How To Analyze Your Expenses, So You Can Lower Your Spending and Save More Money

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Money Saving Tips, Personal Finance on June 25, 2015

It’s not how much you earn, but how much you save that’s more important when it comes to growing your wealth.

And when it comes to saving money, analyzing your expenses is a necessary part of the process.

Today, I’ll teach you how I analyze my expenses, so that you can determine possible ways to lower your spending, and increase your savings.

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Monthly and Yearly Expenses

When making a list, a lot of people make the mistake of only writing down their monthly expenses such as utility bills, groceries, transportation, etc.

To give yourself a more accurate view of your spending, never forget to include expenses that you incur on a yearly basis, and include those in your budget.

Examples are car registration fees, real estate taxes, birthday celebrations, Christmas shopping, school tuition, and many more. If you have expenses that happen quarterly, semi-annually, or such, then include those as well of course.

Think about each month of the year, and list down your non-recurring costs – this is how I do mine.

Some quick money-saving tips:

  • In the Philippines, you get a discount on your real estate taxes the following year when you pay it during the last quarter of the previous year.
  • Some expenses, such as homeowner’s association dues and insurance premiums, will be lower if you get the quarterly or annual terms.
  • Always pay before the due date on your credit card, so you can have your membership fee waived upon request.

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Fixed and Variable Expenses

Once you have a complete list of expenses, determine which among them are fixed costs, and which are variable.

Cable TV subscription, the salary of your household help, gym membership fees – these are examples of costs that don’t change each month.

Meanwhile, electric bills, transportation costs, mobile phone load, etc. – there are expenses that vary every month.

At this point, I recommend looking into your variable expenses because you have direct control over their amount, and thus you can make lifestyle changes to lower them.

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Moreover, by regularly keeping track of your variable expenses, you can then calculate your average spending, and see yearly patterns that can help in creating a sound budget.

For example, electric bills usually go up during summer. To offset the increase, and apart from conserving energy at home, you can probably spend a little less on groceries and on your transportation costs during these months.

Some quick money-saving tips:

  • Take advantage of membership discount cards in groceries.
  • Carpool with officemates to lower your fuel and transportation costs.
  • Use LED lights because they’re more energy efficient.

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Standard and Discretionary Expenses

The last, and probably the most important type of analysis that you can do, is to determine which of your expenses are necessary and unnecessary.

You can do nothing about standard expenses, but discretionary expenses are costs that you can lessen, or better yet, totally eliminate.

For each item on your list, ask yourself twice if it is a need or a want. Be honest with yourself and have the courage to get rid of the non-essential costs.

One thing I’ve learned here is that, one of the best ways to get rid of unnecessary spending is to replace it with a cheaper alternative. For example, you can cut your cable TV subscription, and replace your television habit with reading, playing board games, or chatting with loved ones and friends.

Some quick money-saving tips:

  • Learn to cook. A lot of expensive restaurant dishes can easily be duplicated in your own kitchen at half the cost.
  • Instead of subscribing to magazines, you can just buy back issues, which are always much cheaper.
  • Make paying yourself first a “necessary expense” to guarantee your savings every month.

I hope you learned something from today’s post. Share this to your friends who are struggling with saving money because they’ll thank you for it.

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Photo credits: kasaa


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17 Responses to “How To Analyze Your Expenses, So You Can Lower Your Spending and Save More Money”


  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tips 🙂

  2. Shane Roma says:

    Thank you sir Fitz,I’m always excited receiving your emails,I read almost all of your articles since 2007.. I was really an impulsive buyer when I was in my 20s & I was always swimming in an ever increasing tide flow of debt,I maxed out my 3 credit cards back then.. I disciplined myself, first I read about financial freedom, how to pay off debts, I slowly changed my bad spending habits,I track my expenses,in fact a have a blue notebook (somewhat like the notebook of “mufte”)..I started my emergency funds.. Your posts really help me a lot..I’m always hoping you’ll have a seminar in cebu city or lapulapu city,cebu.. Thanks again sir Fitz.. God bless..

  3. flick says:

    Thanks for the insights sir. Your blogs made a dramatic change to the financial aspect of my life. May you be blessed always!

  4. Vicel Relabo says:

    I am a new subscriber of your published articles. It really help me a lot especially now that I am drowning with debts. Can’t wait to receive more emails/articles from you. 🙂

  5. acE says:

    this is one of the basic principle that is often overlooked 🙂

  6. Pinks says:

    Sir fitz thank you for your blog , im learning alot, i was able to attend your free seminar sponsored by dist was there that i saw you in person…may you be bless

  7. Oh my! This is such a lightbulb moment. I have very strict in ensuring that we save at least 10% of our income monthly and I always thought we were good at keeping at it, but at the end of the year I always wonder where those savings went, why we end up with no savings and I always get frustrated as a result. I know it’s not our monthly expenses as I make sure that I keep a strict reign on them. Now as I read this, I immediately listed down the yearly non-recurring expenses such as car registrations, birthdays, school supplies, short courses/ summer camps for kids and Christmas. And viola! That’s where the money is! Geez ngayon ko lang nalaman, when I totaled those expense it’s more than 10% of our annual income.
    Now thanks to this post, we shall now start regulating our “birthday expenses” (we celebrate 8 birthdays in a year including those of my parents and our nanny).
    Such a big help! Thank you!

  8. Marga says:

    i always love to read your blogs. thank you for ideas and informations. more blessings to you Sir Fitz

  9. Ernie Barde says:

    Thanks for the financial healthy living tips.

  10. Sana maging successful din ako kgaya ni sir fitz-.gusto ko mkilala din sa larangan mg financing”,)

    #thewiserbachelor

  11. […] How To Analyze Your Expenses, So You Can Lower Your Spending and Save More Money […]

  12. mike says:

    The best is really to just spend on what you need

  13. This is very useful info that can everyone can be benefited. At this time we must be wise when it comes to spending our hard earned money.

    #PinoySaveandInvest

  14. Elaine Tagalog says:

    make sense as always sir. you hit the spot always! thank you!

  15. What we can measure, we can manage. Kaya it is wise na malaman kung saan napupunta yung pera natin , para ma manage natin

  16. […] If you have short-term debts, such as credit card bills, then it’s a must that you cut back on your spending. The first step is to decide which expenses you can forego, so you’ll have that important surplus in your cashflow. […]

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