money

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.

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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 2017 Financial Report

January month was not that bad to be honest. Looking at the figures, I made a profit of one dollar. Ha-ha. That is very weak actually. At least I didn’t go into a loss. Well, all these figures I’m about to show you was done on Sunday, the 29th of January. Since then I spent some cash on taxi and lunch but I only do my books on a Sunday.

I don’t want to bore my readers with too much detail. I’m just going to look at the big expenses for the month (not rent). I didn’t do a budget for January because I lost my phone with my data, but I will be doing a post on my February budget, based on January’s reports and last year February’s reports. I’m looking forward to that post.

View Balance Sheet for 31 January 2017

View Income Statement for 31 January 2017

Repairs and maintenance

January I got hit with repairs. The one I am not proud of, which was trying to take a selfie in the pool. Not one of my proudest moments. I ordered a new LCD screen from China. Should arrive here in March and then I have another repair bill on my hands cause I have to take the phone to a repair shop with the newly acquired screen for them to replace.

The other repair that I paid for this month was the repair of our toilet. We are renting, so I should’ve just called the body corporate people and asked them to fix it, but they are so strict that my wife and I thought it would probably be cheaper to just fix it ourselves.

I felt like a real man when I fixed the toilet. It wasn’t really that hard, but still, I did it. I come from a home where my dad hardly fixed anything around the house. The lack of repairs and maintenance around the house is one of my sister and I’s favorite topics of conversation. It’s one of the only things we can talk about.

Food

My wife is in charge of the food budget. That’s why it’s so low on my income statement. Everything to do with the car and food in the house is her responsibility. I do however buy something here and there when it’s required. I’m still not very happy with how high the food expense is, but it’s been worse (I will have more in-depth analysis on my food expense in a later post).

I am very happy with how low my snack expense is because it’s usually around N$200 every month. I work in a wholesale shop, so it’s easy for me to just walk into the store and buy me some snacks if I still feel a little hungry. My only goal for the year is to lose 25 kilograms this year, so I have to keep this expense as close to zero as possible. So far, so good.

Take-out is another culprit that needs hands-on management. My wife and I always buy take-out on a Friday because that’s what we are used to. Ever since we dated, Friday was take-out night/movie night. We don’t want to wash any dishes. We just want to chuck everything in the trash. It’s the end of a very long week, who still wants to spend their Friday evenings washing dishes.

Vacation and Donations

My lunch hour is almost over and I want to finish off this post now, so I will combine these two under one subheading.

Vacation expenses is an interesting one. My net-worth will take a huge nose dive after February month because my wife and I are planning to go to Cape Town, South Africa. Most of the money showing in my savings is for our vacation. So I won’t look that rich anymore. Not that I am rich at all, but it will be sad to look at my balance sheet when we return.

The money spent on vacation in January was for our camping trip, which lead me to breaking my phone (I don’t think I will forgive myself until it’s fixed).

Donations is way too high for my liking. This is another expense that my wife should be paying. I contributed the monthly church donation this month which she usually does. Other donations are for things such as sending money to my dad’s poker account because he doesn’t have a credit card (he never pays me back and I never ask for the money back) and then I’d donate some money to beggars in front of stores and so on. Still, I’d like it to be lower next month.

Well that’s it. Time is running out. Quick word on the balance sheet. My credit card is at zero. YAY! Sterns is a clothing store and I have an account there. This would’ve been at zero at the end of last year but my dad didn’t have money to buy my sister a birthday gift, so he asked me to charge it to my account and he would pay me back in installments. I haven’t listed my dad as debtor because I can’t bring myself to ask him for the money back. So I’m just paying off the account on my own. Hopefully he won’t ask again, and hopefully I can say no if he asks again. My dad also gives me a lot, that’s why I can just write off these expenses without thinking twice.

I also haven’t listed all my fixed assets yet. I’ll be selling one of my laptops and buying a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet. Hopefully I’ll get it after work today

Final note, transfer account is just money going from me to my wife and vice versa. I’ll write it off to the income statement at the end of the year or the end of every quarter to at least straight-line it a little.

That was a very long post and my lunch hour ended 14 minutes ago.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

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.

Throw Back Thursday – Debt Repayment

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(Edit: Due to some technical difficulties, Throw Back Thursday is late. My apologies)

It’s that time of the week again, Throw Back Thursday. One of the best ideas I’ve had yet, even though it’s not totally original. Each Thursday for the month of January I post something regarding goal setting from my past and this is supposed to help me set my goals for 2016.

My first post was about my life time goals where I discussed what I achieve in the long-term (by 2029, when I turn 40). The second was about my reward list. I have to admit, after that post I have identified a few other goodies I could add to that list. Finally last week I posted about habits I want to either gain or get rid of, mostly to do with health, finances and organisation.

This week’s throw back is about debt repayment. I found a sheet of paper in one of my files. I think I must have come up with this plan right after my place was broken into and they took about everything material I value like my Xbox 360, TV, laptop, iPod and some clothes.

I needed to come up with a plan to get some clothes to just go to work but I had no money. I reviewed credit card and consumer debt situation and came up with a plan to pay off most of it.

It was a pretty simple plan. I was going to commit $2,000 NAD (about $120 USD) per month for the next six months to the repayment of my debts. There was a total of $12,800 NAD ($780.80 USD) outstanding.

Well I managed to close the one account and buy the engagement and wedding ring for my fiancé without making more debt but I couldn’t pay off my credit card and I didn’t have enough money to buy my own wedding ring, so I had to open another consumer debt account for that.

I didn’t make my goal but I think I came pretty damn close. Now I’ve created a new debt repayment plan for 2016 and hopefully I stick to this plan and pay off all my debt and go into 2017 debt free. Below you can see my new debt repayment plan.

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Please note that one NAD is equivalent to $0.061 USD. (Most of my readers are from USA).
The toughest thing about repaying debt is not creating any new debt and actually sticking to the repayments amounts set out. I really hope I get to stick to this.

It’s been a pleasure writing these series of blog posts. Maybe I will start a new Throw Back series soon, but I don’t have much in my archives. Next week I will post my final 2016 goals.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.