Are you richer or poorer this year, compared to last year?
Yay, richer! I am kind of an extreme person when it comes to spending. I either go a bit nuts where I don’t think about price, or I reign myself in completely. I’ve been sort of on the latter trip last year, compounded by the fact that the babies meant that I didn’t have the time for shopping and the physical space to store anything that is not essential. With these parameters, it’s amazing how little you can buy. My bigger non-essential expenditures on a regular basis seem to have been on dinners out. That way, the fallout only gets stored in my hips.
I have always been on the prudent side, financially though, no matter how much V arches his eyebrows at my shopping. The first couple of years I was here, I kept diligent accounts and I realised I was always within budget. So then, I stopped and basically I lost track, with V occasionally reminding me that our expenditures have gone up exponentially.
My sense is that we lead much more fiscally conservative lives than our contemporaries. We don’t live in mid-levels, we don’t go to every entertaining thing out there without a thought, we don’t go out drinking that much, we eat home a lot, we mostly use public transport, we don’t intend to send our kids to the expensive international schools. Nevertheless, we do have kids and that’s a big expense for the future, or at least one I can’t quantify. Moreover, V is determined to drop out of the corporate rat-race and that’s a goal I can sympathise with.
So now, although I’m nowhere near in the red, I’ve decided to go back to tracking my expenses. I downloaded an app that lets you do that and it supposedly generates all these charts at the end of the month to let you know where the bulk of expenditure is going. I’d like to know whether it’s possible for me to run our household on only one salary.
I’ve also seen some challenges up where one buys nothing – non-essential, I’m assuming – for one month. I might give that a try.