Author Topic: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019  (Read 4759 times)

use2betrix

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Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« on: December 08, 2018, 10:26:20 AM »
My spending was not great this year. I made a ton, and had over a 50% savings rate, but I should be doing way better.

I brush it off because my income is high and Iím working in a less desirable part of the country (for me) so I spend more to do stuff to make up for it. Iíve taken sabbaticals and know I can spend less when Iím not working, but for future FIRE planning, I think my discretionary spending needs to be kept under better control.

Iím throwing down the gauntlet here to see if anyone else wants to hold themselves more accountable in 2019. If thereís some takers, my goal is at a minimum to list total spending for the end of each month. We can break it down into as little or as much detail as we feel comfortable with. Can add savings rate if we want, tips, tricks, advice, etc. If you donít want to list numbers, could just do savings rate.

I think the much-needed face punches and accountability may help out some. Weíll see..

Imma

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 01:21:20 PM »
This may be just what I need. I'm on a pretty low income compared to most people on this forum (although slightly above average for my own country) and my savings rate is pretty high, but recently my spending has gone up significantly. Every single month it feels like there are "good reasons" to spend more, but I haven't made much progress in Q3 and Q4. I need to start making progress again.

Reasons why I've been spending more than usual:
- I started a new job 10 weeks ago and I get paid weekly instead of monthly now, which had more of an impact than I thought it would
- Commuting costs went up due to new job (but so did my wages)
- I started my own business this year and had to invest a bit (probably a 3-figure loss over 2018 and I've bought most supplies now)
- All of my stuff broke at once - new glasses, new sunglasses, need to buy a new laptop + some new office outfits
- Theft - lost a bike, a wallet and most recently a phone through theft this year and I'm not careless, crime has just increased
- Price of groceries, electricity and natural gas are significantly higher than a few years back

former player

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 02:15:07 PM »
I'm in.  I've been spending a lot on work to my house this year, some of which has come from income and some from capital, so I've really no idea how much I've spent on running costs.  I have a fixed income (albeit a fairly generous one) so it's information I really should have.


I'm not promising much in the way of detail, though.  I had too much of budgeting to the last penny in my penurious youth and I'm not going back to it now.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 02:28:26 PM »
I'm in.  I've been spending a lot on work to my house this year, some of which has come from income and some from capital, so I've really no idea how much I've spent on running costs.  I have a fixed income (albeit a fairly generous one) so it's information I really should have.


I'm not promising much in the way of detail, though.  I had too much of budgeting to the last penny in my penurious youth and I'm not going back to it now.

When I first found MMM I logged every single expense in a book for over a year. It was helpful but now overkill.

This time Iíll just be collecting data from personal capital and adjusting some slightly more than PC allows.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 02:38:35 PM »
I'm in!

2018 will wrap up with an ~82% savings rate, and my goal for 2019 is 80% as well. I have a decent income, with very low spending for a HCOL area ($18k this year).

Spend a ton of time over on ERE, and feel like I'm definitely on the more hardcore end of the spectrum accoring to MMM community standards (these days).

philli14

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 11:05:06 AM »
Exactly what I need. I'm in.

I'm highly increasing my pre-tax contributions to investment accounts to give myself as small of a take-home paycheck as I possibly can.

2018 I saved mostly post-tax dollars, which is awesome as well, but it also provides for more "wiggle room" and it makes it possible to have a more flexible budget.

Most of my money bleeds in the form of travel, restaurants and alcohol (I enjoy craft beer and visiting breweries) so that will be my focus. I tend to have a weekend a month where I travel and spend a lot on restaurants/beer and then I am good about cooking at home, meal prepping, etc in between. So I will have to either decrease the frequency of these "binge expenses" or not go as hard when I do.

Excited to be held accountable!!

honeybbq

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 11:10:44 AM »
I need to do this. I save a lot but I also spend a lot. I need to cut back on the non-necessary spending. Shopping trips with friends where I buy stuff I don't need, etc.

This also goes with my need to minimize the "stuff" in my house. I'm going to definitely try to be more conscious of brainless spending in 2019.

SquirrelStache

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 12:22:45 PM »
This sounds like something I could do with.

This year has been a bit all over the place. I was saving a bunch of money, but I tend to get too OCD and was saving too much (meaning I wasn't leaving enough for bills). About a month ago I got myself YNAB and that was a big face punch. I'm getting better control of it now and I'm hoping to start 2019 on a bit more of an even keel. Another issue was that we spent our savings renovating an inherited house (which will be a nice bit of money once sold, but right now it's just left us with no cash).

My plan for now is just to stick with 401k contributions, and not do any after tax saving until my bills are paid ahead a month and we have a cash fund again.

haypug16

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 01:44:59 PM »
I'm in!

2017 spending was $36,724.93 (yes I track to the penny)
2018 spending is tracking to come out to ~$29,500
I'm very pleased that I have been able to reduce my spending by about $7k this year and want to continue in that direction.

2019 goal is to get spending down to around $25K, monthly goal is $2,100. Assuming I reach this goal and continue making the same or more income my savings rate should get up to around 50% or more.

