Budget v Actual Spending – March 2016

Budget March 2016

It has been a while since I tracked my spending.  It is a real pain the butt to write down every peso, so I do not do it often.  I made an Excel spreadsheet for my phone that worked pretty well but then I found an app called Monefy. It is a free app that does a very good job.  It automatically keeps daily totals, category totals etc.  There is no direct connection to the PC (I sure miss the good old Palm programs!).  It does export as a  csv file, that will open in excel, so it is still easy enough to use.  When it exports as a csv file you lose all the totals, but in excel that takes about a minute to set up.  

The hardest part was getting my wife onboard with it. She said just to give her p1,000 and put that as her expenses.  So I told her I just would not bother tracking the budget.  She surprised me after a day of shopping with a complete list! So… one long painful month later we have some totals.  My monthly estimate turned out to be pretty close to the actual:

Monthly Budget

Total p26,800

Groceries p10,000

Electric  p4,000

Globe p1,300 (internet)

Cell Phone p500

Pocket Money p6,000

Savings p5,000


Actual Spending

Total p26,830

Groceries p11,871

Household p7,973 (p3,400 electric & p1,100 globe)

Eating Out p2,796

Entertainment p745

Health p1,591

Jeepney p694 (eating out, entertainment, health, and jeepney would count as ‘pocket money’)


What I did not realize when I started this was that our annual barangay fiesta was this month.  So we spent less on ‘entertainment’ and more on ‘groceries’ and ‘household’.  It balanced out to about the same but will look like we have no entertainment money.  Usually we spend less on food and go out and play more.  Of course every month seems like something wants to bust the budget … that is life anywhere though, isn’t it?  But we did have a day of exploring some caves, so that was fun. Also, she took two trips to her province this month.  (Exploring the caves blog)

Because we built a house, and have no rent, I put what would be rent money into a local savings.  I keep most of my money in the US and just a little here in BPI.  I pull out p30,000 on the first. Put p5,000 into savings, and give my wife p25,000 for the month (p30,000 = $666 USD @ 45:1, p5,000 = $111).  When I first got here, 3 years ago, the exchange rate was 40:1 so p30,000 was $750, I appreciate the better exchange rate we have now.   My wife has labeled paperclips for each bill. Four grocery clips at p2,500 each, p1,300 Globe etc. Anything left goes into the ‘pocket money’ clip. About p9,000 for pocket money, which we share ($200 USD).

One of the big debates among expats is ‘how much do I need?”  No one can answer that for you. There are guys that say they live on barely $300 (USD) a month, and others who say $2,000 is minimum.  So as the girls here say… “up to you”.  For budget nothing is truer.  I am comfortable here, but would not recommend my lifestyle to you, without knowing more about your needs and comfort level.    I tell people I live on $800 a month, I am happy, but would not recommend it. Ha ha

I did this a year or so ago and just posted category totals.  This time I think I will post the whole file. It is a breakdown, arranged by category, of all our daily expenses.  To be honest it is not entirely accurate. According to the list we spent p28,630. Actually we spent the entire p30,000, plus the emergency p500 I keep in my wallet.  So… somewhere p1,870 pesos is missing.  With all the money flowing around for the fiesta, I am ok with that.  Pretty close, that is, what, $41.

Usually we spend less than the weekly p2,500 budgeted for groceries. The extra money just becomes pocket money. So our entertainment gets a boost from left over grocery money. This month we spent way too much on groceries (as I said fiesta).  So maybe I will have to do this again in a few months and see what a normal month is like (are any months normal?).  You will see from all the pizza stops that I tend to buy a slice of pie every time we go grocery shopping.


