Thoughtworthy was a YouTube channel that popped onto my social feed some time ago.
I was half-curious about this minimalist movement and naturally gravitated towards how this young, Singaporean couple with no kids (yet) design their lives around minimalism.
I thought their home was unique, Instagram worthy. I could never imagine how anyone could be comfortable working in front of a computer on a simple, modified Ikea floor desk. But I may be intrigued enough to buy a floor chair to feel how the chair actually work.
In their latest video, HL and Glo shared with their viewers how much they spend a month and why do they spend as much (or as little) as they do.
They itemize their variable expenses but also give a glimpse of their fixed expenses.
Deeply affected by their parent’s fight with major diseases, HL and Glo became certified fitness and nutritional coaches who used their home as their base.
By what they shared, I have the feeling that they were drawing down their savings at times when the income from their business was more volatile than anticipated.
“There were too many instances where we came uncomfortably close to running out of money. Part of the reason why we’ve been able to scrape by, is by going lean with our expenses, without feeling like we’re compromising on the quality of life.”HL and Glo
I personally thought that statement articulates being lean very well. You do not have to spend big. Be conscious rather than unconscious about what and how you spend.
There is a minimum, baseline, steady-state lifestyle that we can fall back upon that gives us a satisfactory life.
Once you are able to identify this basic yet satisfactory life, find out how much it cost monthly or yearly.
Once I define this lifestyle as my survival expenses but I realize the definition give people the vibe that they are just barely scraping by. Some financial planners called this essential expenses. I think that is a better definition.
HL and Glo’s Expenses
Their numbers are representative of their lifestyle for the past few years.
|Spending||Monthly Cost (SGD)||Remarks|
|Water & Gas||$30|
|Mobile Plans||$10||$5 for each|
|Food & Groceries||$500||Cook and eat out,|
That is $420 a person. Sounds like an incredulous set of variable expense figure for many and they explained why this is not such a hard, dry lifestyle.
They were able to keep the water and gas cost very low because they defaulted to not using aircon and water heating (this means not turning on the heater while showering). They do have aircon and water heater at home.
I personally do not turn on the aircon and by default do not use water heater. I used to fear the cold but grown used to it.
HL and Glo’s definition of fixed expenses includes business expenses, insurance and mortgage. These expenses are fixed because they cannot be altered much.
Their fixed expenses probably comes up to $1,200 a month.
Money can be a divisive topic. Something that can be objective down to dollars and cents, can be utterly subjective at the same time.
Some may think that life is too short to live the way we do, like cheapskates, and at the same time, another group may think that this is not frugal enough.
And that is totally cool.
Ultimately, there is no one right way to earn, spend, save and invest your money.HL and Glo
Whenever I came across a good sharing of their lifestyle and personal expenses, I would share it over here because your annual expenses determines a lot of things.
- How much surplus you will have
- How much do you need to accumulate for your financial independence
Different people have different lifestyle circumstances and that will drive their cost of lifestyle.
You might not connect with my rather low expenses because I am single, living with a retired parent, who is still work spending about $2000 a month (read my expenses here).
You might also not connect with some retirees in Singapore living on less than $2000 a month. (read Squeezing Your Life into $2,600 a Month)
HL and Glo falls into the group that is
- Not financially independent, not sure if they are financially secure, needing to draw upon their savings at times
- No kids
- Home-bound most of the time
- Young adults
- No car
- No parent allowance
And they manage to buy a lifestyle that cost $2,000 a month as well.
You can pondor about:
- Would this be a satisfactory life?
- Does your life look something like this, if you remove your kids, work engagement and a few other things?
- If your life looked like this, are you buying that life with only $2,000?
- If not, why were you not able to? What was the difference?
- If your current lifestyle is more than this, could you default to this kind of life if you stop working? Would your expenses look something like this?
Interested to hear comments about this. You can leave any comments below.
You can also view HL and Glo’s content on their website here.
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