Do you have many hobbies and interests? Do you find yourself often left out of activities because you couldn�t afford to participate? Do you find yourself broke in the middle of most months? There are simple things you can do to better manage and optimize your wealth and lifestyle. It�s never too late to start learning how to spend wisely.

To get you started on the right path, first you need to know what you are spending on a weekly or monthly basis. A useful practice is to create a list of everything.

List down your expenses (see Figure 1):

  • Monthly expenses, such as hostel rental, groceries, mobile phone credit, etc
  • Infrequent expenses such as movie tickets to watch Avengers, new top from Ego, lunch at Burger King, etc
No. Expenses Amount
1. Hostel rental $100
2. Movie tickets $7
3. Textbooks $35
4. Hua Ho groceries $28
5. Arcade games $10
6. Mobile Phone Credit $30
7. Lunch at Burger King $15
8. Coffee at Starbucks $7.50
9. New top from Ego $25
10. New Nike Shoes $49.90

Figure 1. Example of a list of expenses

This is where you will be able to have an overview of where your money has gone during the month. From here, you can even create a more detailed categorized spreadsheet so that you can do budgeting (See Figure 2).

Expenses Food Rent Clothes Fun Books Calls Total
Hostel rental   $100.00         $100.00
Movie tickets       $7.00     $7.00
Textbooks         $35.00   $35.00
Hua Ho groceries $28.00           $28.00
Arcade games       $10.00     $10.00
Mobile Phone Credit           $30.00 $30.00
Lunch at Burger King $15.00           $15.00
Coffee at Starbucks $7.50           $7.50
New top from Ego     $25.00       $25.00
DVDs       $50.00     $50.00
New Nike Shoes     $49.90       $49.90
TOTAL $50.50 $100.00 $74.90 $67.00 $35.00 $30.00 $357.40

Figure 2. List of Expenses with categorized purposes

From the spreadsheet above, you will be able to see where exactly you have been spending on. You will also be able to determine where you can cut down expenses on. From Figure 2, perhaps this student could spend less on Clothes, Fun & Food.

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