how i money

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August 31, 2015 by Wayne.

As part of the ongoing process to craft a new fleet of Waynes, I’ve decided to put my entire money-planning source code up in this here post. Results may vary.


I use YNAB 4 (You Need A Budget) as my primary (only) money-tracking tool. It’s fairly intuitive, there’s an astonishing amount of readily available resources for troubleshooting (including free tutorial videos and webcasts!), and it works across multiple systems. Running it on my PC, MBP and my iPhone, but it’s on the last one where it really shines. While the functionality is somewhat limited on the phone, it’s worth the tradeoff of being incredibly smooth and speedy when inputting transactions. The lack of friction was apparent even on my near-death iPhone 4. And it’s a big deal because at the end of the day, if you don’t regularly log your transactions, it’s kind of pointless to have a budget tracker.

On YNAB I keep track of all my savings accounts, cash and credit cards. I also have my Amanah Saham account which sits separately as an off-budget account. I’ve a couple of pretty standard categories (Monthly Bills, Everyday Expenses etc) with breakdowns covering everything from Vacation Savings to Books to Drinks.

The key here is that the allocations for Emergency Fund and Investments are non-negotiable – everything else can be pretty much shifted slightly around to accommodate time-specific spending patterns.

My current investment plan – due for a revision very very soon – is pretty much as follows:

  • RM3k per year to PRS, ie. auto-debit RM250/month.
  • Pour net income (after expenses) into Emergency Fund. Assuming 2.5k expenses/month during non-employment, goal 1 is achieved once RM7,500 (3 months) is in the Emergency Fund. This is pretty much a basic safety net in the absence of financial support from parents/relatives etc. The fund is kept in fixed deposits for now.
  • At this point, net income (post-savings for house down payment) is split between 50% Amanah Saham (to max out that RM200k), 20% Emergency Fund and 30% investment capital.
  • Savings into Emergency Fund stop once the total fund reaches RM17,000 (6 months of expenses). The fund is split between various fixed-income securities. Note that the required size of the Emergency Fund increases with indebtedness, upon which monthly payments will have to be allocated once again.
  • Once the investment capital reaches the equivalent of US $10k, I’ll open an account in Singapore to place the money into the Vanguard Total Stock Market (US) Index Fund.
  • Apart from those goals (RM17k Emergency Fund, RM200k Amanah Saham, US $10k Vanguard, RM3k/per year PRS), the investment capital can be further used for investing in index funds, REITs, FX etc.
  • Although of course one of the main goals will be to purchase a property that can return good rent for the next couple of years at least.
  • But I also want to like travel
  • and buy stuff
  • so it’s pretty difficult

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