finances

February 2017 Financial Report


Last month’s reports are a bit late but rather late than never, right? I was done and dusted with the reports but the past week or so I wasn’t as productive as I’d liked to be.

Income Statement

For February I didn’t have a budget, so I will just compare my February report with January’s report instead of a budget. I do have a budget for March which I hope I stick to.

Income

This month I didn’t get any money from my bursary. My income this month is 18% lower than the previous month. I did get some money from bets I made with friends. One bet in particular was the Chelsea vs Arsenal bet that earned me $200 NAD.

Expenses

Depreciation and Loss on asset disposal

Not sure if I will write a post on my fixed asset register (I probably won’t), but I decided to bring my electronics and gadgets into my balance sheet. As a result, I had to account for depreciation. Depreciation is up by 37% ($611.43) because I bought a new 2-in-1 laptop/tablet.

The loss on asset disposal ($147.38) comes from me selling my laptop, which was a Lenovo G50-30. I only had it for about 18 months. I had another laptop at the time of selling the Lenovo, but then my sister asked if she could borrow my laptop because she has nothing to do her schoolwork on. It’s still my laptop, but I’ve removed it from my fixed asset register. I’ll probably let her keep it. I have the 2-in-1 laptop/tablet as well as a desktop at home.

Drinks

Drinks are up (524%) this month because I bought a case of sauvignon blanc ($496.35). My wife pays for groceries from her salary and we used to buy at least 2 bottles of wine a week. I decided that it would be cheaper to buy a case. I also bought us (my wife, her parents and myself) coffee at the airport before my wife  and I left for Cape Town. Coffee is damn expensive at the airport ($100).

Food

I made a major saving in February on food (69%). I only spent $264 on food, which is very low. I usually help out with groceries, but only the odd thing here and there. This month I hardly had to take out my wallet at the grocery store. Seeing as it’s very much possible to keep my food expense low, I’d like to keep it that way, but I will feel bad if my wife has to suffer because of it.

Personal Expenses

Final category of the post is personal expenses. Donations might be down (62%) but I spent $750 on clothing I bought in Cape Town. I also bought some gifts for friends and family ($904) and I started going to school so I have to pay for cab ($110 more than January).

Conclusion

Well, I made a loss of $494.28 last month and this month I made a loss of $20,961.06. WTF happened?! I went on vacation with my wife see. Our vacation accounts for 91% of the loss for this month. An additional 9% can be attributed to the vacation being the reason for my losses if I add the gifts, the clothes and the damn airport. 91+9=100. So all my losses is down to our vacation. That makes me feel a little better. Here’s to March 2017 being in the black.

Balance Sheet

My bank accounts took the biggest hit because of the vacation. I had $30,128 in January but now I only have $16,960. That’s about $15,000 that went to our vacation. All of it came from my savings account. At least I still have some money left in my savings because all of the savings was actually for the Cape Town trip. So we saved as much as $600o of our vacation money.

My net assets are down, which I expected. From $55,036 to $34,075. That’s a 38% dip in my equity. I hope in a couple years time I’ll be able to go on vacation and not have to take such a huge loss on my equity. One thing I am happy about though is that I didn’t have to take out a loan to go on vacation. I have to end this post on a positive, if only for my sanity.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.

What Do I Want?

The end of the week and things start winding down at the office. After lunch on a Friday I’m not really in the mood to do any work. Good thing the internet was invented.

I read an article on Lifehacker.com about how it’s easier to save when you don’t have an expensive lifestyle. It makes perfect sense. If you want to drive big flashy cars and live in mansions, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny compared to the guy who just wants a car that takes him from point A to point B and a roof over his head.

This got me thinking, what do I really want. Do I want the expensive lifestyle or not. I’d like to think that I don’t but year I stress when it comes time for our annual pay increases. I don’t earn a lot of money, just higher than the national average household income but I barely get by as it is. If I wasn’t married, my wife and I would have much lower standards of living.

I want more than I have. I have to make do with a budget phone, a budget laptop and a budget tablet. Yes, I am happy that I have those things in the first place but I want the top of the line gadgets. That’s really the only things that’s luxury about my wants.

Big fancy sports car’s don’t really do it for me, but I’ve looked at the new Mercedes A-Class cars with drool dripping from the side of my mouth. I’ll be happy with a decent car with low gas mileage and easy to maintain. I’ll be happy with a two bedroom house in a good school district.

