No Spend September 2015 – Week 4

by on September 28, 2015
in projects

The hanging wardrobe (May 2015)

The hanging wardrobe (May 2015)

Week 4: Sept 22-28, 2015

Expenditure: RM325.10

My week’s expenditure was just about average and according to the pattern of my last three weeks, if you ignore the big chunk of unexpected spending due to an incident… proving that you should have money set aside for emergencies. It also makes a more interesting story for this week’s entry because me moaning about being a budgeting failure is getting old. I did groceries. I went out for meals a few times. I treated myself to a coffee twice. I ate all three meals at home today and only spent RM7 on cut fruit and a cup of coffee. I am done with this NSS week.

Some time in the last 14 days, I got out of bed after a morning nap, went out to bring in the laundry, and came back into my bedroom to find that the wardrobe system (above) has collapsed across my bed, along with my hanging wardrobe. It was fortunate that it did not break anything, my face included.

Structural collapse

Structural collapse

While the arrangement was quite stable in its original position, I was not able to get it back up because at least one part was damaged in the fall and another part may have been the reason why it fell over in the first place. After an hour of trying to restore it to its original state, I found that it remained dangerously wobbly. I gave up, dismantled it and moved it to the storeroom.

Which left me with a problem of what to do with my clothes. A friend suggested that I bring the laundry rack in, which was a great idea. It gave my clothes a home while giving me time to look for an alternative. I knew that all I needed was a clothing rack, preferably one with wheels. Luck was on my side. The day I had time to pop by Boulevard to raid their IKEA section, they had two clothing racks available. One had wheels. It cost me RM81.90 but it’s mobile, a long-term investment and completely necessary.

New arrangement

New arrangement

It doesn’t look like I have a lot of clothes here but I still feel like I have too much, especially when half of these are special occasion clothes… stuff I only wear a couple of times a year while hoping that people forgot I wore the same thing to the last special occasion.

The more frequent wear clothes are in the drawers, and it’s become rather apparent that I’m only wearing half of them although I culled many items earlier this year.

I walked by a shop at CityOne the other day and saw that they had the same line of patch quilt pants that I got in KL and love to bits. Was tempted to get another pair because I wear those as often as I wear my jeans, but I decided to postpone that decision until later.

Two days left. I’m not planning to immediately go out and buy a boat after this is over, even if October is my birthday month and traditionally I’d treat myself to something major like a holiday. The project continues, and my spending habits warrant some more detailed analysis.

No Spend September 2015 – Week 3

by on September 27, 2015
in projects

Condiment cupboard. #food #foodporn

A photo posted by Georgette Tan (@georgettetan) on

Week 3: Sept 15-21, 2015

Balance: RM55.10
Expenditure: RM262.25

I’ve neglected updating because I was really not in the mood to blog. Now nearly two weeks is over; I have one more day tomorrow before I come to the end of Week 4.

What can I say about Week 3? To say that I gave up trying to stick to a certain budget would be half true. There didn’t seem to be any point since I failed to budget realistically at the beginning. There’s a slight change to my header – the balance from the original budget is RM55.10, which I fully expect to exceed. The actual expenditure is RM262.25.

The good news is that I seem to stay between RM200 and RM300, with the amount creeping up steadily to reflect my increasing sense of hopelessness. If you think this is bad, you should see my Week 4 figure. However, something happened this week that I would consider a semi-emergency but fell under ‘Household Items’, which means it counts.

If anything, at least I’m learning what my spending habits look like when I’m trying to toe the line between saving more than usual and treating myself a little at the same time.

No Spend September 2015 – Week 2

by on September 16, 2015
in projects


The view from Left&Right‘s new studio at Kai Joo Lane

Week 2: Sept 8-14, 2015

Budget: RM287.80
Actual: RM232.70

The last two weeks proved my suspicion correct – a budget of RM510 which included groceries was delusional at best. I know now that I made a bad miscalculation that didn’t include the increased cost of living, GST or the fact that I now live on my own and don’t mooch meals (the bulk of the groceries) from the parents.

If I analyse the pattern, there are days when I barely spent anything and days when I spent RM100 in one fell swoop. I spent even more this week, and a lot of that was arguably avoidable. Especially that day when I was stressed from work and bought a whole lot of frivolous food stuff. I managed to avoid books or other types of entertainment, but I derive a lot of my creature comforts from food… which is a terrible slide.

At the same time, I’m also staying in and cooking a lot. I’m using up things I have in the pantry and replacing what I need. I’m keeping track of the best prices of things I regularly need to stock up on. My new favourite supermarket is Unaco Country Side Market; it’s nearby and things are cheaper.

If I included the figure that is exempted from the project, the numbers are much higher. All my bills came in this week. Being able to see my expenses is quite horrifying because I’ve been spending thoughtlessly for months although I was financially stable earlier this year.

Wally the budgeting app is not very helpful at this point. I can’t configure it to my project budget and there’s a few steps I have to take to separate the purchases or payments. In the end, I just made sure to keep recording everything I spent money on and calculate it manually at the end of the week.

I’m not sure how to proceed from here since I have RM55.10 left in the original budget for the rest of the month. Do I top it up with an extra RM200 per remaining week, or do I just do it freestyle?

I’ll sleep on that.

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