Total    -28630                        
Eating Out    -2796        Groceries    -11871        Household    -7,973
Entertainment    -745        Health     -1591        Jeepney    -694
date               category    amount    description                
18/03/2016    Clothes    -300    Diamond mart                
4/3/2016    Cell Load    -500                    
1/3/2016    Eating out    -285    Capt dad                
2/3/2016    Eating out    -350    Jolibee                
2/3/2016    Eating out    -17    Mt dew                
4/3/2016    Eating out    -75    Pizza                
6/3/2016    Eating out    -50    Waffle and coke                
10/3/2016    Eating out    -100    Cokes wedding party                
12/3/2016    Eating out    -53    Pizza and mt dew                
12/3/2016    Eating out    -132    Andok’s                
12/3/2016    Eating out    -45    Waffle and coke                
18/03/2016    Eating out    -20    Waffle                
18/03/2016    Eating out    -55    Coke and M&Ms                 
18/03/2016    Eating out    -280    McDo’s                 
19/03/2016    Eating out    -200    Zarks                
19/03/2016    Eating out    -13    Water                
19/03/2016    Eating out    -100    Churros and coke                
21/03/2016    Eating out    -199    Lechon chicken                
21/03/2016    Eating out    -75    Bongs   (soup joint – not pot joint ha ha)            
23/03/2016    Eating out    -231    Capt Dad                 
23/03/2016    Eating out    -42    Ice cream                 
25/03/2016    Eating out    -13    Coke                
26/03/2016    Eating out    -193    Batchoy                
26/03/2016    Eating out    -58    Pizza                
30/03/2016    Eating out    -210    Pizza and mt dew                
2/3/2016        Entertainment    -320    Fiesta pageant                
3/3/2016        Entertainment    -75    Fiesta games                
25/03/2016   Entertainment    -350    Caves                
1/3/2016    Food    -118    Gaisano                
2/3/2016    Food    -392    Capt morgan                
2/3/2016    Food    -400    Fiesta cokes                
3/3/2016    Food    -477    Fiesta beer                
4/3/2016    Food    -4,200    Groceries and fiesta                
4/3/2016    Food    -212    Fiesta wine                
6/3/2016    Food    -200    Robinson’s                
12/3/2016    Food    -1,462    Robinson’s                
18/03/2016    Food    -1,500    Robinson’s                
19/03/2016    Food    -560    Robinson’s                
21/03/2016    Food    -274    Robinson’s                
23/03/2016    Food    -187    Wet Market                
26/03/2016    Food    -1,750    Robinson’s                
30/03/2016    Food    -139    Wet Market                
1/3/2016    Health    -55    Vitamins                
1/3/2016    Health    -144    Meds                
2/3/2016    Health    -120    Massage. Her                
12/3/2016    Health    -250    Massage. Me                
12/3/2016    Health    -150    Haircut                
15/03/2016    Health    -147    Meds                
18/03/2016    Health    -15    Laminate PhilHealth card                
19/03/2016    Health    -260    Meds        
19/03/2016    Health    -300    Massage. me                
26/03/2016    Health    -150    Meds        
2/3/2016    House    -1,100    Fiesta Unitop   (new dishes & utensils)             
4/3/2016    House    -296    Fiesta balloons and kitchenware                
12/3/2016    House    -3,477    Electric                 
23/03/2016    House    -1,100    Globe  (internet)             
23/03/2016    House    -2,000    Savings       (usually p5,000 but fiesta took it)        
10/3/2016    Taxi    -60                    
19/03/2016    Taxi    -100                    
1/3/2016    Transport    -26    Jeepney                
2/3/2016    Transport    -130                    
4/3/2016    Transport    -120                    
6/3/2016    Transport    -60                    
10/3/2016    Transport    -36                    
12/3/2016    Transport    -15                    
15/03/2016    Transport    -84                    
18/03/2016    Transport    -69                    
18/03/2016    Transport    -13                    
18/03/2016    Transport    -30                    
19/03/2016    Transport    -15                    
19/03/2016    Transport    -18                    
21/03/2016    Transport    -26                    
23/03/2016    Transport    -26                    
30/03/2016    Transport    -26                    
8/3/2016    Vacation    -1,500    Wife to province                 
18/03/2016    Vacation    -500    Wife to province                

4 thoughts on “Budget v Actual Spending – March 2016

  1. Tito Tim,

    I’m in Afghanistan and I’ve been following your videos on youtube for some time now..
    Oddly, I just noticed the blog link above the subscribe button of your youtube page.
    I’m considering using the monefy app. I’ve seen some videos and it looks to be helpful.
    This app will make the daily tracking easier.
    I will be visiting the PI in Sep. – Oct. Hopefully we can arrange a visit.
    I’m looking forward to retiring in the PI, but the wife is Hard and Fast against the idea.
    Maybe its time for a new wife… LOL… Cough…

    1. I don’t use the blog much anymore, since I started vlogging. It is still here… but in need of attention ha ha.
      As for retiring, well I have some old Navy buddies that thought they were retiring here but their Filipino wives had other ideas.

Leave a Reply