Friday, January 11, 2019

Case study: 1999 citi credit card statements

January 11, 2019


It takes me less than three hours to come out the expense summary based on citi bank credit card statements. I like to do a case study and see how many issues in my expenses.

Case study

Here is my github personal finance folder. This is the first time I came out the total of clothing cost in 1999. Again it is close to $2,000 us dollars.

I just could not believe that small amount purchases can be added up to thousands dollars so quickly. It is definitely surprising that I purchased $2,000 dollars a year in 1999, 2000, 2001. All three year purchase of clothing can easily be added up to $6,000 US dollars.

Now I know that my most waste of money is on those clothing purchase. I made the same mistake from 2010 to 2017.

When I saw the market crashed in 2002, my mutual fund VIGRX from $3000 original purchase went down $2,000 dollars, I sold it. But how about those clothing, those are extra clothings. I should consider that it is loss of money I earn as well.

Summary by categories

It is so surprising that I spent almost $900/ month on credit card, I also paid $390/ month for car installment, and $490 for mortgage and condo association, $200 installation monthly for black leather sofa. I had extra bedroom empty and I lived in a two bedroom home.

I definitely need to learn how to save money. I drove less than 3 miles from home to office. That is the reason I spent $257 dollars on gas purchase.

Biggest purchase is $1205 projection TV with 56 inches. I paid mom's ticket from Beijing to Florida around $500 dollars.

Technical tips

I just could not believe that there are over 300 purchase transactions. I did one by one to figure out what store and update store category. After 30 minutes I found out that it is too time consuming, instead I just use Excel column filter "Contains", and then quickly process the same store in once.

It is not too difficult to process credit card statements pdf files and come out the summary report using Excel sheet.

Actionable Items

I need to build good personal finance habits. Here are things I like to do.

1. Keep all receipts;
2. Download all credit cards statement at the end of year;
3. Calculate the total of expenses by month, by year, by category;
4. It is not too difficult for me to learn how to use Excel sheet back in 1999.
5. Keep all clothing shopping receipts.

I just could not believe that I made purchase book over $190.00 dollars as well in 1999.

My thought after 20 years

I think that I should discipline myself and limit to myself with $100.00 dollars on wants, not needs. That means $1200 US Dollars for the whole year.

I was not a permanent resident in USA back in 1999. I worked using H1-B visa. I filed H1-B in 1999 by myself to save money. But I also needed to learn how to learn how to save and invest right away, once I had a full time job with $47,000 US dollar/ year, I need to push myself to learn how to invest, personal finance.

Over 7,000 us dollars on the credit card I should not spend at all. I think this way in 2019, January 1, 11:45 PM. Those expenses are not my needs.

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