Left&Right
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.