October is the month when we celebrated our 5th wedding Anniversary and we went for a family day out at River Safari. Ally enjoyed free admission with each accompanying adult for the month of October. This is the third time we went to River Safari with Ally and she is so excited about it that she kept on harping about seeing the Giant Pandas. As Ally just turned three last month, she is now able to better appreciate the attractions like touching a live star fish by herself. The best thing about going to River Safari is that all the attractions are sheltered, thus you could still continue to walk around the park even though it might be raining.
Our trip to River Safari also coincides with the “The Deadliest Monster” exhibit that educates how easy it is to start making small adjustments to our daily actions and make our environment a better place for wildlife and us. They collaborated with Hyflux to provide water dispensers there so that people do not use plastic bottles. They are also encouraging more people to use less plastic bags and straws.
As a minimalist family, we purchase less stuff to fill up our life. On the other hand we are also more conscientious about creating less waste. Earlier this year, I attended a talk by Zerowaste SG conducted by its very own founder Eugene Tay. It is really informative and really triggers the thought that every small action we do as an individual has an impact on our environment. Thus, I believe that we should do our part as a minimalist family to lessen our carbon footprint.
We were invited to attend an estate party organized by our Resident’s Committee (RC). We were treated with entertaining stage performances like magic shows and games, lunch buffet, balloon sculpting and colouring contest. Ally participated in the colouring contest for kids between 3 to 6 years old and managed to came in third. She was the youngest among the 3 winners and we were really proud parents on that day.
We believe in spending more time outdoor as kids are fascinated by anything they see. All these simple activities might teach her how to appreciate the simpler things in life. Just to share some of Ally’s other outdoor activities with pictures as below.
Changi Airport / Bishan Park
We managed to compile the breakdown for our October 2017 expenses as below.
$633.59 – Mainly meals for the three of us (this includes snacks, and drinks, etc.)
$79.70 – Kate’s toiletries and facial care
$297.00 – health supplements
$10.00 – 4D (Kate shared this with some friends out of good fun)
$6.45 – Stamps
$90.00 – bolsters, pillows, bedsheet set
$46.80 – Household Sundries
$118.15 – mainly groceries and other household items from the supermarket
$32.80 – Indoor Playground at Polliwogs – Vivocity (inclusive of some snacks)
$102.00 – Family Trip to River Safari (Inclusive of Dave’s parents and brother)
$60.00 – Mifold (Child seat booster to be used when we use the grab service)
$10.00 – 2 pairs of pants from Fox Kids (Ally is outgrowing all her pants)
$364.39 – snacks, toiletries and misc
$73.02 – Kate’s gift for the opening of relative’s restaurant in KL
$200.00 – Ezlink card reload for both of us (for bus and train rides)
$77.60 – Cab rides (plus some Grab credits top up)
$86.61 – Drove father-in-law car over the weekend (parking and petrol)
$165.83 – Mobile phone bills and Internet
$0 – Electric, gas and water bill (Full Government Rebate)
Monthly Fixed Expenses ($2792.82)
$610 – Full day child care for Ally (inclusive of some optional enrichment class)
$29.90 – Newspaper subscription
$36.75 – Property Services and Conservancy Charges (Half Month Government Rebate)
$1,200 – Parents allowance
$2.58 – iCloud 50 GB storage (monthly fees for Kate and myself)
$913.59 – Insurance premiums – includes savings, whole life, hospital and surgical, home insurance (annual premiums amortized into 12 months)
Total Expenses = Total variable expenses $2,453.94 + Total fixed expenses $2,792.82 = $5,246.76
- This monthly expense report is use mainly to gauge our post FI expenses
- We included whole life and savings insurance as part of our expenses until they are full paid up. The reason is that we will most probably be still paying for them even though we reach FI.
- Our insurance also includes our parents’ health insurance
- We did not include our mortgage in this annual budgeting because we are using CPF to pay for our monthly instalments. Another reason is that we will most probably be clearing off our mortgage upon reaching FI.
We spent close to our average spending of $5k this month and we will most definitely be breaking our 2017 budget when we announce our expenses for next month. But this will create a good yardstick for us to plan our budget for next year. Some readers commented that our spending is similar to a typical average household spending in Singapore and it is not how a minimalist family should spend. They are right about it if they look at our monthly expenses as a whole (Kate blog about that recently too). But that is mainly due to parents allowances and their insurance premiums which takes up about 25 – 30% of our monthly budget of $5k. I will do a deeper analysis when we compile our expenses for the whole of this year.
Everyone’s financial circumstances are different, hence that might explain why some families’ expenses are higher as they might have other heavy commitments (ie. parents in nursing home, disabled siblings) where they do not have much of a choice. For us, we are trying to balance between taking care of our parents and living as a minimalist family. We have been very intentional and deliberate on all our financial decisions so far and that is what minimalism is all about. We focus more on quality over quantity and sometimes quality doesn’t come cheap.
We are really grateful with our simple lifestyle nowadays and we hope that we could maintain this lifestyle. How was your October expenses?