Just sharing my overseas living experience with tips from my personal budgeting.
Earlier this year, I got an opportunity to take up an assignment in Melbourne, Australia. Without much hesitant, I took up the opportunity since I had just married without kids and always wanted to experience overseas life and step out of my comfort zone.
My wife joined me for a few months in Melbourne and recently just returned home so I am back to my “bachelor” life like before marriage for the rest of my stay. Since this was my first time living alone overseas after my wife left, I started my personal budgeting exercise to track my overseas living expense. I never used to track my daily expense in Singapore. Simply LAZY!
Melbourne was ranked number one for the most livable city in the world in 2013. Of course, world class living standards comes with high cost of living, most evidently was its food when you decide to dine outside. For someone like me who used to dine out frequently in Singapore Hawker Centre and “Kopitiam”, this was indeed a shocker. For example, average dining outside can set you back by AUD 10-25 per meal.
Below was my typical monthly expense inclusive of both fixed and variable living expenses. I included both total expense breakdown including and excluding apartment rental. As my company covered me for a big portion of my rental so my daily expense should exclude rental in reality. No transport expense as I am living 20 minutes’ walk to my office in the CBD.
As I tracked my daily expense quite diligently so the data presented was accurate as far as I am concerned. Above was tracked for the month of November 2013.
Excluding rental and my fixed expenses which are out of my control, my variable expense that includes food (occasionally dine out), Groceries (90% of the time) and any other personal purchases for a typical month of 30 days was about $450 to $500 (Actual tracked Nov 13: $474.62) or daily $15 to $16.78. Its considered relatively low at Aussie standard.
How did I manage to keep my expense within control against the high cost of living in Australia? Because I choose to!! Basically, I cooked my own meals from home and bring to the office for lunch as well for dinner. But what’s really different from Singapore was that it was a “norm” to bring lunch from home in Australia. No need to feel “Paisay” at all!
If I could practice what I am doing here when I am back to Singapore in the future, I am sure I could save more money to grow my passive income.
Overall, I think Singapore is not so bad after all (discounting high property & car price); at least we can get a decent meal for under SGD5.
In life, we do have available options of what kind of life we want to lead; for example, everyday restaurant dining or home cooked food to save more to invest in order to attain financial freedom earlier. The choice is yours!
Having home cooked food is actually surprisingly healthy, also depends on what you cook. I lost 5kg since I arrived in Melbourne 8 months ago.
While building your portfolio of passive income and work towards financial freedom, do also practice personal budgeting with discipline, every dollar saved will count towards ending your rat race earlier than your peers.
Remember!! Remember!! You can have $3,000 monthly passive income but if your monthly expenditure is $4,000; you can NEVER achieve financial freedom with a budget deficit.