I do however want to travel. I’ve only ever traveled outside of Africa once. I want to travel to all the continents. I want to visit all the popular destinations. I want to watch Manchester United at Old Trafford. This could be the most expensive part of the lifestyle that I do want.

When I do eventually complete my degree in Computer Science and when I finally get a job that pays enough for me to get these fancy things, I hope I stay grounded and stick to my guns. It’s so easy to get lost when new money comes in. I see it all the time. People who live from paycheck to paycheck when they were just middle management but after they get that big promotion and start earning the big bucks, they still live from paycheck to paycheck.

Maybe I will never earn enough money to buy a big fancy house and car. I’m fine with that. As long as I am still happy and my wife still loves me as much as I do her, I’ll be content with my average lifestyle.

Until next time. Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend.

January Finances – Quick Update

My finances for January 2017 is almost, even my cash account. No big unrecorded expenses in my income statement. Every single expense has been accounted for. How did I manage that? 

When I started with the cash account, there was N$1500 in it but N$7 of actual cash left in my wallet. I started with the receipts I kept in my wallet whenever I pay for something in cash and I don’t record it on a smartphone app. After I recorded all of those I still had a lot of cash to make up, close to N$900.

I used a smartphone app for like a week to record my cash expenses. There was something like 8 transactions but it only accounted for about another N$200.

Finally I remembered the two big cash expenses that I didn’t record, which was a N$200 donation to the church and N$400 spent on accommodation when the wife and I went camping after new years. 

There’s only a couple more transactions that I have to record like the N$200 cash I withdrew the day before yesterday, which I find take into consideration when I was reconciling. 

Last night I figured out how I should record prepayments and accruals. I get my paycheck the 25th but I’m actually supposed to get it the 1st day of each month because of use the month I get from my paycheck to pay for the expenses in the following month. 

When I do receive my paycheck, I record as normal, but at the end of each month I will debit Income: Salary and credit Prepaid Income and the first day of the next month I will reverse that transaction. 

I know there is still a week to go in January but I can’t wait to share my income statement and prepare my budget for February because GNUCash provides very nice reports. It’s a proper accounting system. 

Until next time. Thanks for reading. 

January Blues

Money

Recording and keeping track of finances isn’t an easy job, even after a whole year of recording each and every transaction. It’s especially harder if you lost your phone where you kept track of all your expenses.

The thought of reconciling all the excel spreadsheets that I exported at different times and figure out what I didn’t record was a daunting. Each day I would tell myself that today is the day that I am going to do it. I only lost two weeks of transactions in January, it’s not that big of a train smash. And besides, most of the transactions are on my bank statements. So all isn’t lost, right?

This past weekend I managed to start with reconciliation and finally closed off 2016. There were some transactions in 2016 that belonged in 2017 so now it’s throwing my opening balances a bit. Not a bit, actually I have no idea what my opening balance for my check account is supposed to be.

This year I want to record my expenses on my computer instead of on my cellphone. The only transactions I want to record on my cellphone and then export to my computer later are the cash transactions. Everything else should come from my bank statements and statements from my creditors.

I looked for a free open source piece of software to serve all my personal finance needs and ended up with Money Manager Ex and GNUCash. Money Manager Ex just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t very clear from the get go how I would record all my transactions. I didn’t know how to import CSV files. The software was just a bit iffy. That’s the best review I got for you.

GNUCash seems like the complete accounting package. It’s much more complicated than anything I’ve ever used before but I have hope for this one. I struggled for hours to figure out how I’m going to export my bank statement and just import it into GNUCash. I tried tweaking excel spreadsheets, tried new formulas and downloaded plug-ins before concluding that I will enter everything manually from the printed bank statements.

I haven’t recorded a single transaction yet for 2017 and I am already at the end of January because my paycheck for work done in January 2017 has already hit my bank account. So, during my lunch hour I am going to try my best to just start recording everything.

As for the cash, I have no idea what to do. There will be so many expenses that will go unrecorded. I’ll probably have to just create a transaction type called “Unrecorded expenses”. The longer I go without recording my finances, the bigger the unknown. It will come to a point where I will probably not record anything this year and just call it an off year. Ha-ha.

