include big ticket items like car and home instalments!!! What’s going on man???
The worst revelation of this exercise is that while food costs make up 30% of the entire expenses, reducing the restaurant visits by half only serves to reduce the entire bill by 5%. That’s hardly cost savings in my opinion, even if every penny counts.
Nevertheless, I’ve decided to use this revelation to spur me to cook more often at home. I once read that Singaporeans, Hong Kongers and New Yorkers eat out more because apartment sizes are small and therefore is not conducive for having friends over. This is so true for the social circle that I’m in, but I’m going to try and buck this trend by having them over for dinner. The Christmas period is looming and that would be a good excuse to have a party sans the terrible festive period restaurant surcharge. (Festive for who, you tell me). Hmmm time to plan the big roast and Christmas chocolate cake! Supermarket here I come!!!!!
Oh another revelation? EARN MORE!!!!