Monday, January 7, 2013

Three Year Spend Trend

It’s hard to believe we’ve been tracking our spending for the last two and a half years…when I started that project, I really didn’t know how long it would go on for – turns out, it’s been an invaluable tool.

Here is a look at our spending history for the last few years:

Something key to note with both Annual Expenses and Emergencies – I am really bad at tracking those things. Typically what happens is the rest of spending (like eating out and gas w/ regards to emergencies and vehicle maintenance w/ regards to Annual) just goes up.

Be that as it may, there’s still some interesting data here.

A couple of downward spending trends that I’m happy about include gas, pets, and banking. Carpooling is working – and we stopped buying more toys then the dogs actually need. Our interest costs have gone down – but I am truly looking forward to seeing a much smaller number here next year. Like $0.

Notable upward trends include groceries, entertainment, and home maintenance. My aunt suggested that perhaps we aren’t just eating more but it could be that the cost of groceries has just gone up over the last three years – something to think about. I don’t know if entertainment has actually gone up, or again, I’ve just gotten better at tracking that. This includes things like our Netflix subscription and any fights that Jordan has rented/watched with friends at the house. Home maintenance is a biggy – we moved last year, and bought a lot of ‘things’ for the house. What is not tracked well is the amount of $ gifts which helped us make some significant purchases this year.

Does anyone have a tip on how to track spending that is unusual but was gifted?

Some up/and/down trends include alcohol, and vehicle maintenance. We tend to buy a lot of booze. That’s true. We do a lot of socializing at the house and like to have a well-stocked bar. I also probably accidently included some Christmas gifts in the Alcohol spending. Vehicle Maintenance has changed as our vehicles have changed – I expect that this will continue to fluctuate.

We’ve remained pretty consistent in our spending on medical, clothes/shoes/hair, and education. I actually think that we need to spend a bit more on clothes – I work in a professional environment and feel a bit raggedy-ann sometimes. We also need to make sure that Jordan always has proper footware for work too.

So those are the trends…here are the goals:

  1. Track Annual/Emergency Expenses better 

  2. Monitor Grocery budget by trying to eliminate food waste

  3. Track Gift Alcohol vs Consumption Alcohol better

There will probably be  more, but that's what I have for now.

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