Just a little update on my cellphone that got water damage. The repair people don’t have a replacement screen for my phone. It’s a weird Chinese brand that only starting making phones very recently. The repair shop tried to clear all the water from the phone hoping that would work, but it still didn’t. They didn’t charge me a cent for cleaning out all the water. I was prepared to pay N$900 for it.

I googled searched for a place in my city that could maybe repair my phone and instead stumbled upon AliExpress that could ship a replacement screen to me for US$20. That was great news because the repair shop would’ve charged me US$180 for the replacement screen (including labor) if they had one available. Now I just need to pay them for the labor (which I hope shouldn’t be more US$40), which is a third of the price I was quoted at the start. Only problem is my package will only be arriving in 45-60 days from China. It’s going to be a long ass wait, but it will be totally worth it in the end.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

May 2016 Budget

This month is going to be a very tough month. May is a big month. May always seems to be the turning point of my year. By May, I already have a feel for what the year is going to be like and May also determines how the rest of the year will be like. This month, for the first time, I have my budget ready on time.

May 2016 Budget

1 Namibian Dollar (NAD) = 0.069 US Dollar (USD) as at 25-04-2016

We are going to a wedding at the coast. Traveling expenses, accommodation expenses and entertainment expenses go up. I’ve budgeted $750 for our trip to the beach which is this coming weekend.

May means the end of the English Premier League season (and most European football leagues). I made a couple of bets with some friends and I need to account for the losses I could potentially take on. I know I should have made a provision for this earlier this year, but it really looked like I wasn’t going to lose the wager. Lesson learned.

It’s my wife’s birthday this month, so I need to budget for that as well. Even though I should actually pay for her gifts with the next paycheck, but I get that paycheck a day before her birthday. I need more time to prepare for her birthday. So my savings fund is going to take a big hit this month. Hopefully I can refill it over the coming months.

My budget for other expenses is really tight this month. A lot of the expenses like food, entertainment, personal and mobile expenses are lower than their average monthly actual in the first quarter of the year. I have no choice but to keep it tight this month because I am already taking $1200 from my saving just to make it through this month.

I expect to come into some cash later this year, so even though my savings is going to plummet, lowering my net worth, it will pick up later this year. Also, my wife and I’ve been saving for a trip to Durban, South Africa with her family, but it seems the trip might be called off. We have an extra fund of cash for any emergencies now. Maybe we might decide to go on holiday after all with that money, but I like knowing there is extra cash if s*** hits the fan.

Well, this should be an interesting month, not only with regard to money. This month marks the end of the football season, the start of my school exams and the end of a financial year at work. I hope I can survive May.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.

 

February 2016 – Budgeted vs Actual

Finally I get to post my February results. Even though February was only two days ago, I’ve actually closed off February because I get my paycheck on the 25th. It just complicates things if I don’t close off the month before I get new money in because who’s to say what expense belongs to the previous budget and which expense belongs to the new budget.

I had to steal time from work to get this done. My time away from work is dominated by school and my wife, so my finances get neglected. I hope my boss doesn’t find out.

I am not going to go into too much detail here, just give a short summary. I am going to create a page for each month and you can find it under the menu item “Finances”. A link will be posted.

February 2016 Budget vs Actual results

February 2016 Budget vs Actual results

Summary:

Overspent categories

Entertainment:  These two expense items took a major hit. My entertainment budget was blown on the same day I received my paycheck. It’s been so long that I didn’t have money in the bank, so as soon as I got it, I went out for beers with my mates. Totally worth it.

Food:  The food is higher than I thought it would be. About 70% of the food budget was snacks. There are two outliers, the time my sister, my wife and I went for frozen yogurt and the other time I bought biltong (aka beef jerky). Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of that, but I’ve adjusted my new budget.

Underspent categories

Transport: I didn’t use the cab as much as I thought I would. My wife uses the car cause she needs it for work to run a couple of company errands, but she drops me off at work in the mornings. In the evenings I take a cab to school and then back home. I budgeted a little extra if I have to catch a cab to anywhere else beside school and home. I lowered this budget in the new month.

Donations: I feel bad that this category is underspent. My wife and I didn’t go to church in February, well we did, to another church, but not to our church. Therefore I didn’t spend what I set out to. I’m definitely going to church this Sunday.

