Thursday, November 24, 2016

It is almost that time of the year!

In my country there is quiet a bit of economic turbulence so, it is difficult to know what next year will bring. However, that does not stop me from making a yearly budget and plan my savings.

How do I make my budget? I have a spreadsheet. Each month is a column and each row is either an income or an expense. I group the incomes on top of my columns. Each income ends up in a separate bank account so the rows are named in accordance with those banks. I also group the expenses in accordance with which banks they are on automated payment. This way, I can see at a glance whether I have enough money in a specific account for each expense.

My income sources are: Social Security, Rent and current job.

My expenses are:
Mortgage payment for apartment #3
Rent for the Studio apartment I reside in during the week
Debt taken over from a family member
Electricity, Heat, Water, Administration (Rented Apartment + Main Residence)
Insurance (Apartments 1,2 and 3 plus car)
Cell Phone (mine and mom's)
Cable TV (mine and mom's)
Taxes
Vacation
Credit Cards (2)
Miscellaneous
Savings
Car Maintenance
Home Maintenance
Personal Retirement Fund

In order to save for the future, I have a Turkish Lira Savings account, a USD saving account, a gold savings account and a Personal retirement fund along with a very small stock market portfolio. Oh and a few gold coins that I keep in a safe. All of them constitute my investment basket.

Each month I allocate funds over several investment categories. This morning I bought 7 grams of gold with some leftover money in one of my accounts. Come January, I will be depositing a large sum to my Personal Retirement Fund so that I get the 25% match from the Government sooner than later. I take that very seriously because who gives you 25% interest these days even for a limited amount of money?

The interest rate on TL is 10-11% and the interest rate on USD is 2.50% over here. So, when the Government matches my Personal Retirement Fund investment by 25%, it is practically a very high interest that money generates within a month.

The tricky item for next year is my vacation time. My boss is relocating overseas and I was hoping to give myself a nice vacation in the United States for my 50th birthday in June. I cannot be gone for very long when he is not here. So we will see what we will do about that.

I start making my budget usually by the end of November and keep tweaking it till the end of the year. This year I will have a very small amount of money allocated for house maintenance. I am planning something major in 2018 or may be even 2019.

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