Suppose I am a student earning Rs 20,000 per month from three different part-time jobs and I save a fixed amount per month for a holiday I am planning. Suppose I want to increase my savings so that I can have a bit left off as an emergency fund, without having to make a major reduction in expenditure. So my problem is: How to maximize this saving?

Applying the concepts of Linear Programming,

I can segregate my expenses as “higher range” and the “lower range”.

Let X1 and X2 be the basic expenditure on food and miscellany respectively, both of which falls under “low range of expenses”.

The expenditure on rent is 2 times that of food, i.e., 2X1 and the medical/ educational/ transport being grouped under one class is 3 times that of miscellany, i.e., 3X2.

The following depicts my spending trend for the past 2-3 months:

2X1 + 3X2 ≤ (4000+9000) IN THE HIGHER RANGE.

X1 + X2 ≤(2000+ 3000) IN THE LOWER RANGE.

My total expenses being about Rs 18,000 per month, I am able to save at least 2000 every month. Now this amount is enough for my holidays at the end of the year. But to have something left off for an emergency fund, I need to maximize my savings.

OBJECTIVE:

How to minimize ‘Z’ (expenditure) = X1 +2X1+ X2+3X2 or 3X1 +4X2,

subject to constraints: 2X1 + 3X2 ≤ (4000+9000) and X1 + X2 ≤(2000+ 3000). And both X1 and X2 ≥ 0.

Solving: Z when X1 (HORIZONTAL) and X2 (VERTICAL) is (0, 4.5) and 1 is equivalent to Rs 1000 on the scale.

Z= 3X1+ 4X2 = 0 + 4×4.5 = 18,000 (SAME AS MY CURRENT EXPENDITURE)

AND Z when X1 AND X2 is (5, 0)

Z= 3X1+ 4X2 = 3×5 + 0 = 15,000

and Z at (0, 0) is 0

Conclusion: After solving for Z from the vertices of the feasible zone, if I can keep my expenses to 15,000 per month, I will be saving the maximum under the given set-up. and can have an emergency fund without disturbing my current savings of Rs 2,000 per month for a holiday at the end of the year.

Writer, Blogger and Founder at The IDEA Bucket; working towards her Masters Degree in Biotechnology at University of Missouri, with a specialization in Computational Biology. You can e-mail her here: ananya.mukherjee2013@gmail.com .
The IDEA Bucket is focused on small business ventures and practical, urban lifestyles.
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Most financial planning and all budgets are about allocating resources under scarcity. (more wants and needs than resources.) Linear programming is an elegant way to think about it. Thanks for sharing with us.

Great practical information.

Yes, this is an interesting way to do it! Thank you for liking my blog post #BlogFlash2013 Day 11: Running .

Thanks for reading my post at NotebookM.com on how China is building cities for no one. Best of luck with your work.

This is an interesting way to budget!

Most financial planning and all budgets are about allocating resources under scarcity. (more wants and needs than resources.) Linear programming is an elegant way to think about it. Thanks for sharing with us.

Glad you liked it 🙂