Personal: This one is a bit of strange. I usually spend a lot on myself. I guess I didn’t as much this month. Whoop whoop.

Savings: I can’t remember when I posted about the Bank Your Change, a savings initiative from my bank whereby every time I use my debit card to purchase something at a store, the bank deducts an extra amount over and about the purchase price and then puts that money into my savings account. I didn’t reach my budgeted savings for this initiative because I forgot one crucial detail, I don’t do the grocery shopping anymore, my wife does. So I’m not saving as much as I would. I could’ve just transferred the money I didn’t save by using my debit card, but it’s easier to save when you know you aren’t saving.

Well that’s it for February. Not a bad month after all. The Volleyball Tournament my friends and I played was a huge success. No categories have been grossly overspent and my net value is moving in a positive direction. More on that soon and I’ll post my March budget as well.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.

Marriage and Debt

No matter how hard you try to reduce your debt on your own, it’s pointless if your spouse isn’t doing the same. All your effort won’t be realized unless your spouse understand the importance of clearing debt, starting savings accounts and gaining interest instead of paying interest.

It was Mrs Lakendary’s friend birthday. We got a last minute message from her friend that she would celebrate her birthday at a restaurant and only invite her two closest friends. Since Mrs Lakendary’s friend is actually doing something for her birthday which she usually hasn’t in the past, we felt obligated to get her a gift.

(more…)

First bump in the road

Good day readers. It’s a funny way to start a blog post, but what the hell, I’m doing it anyway. So according to my last blog post I stated that I would give an update on our argument or disagreement yesterday already, but things didn’t work out like they were supposed to, so here I am today. Sorry for the wait.
First things first I just want to clarify that we didn’t actually have a verbal spat or anything close to that. I just felt disappointed and decided to keep my feelings to myself. My wife did notice that my mood has changed and kept asking “What’s the matter?”  but I gave nothing away, stating that I was okay the entire time until we later got home and friends of hers came over so I had to act friendly and happy in front of our guests. As soon as her friends left (newlywed couple as well, I was forced to make nice with the guy even though I didn’t want to, but more on that in future blog posts) I forgot all about the problem and we went back to be a loving couple.
Okay so Lakendary, what did you feel disappointed about? Well, it was money. BIG SURPRISE. I know. A little bit of history first. The thing is this, my wife’s employers decided to give her money as a wedding gift. This was a big sum of money, almost as much as my monthly salary. The money has obviously been paid into her bank account so she is kind of in control of this money.
We’ve discussed what we should spend this money on. She sort of wants something tangible, something she can see and point out like, there, this is what my bosses gave us as a wedding present. I suggested that we can settle all of our short-term debts and live a little more comfortably from month to month, even save a little. We soon came to a compromise and said we would spend half the money on settling debt and the other half on something tangible.
My wife’s first choice was nice outside furniture. We have this big courtyard that’s looking a bit empty. We had a look around and came up with a couple of options. We discussed our options with our mothers and they both thought that we were being outlandish. We shouldn’t spend that much money on outside furniture. Rather get the cheap plastic stuff. I mean we are just starting out. It’s all a bit too much too soon. Fair enough. So we were convinced that we are going for the cheap plastic furniture (but not too cheap that it breaks quickly) and other small things around the house. I still have my microwave from college but my wife thinks it’s old and ugly. We should replace that. Cool. I think we need a DVR cause sometimes all the good shows play at times when we aren’t home or awake. Cool.
Back to the day in question. My wife and I went shopping for the furniture and the microwave (and maybe a digital camera because we realized on our honeymoon that camera phone photos aren’t all that great). As soon as we identified which outside furniture we were going to get my wife kind of got tired of being in the mall or something because after we got back from the ATM she said we should leave the other things for another day. I got the feeling that she didn’t want to spend the money. We were at the stores. If we wanted a microwave, why not get it now?
I felt helpless. I felt like she had all the control over the money. She got her furniture and I didn’t get any cool gadgets like the camera or a DVR. So in my mind, I made up my mind that the rest of that money it’s hers. Even though the money is supposed to be for us, our wedding gift, it was paid over to her into her bank account. And if there are any gadgets or cool electronics that I want, I was going to have to save up for it myself and get it myself without any assistance from my wife.
At the wedding, in my dad’s speech he mentioned that I was money savvy and that when he gave my sister and me money to go spend at a particular place, I would always come back with some money while my sister wouldn’t. Even when we planned the wedding, I was always the one looking at the budget, getting upset that we are blowing the budget. So my wife knows I very budget conscious. She also sticks to a budget but not as much as I do. So when we were discussing how we would be handling our money, we agreed that there are certain expenses I pay and certain expenses she pays and after that we spend the money as we please.
Right now I almost have no money left. She still has a big chunk of her salary left from last month, the wedding money we got, her Christmas bonus and she just received her salary for this month as well (a couple of weeks early). I feel poor while my wife is rolling in the dough. I have too much pride to ask her for money. I don’t want my ego to get in the way but I really feel helpless at this point. I won’t say a thing, which is probably the wrong thing to do, but that’s just me though. I don’t think my stubbornness would ever change.
So what is my plan? I am not too sure. I am just going to keep track of my money like I always have. Maybe even be a little tighter. Stop going out, stop paying for take-out and hopefully have a healthy bank balance to buy a PS4, fuck the DVR. I’m going big.
PS. I passed my first year of studies. One year down, two to go. I can’t wait to start my career in computer science rather than finance.
Until next time. Thanks for reading.

