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Expenses: April 2017

Physician household spending for April 2017

April was a great month. I am happy to mention a good chunk of my spending has been in form of gift/donations as opposed to constantly spending on myself.

I never gave back much during my accumulation phase, perhaps I should have. Now I think it’s fun to give back, strokes my ego quite well.


Spending Breakdown

I spent a total of $5,185 this month. I am at a point when I can call some expenses investment and consider them less of a liability. My business and donations are certainly among those.

$5k is a lot to spend and no way I would be doing it if I had a budgeting goal. At this time, my basic expenses are around $1,070/mo.

Lowering my spending is important to me because no matter how the economy behaves, the one thing nobody can take away from me is self-reliance. My lack of dependency on a regular income, to a certain extent, decouples my life from external influences.

In time, I have realized that decreasing my expenses is far more powerful than increasing my income. This goes against traditional personal finances advice.

Even $1k/month is excessive. That sounds a bit too radical, however, as a single dude I could bring this down to around $500/month.

However, I have decided that I want to have a fabulous condo in the middle of all the action. I want to live in a place which inspires me and I want to eat me some fine organic foods. I want a gym membership and I want to interact with new & interesting people in cafes.


It’s wiser to donate to organizations that allow for a tax write-off.

For now, I am donating to local and intimate causes which don’t allow for tax write-offs.

The way the tax benefit would work is that for every $1 I donate, I get to deduct $1 from my taxable income.

If I make $10k and donate $10k then I would have $0 taxable income. Incredibly powerful, isn’t it?


I spent $450 on biking pants (BIFL) and the rest on tuning up and upgrading the lights on my bike, for a total of $729.

I’ve had this bike for 2 years and except for upgrading to all-solid tires (no flats), I can’t recall any other notable expenses.


I give up! Every month I promise myself that I’m gonna spend less on entertainment.

It breaks down mostly into going out for drinks, shooting pool and dining out with friends.

I spent $624 in April entertaining myself and friends. I’m happy with it. The proof of concept was successful in my December 2016 month of frugality, I’m happy with that.


I overspent her by a touch, not too bad, $432. I’ve been buying a lot of vegan products this month.

Fancy vegan cheeses and $3-avocados don’t help a brother when it comes to being frugal. But man, they are so good.

I also prepared very few dishes this month. Groceries consisting of mostly ready-prepped foods gets expensive, often less healthy and creates a ton of waste in form of packaging.

My go-to healthy home-prepared foods are:

  • hummus
  • corn tortillas
  • aged vegan cheese
  • tempeh stirfry
  • baked potatoes
  • healthy pizzas
  • vegan truffles
  • Indian lentil curry
  • vegan cheesecake


Dining Out

$386 for trying a couple of new restaurants and my outside coffee, of course.

I am also still doing my high-tip thing. I mentioned it a while back, for almost a year I have been tipping 50-100% instead of the traditional 15-20% when I eat out.

The concept is that if I am getting paid more as a doctor and use that money to achieve financial independence sooner, then I can give back to my society by tipping those in lower-income service professions at higher rates.

It seems like a sustainable concept to me, for now.

And the rest…

I am spending around $265/month on healthcare. I could take on a gig which pays for this but I prefer to not have to rely on a part-time or full-time job.

I spend $77 on my gym membership. I love this place. It’s a 1-mile walk from my house, they have a fantastic gym and of course, all the bouldering my heart desires.

I’m working on my first V6 problem – I think I can get it before June, we’ll see. I can get the beginning and I can get the crux – can’t piece it together yet in a full sequence.

I spend around $150/month on my personal finance which includes my financial adviser and some personal finance podcast subscriptions.

I am floored that my colleagues don’t have financial advisers. This becomes glaring when they ask me particular questions. I am not mocking them, it’s just that money has a very additive and compounding effect – one decision sets off a domino of consequences.


Sustaining Spending

It’s important to keep repeating this, how much would I need to invest or how much would I need to work in order to sustain such spending, month after month?

On the financial evolution scale, we cover our expenses by income from our jobs. Since money is printed by those in power, it can generate more income if given to those who need it most. Hence, the opportunity to put our money to work to generate passive income. 

For example, get a job to make money and buy avocados at $2 per fruit or save the money from the job, buy a big ass fucking avo tree, plant it, eat avo’s until you turn green and sell the rest to neighbors.

Making $5k/month of passive income

Currently, investing in broad equities index funds could net a person somewhere around 4% a year. Due to their fairly safe nature, they can be used as an example for perpetual passive income generation.

It would take around $1.5 million invested in order to generate $5k of passive income every month. Keep that in mind when you add to your expenses.

4 replies on “Expenses: April 2017”

Dr. Mo, What App do you recommend to keep the tally of your spending? which one do you use?

I use YNAB, it’s the easiest one use and I can then create reports from my spending. The screenshots you see are from YNAB. It’s also a fantastic way to plan for your spending. Tracking and tallying can be done with a pen and paper or a simple spreadsheet, but really planning and budgeting is done with more sophisticated software. YNAB is the only one that has achieved all the above and it only costs I think $5/month or $50/year, something along those lines.

I use Personal Capital as well because they have a wonderful way of integrating with different accounts and it’s just really pretty. The reports there are also really fun to view and they have an amazing retirement tracker which I’ve written about in the past, helping you see how well prepped you are for retirement.

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