By VIVIENNE WONG
WHERE did my money go?” Now that’s one question many young working adults ask themselves come middle of the month. Motion graphics designer Shan Vellu, however, doesn’t do that, because he has got his own unique way of tracking exactly where his money goes.
Shan is your average kind of guy – he enjoys travelling, attending concerts and splurging a little on himself once in a while. Only difference is (and this might not seem like a really big deal to some) at the end of the day, he jots down every ringgit he spends.
At the end of each year (since 2011), he would then map out all the money he has spent on an infographic, allowing him to not only dissect how he spends his money, but also to have a rough idea how his spending has evolved over the years.
His little experiment caused quite a bit of buzz on the Internet, where he uploads the infographics. Some of his friends were even inspired to get on board.
Shan credits his dad for his smart approach to keeping his finances in check. His dad would always tell him to keep track of how much he spent while he was studying in university. Now that he’s all grown up, and with a background in graphic design, he’s simply taking that principle up a notch.
For others hoping to follow his example, Shan said you obviously don’t need to be a graphic designer. If you’re really up for it, all you need is a pen and paper to draw it out – and a lot of discipline.
He added that the discipline part can actually be pretty easy. What he does is record how much he spends when he’s out, and key it into an Excel sheet the moment he gets home. Simple.
Of course, it could still be a hassle for some people, but from the infographics, Shan has learnt to be more aware of his “needs and wants”, and to be able to differentiate between a necessity and luxury expenditure.
“I once read that if you want to buy something, you should make sure that you have at least five times of that amount in your savings. It’s a good idea when it comes to large purchases,” said Shan.
Now that he knows what to cut down on in order to save, he is definitely a lot more careful when it comes to spending his money.
“I always try to set aside a certain amount to save. If I sometimes don’t save up an amount I’m comfortable with, it worries me. So probably the next month I’ll figure out a budget to balance things out.”
His advice for young people?
“Be smart with your money, and know when to say no so you don’t spend unnecessarily”.