Stress

Good Morning. Let the stress begin...

Stress

The last week or so have been an absolute nightmare. Work just seems to get worse and worse everyday and I am slowly starting to regret moving there for the new pay increase.

The work load is immense. So immense that the managing director noted this and told the rest of the office to drop everything their doing and help me with my work. It helped a little but I am still under a lot of pressure. Today there was a light at the end of the title. Someone has been appointed to aid me permanently. Things seem to be looking better but I don’t think I will feel the workload getting lighter now. It may take up to a month. The new credit clerk needs to be trained and must get to know the ways before I start feeling the effect of her work.

Unfortunately because of the stress at work everything else in my life took a back seat, especially my finances. I stopped recording transactions. I went out for beers more often. I ate take out more often. I stopped making lunch and eating breakfast at home. I was just not following my normal routines. I was properly depressed. The days I didn’t go out drinking, I just came home and got into bed.

To this day while I am typing up this blog post I still haven’t updated my budget for August or September. I recorded all my debit card purchases but nothing about cash over the past two weeks. I feel like I am drowning and I cannot come up for air. I want to finish it, I really do, but work just takes out so much of me that I have no energy to do anything when I get home. It doesn’t look like I will make all the goals I’ve set at the beginning of the year and at June. My first three months at this job has been stressful.

I can only hope that this will shape me and turn me into a stronger person. I hope that things will become better over time. If I don’t see an improvement by the end of October, I will start looking for work elsewhere. Even if I have to take a pay cut. The money is not worth all the stress.

2013/14 Year Review [Part 4 of 4]

Financial freedom

2014, It’s only getting started

Looking back at all my posts, the past 365 days and what’s to come for the rest of the year, I must say that I am very excited to say the least. A year ago I thought my world is coming to an end. And now, it just getting better.
Now that I have a new job I will be earning more money. For the first time in my life I will experience the true meaning of income > expenses. I will be able to save some money. I am still trying to cut expenses and live a more frugal life. Just two more weeks and I would’ve kept a budget for 3 months and recorded every single transaction I made over those 3 months. Budgeting will only get easier and it will become a part of my every day ritual.
I have major plans for the next 365 days. When I write another mid-year review and I look back to this post and think that I have finally achieved something big. This would be bigger than me getting am accounting degree. Much bigger. It will be a step in the right direction. No more taking a back seat on my financial future. I will become the driver and take control. No more blaming other people for where I was a year back. I am in control of my journey and only I can change it.
So here are my goals for the rest of 2014:
  1. I will buy an engagement ring and propose to my girlfriend.
  2. I will have less debt than I started with this year.
  3. I will have my driver’s permit.
  4. I will have all the necessities required to live a comfortable live at home.
  5. I will learn all the programming languages to enable me to create a website and a mobile app from scratch.
  6. I will finish my website.
  7. I will finish my own mobile app.
  8. I will reach 500 views on my blog.
  9. I will have a budget that I following strictly every month.
  10. And I will be a more productive and healthy human being.