Monday, January 27, 2014

A Year of Spending

I looked at our spending from last year and while we closely monitor our expenditures, seeing them in this format was quite interesting. I like having a look at our budget in as many different ways as possible. It gives us a way to discuss our spending in broader terms and identify areas for improvement, whether significant or slight. 

I've focused on our top expenditures, as the smaller expenditures were thousands of dollars less than even the smallest of the large categories.

Our Spending (Top Categories):


Food & Dining$10,949.66
Auto & Transport$5,450.92

Our home cost seems insane, but almost half of that was the refinance money we put down to get a better rate on our mortgage. Money well spent, and more importantly, not money we'll have to spend on the condo again. 

Pets cost us approximately $1000 a month, and we swore this year would be better...but so far we're not really living up to that promise. Unforeseen circumstances have paraded us to the vet in order to have little Homer's spinal problem cleared up, and he's doing better, but it'll be a bit of road to recovery. I'd love to see our vet costs drop to at least half of last year's $12,709.57.

Travel is travel is travel. We did one epic international trip, many smaller international trips (hi, Canada!), as well as fun travel within the States. I imagine our travel expenditures will be lower this year, but I really don't mind our travel costs being this high. This is one area where I absolutely believe spending money is completely fine...and mostly absolutely awesome.

Our Food & Dining category includes our eating-out expenditures and groceries, and it's here where I really believe we can improve! Heck, we need to improve. We went overboard and know exactly where, when, and why it happens...which means we can do better. 

The Financial portion of our expenditures is debt. That's not going away for another two years. We'll have to learn to live with it and feed the Beast even more if we want out on time. And we do want out on time. And then we'll have a new Beast to feed that goes by the name of New House (it promises many good things in return).

I'm not sure we'll shift much in our Auto category -- those costs are generally pretty fixed, although we did do a number of repairs last year on both our old and new-to-us vehicles. If this category does anything, it should be in a downward way.

When we look at this, I know both of us see the ways can do better, but at a certain point we have to look at whose idea of "better" we're promoting. And one day, hopefully soon, we'll look at it and see no real room for improvement. 


  1. As the car ages, those costs tend to go up. It does vary by year though. For example, my 2011 costs included a head gasket and brake calipers. 2012 costs were a tiny fraction of that because big stuff is done.

    No matter what, I recommend travel because that condo is too damn small.

    1. Most of our car costs came from the "update the new-to-us car" work we did, so I'm hoping we've covered (if not prevented) a lot of the wear from age work that a car like that requires. That said, I know we're going to be doing ongoing maintenance on it, especially as it ages!

      I don't know what I'd do with more space! (Thank you, Japan). Oh, except have more books. Yes...books....

      *dreams of future library*