Cassie

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2018, 10:27:05 AM »
HP, curious how you spend so little while living in Boston?

haypug16

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2018, 10:35:55 AM »
Well it's mostly due to my mortgage being super low. My half is $400 a month, (DH and I keep everything separate) If I lived on my own my yearly costs would easily be an additional $12-15k.

Here's my year to date spending;

$4,885.82   Mortgage
$3,241.89   Health/Dental
$1,746.24   Utilities
$2,859.14   Groceries
$833.47   Gas
$225.39   Car Maintenance
$1,325.00   Car Insurance
$1,254.04   Cellphone (for me and DD)
$1,479.80   Pets
$2,226.98   Dining Out
$713.25   Entertainment
$670.00   Donations
$138.97   Fitness
$278.08   Clothes
$258.18   Household items
$1,945.38   Travel
$209.44   Gifts
$1,010.91   Skiing
$2,840.58   Misc
$28,142.54 Total Spend

Cassie

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2018, 10:58:37 AM »
Thanks for sharing!  We have had some really expensive years due to our own medical expenses and vet expenses.  But we are much older than many on the forum.

haypug16

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2018, 11:31:30 AM »
Yes the vet can get pretty expensive. I have an 18 year old cat and last year she had a vet bill over $4K! thankfully she pulled through and has been fine since.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2018, 12:25:29 PM »
Definitely in for this. 2018 ended up insanely expensive. A huge part of that was accounted for with massive out of pocket medical (2 IVF cycles) and prepping our house to sell (replaced flooring, etc). 2019 will have at least 1 more round of IVF, but I'd like to keep spending under control otherwise.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2018, 12:47:45 PM »
Definitely in for this. 2018 ended up insanely expensive. A huge part of that was accounted for with massive out of pocket medical (2 IVF cycles) and prepping our house to sell (replaced flooring, etc). 2019 will have at least 1 more round of IVF, but I'd like to keep spending under control otherwise.

The good news is that no face punches will be given for those spending money trying to have a baby. I may be in a similar boat in 2019!

fatcow240

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2018, 12:52:41 PM »
I'm in.  This will require me to actually look at all of my spending.  A fair amount it on "good enough" cruise control.  FIRE is only a couple years away, and I really need to better asses.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2018, 01:13:04 PM »
Definitely in for this. 2018 ended up insanely expensive. A huge part of that was accounted for with massive out of pocket medical (2 IVF cycles) and prepping our house to sell (replaced flooring, etc). 2019 will have at least 1 more round of IVF, but I'd like to keep spending under control otherwise.

The good news is that no face punches will be given for those spending money trying to have a baby. I may be in a similar boat in 2019!

Damn, sorry to hear that! If you (or your wife!) ever want to talk about the infertility crap, feel free to reach out! Itís never easy, but itís easier with support and community.

innkeeper77

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2018, 11:02:46 PM »
Sure! I've clearly been away from the site for too long, I just ran an expense report and... yikes. Even removing stuff that isn't an "expense" as such (reimbursed items) we are NOT on track to save anything besides 401k contributions. Yuck. I posted elsewhere about downsizing, and will do my best to make that happen, it would be interesting to see monthly spending before and after that change!

I will also set up our finance tracking to have accurate and sharable reports. (We only "saved" $4k according to my report, but that counts $9k in student loan payoffs as an expense, etc) - TBH this year has been so crazy I don't have a good handle on what our overall finances looked like, only short term items. I'll get that fixed and report back in February!

zeli2033

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2018, 10:17:18 AM »
Iím definitely in for this challenge in 2019. We spent an enormous amount of money this year and I could really use some accountability for keeping things in check.

Our biggest issue is definitely food spending. If we could keep that under control next year, thatíd be ideal! Iíll drop more specifics once this month is over.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 08:06:47 AM by zeli2033 »

zygote

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2018, 01:41:09 PM »
I'm in. I tracked my spending for the first time in 2018 (thanks YNAB). It's been kind of a facepunch. I'm hoping to use what I learned in 2018 to improve my spending habits even more in 2019.

I'm on track to spend ~$44k this year, and I would love to get that down to ~$40k in 2019.

ducky19

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2018, 01:58:47 PM »
Definitely in. I'm going through the process of seeing where all of our money went for 2018. I've always meant to add it all up, but never really have. I'm going to spend a day or two over Christmas break and get the final tally, then see which areas can be cut. We do spend a fair amount on travel and recently spent around $10k on home renovations/improvements. 2019 will have a fair amount for travel still, but the house is nearly where we want it. Looking forward to this!

Nederstash

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2018, 02:44:51 PM »
I think I need to join in. I did track my expenses in 2016, forgotten what my final number was. All I know is that 2019 will be quite a wild year for me, both at work and in my private life.

My food spending will be interesting to track (well, at least for me!). I know this is my weakness and I'm currently getting help for binge eating disorder. My food spending was crazy. Of course, the spending isn't the cause of the real problem here, and tracking probably won't really solve anything. Still, saving on food might be an extra incentive/reward to help me on my journey.

As for work, January will bring a nice bump in pay - an 11% increase. Thanks, unions! I need to guard against lifestyle creep. Two factors to mitigate this: 1: I'll be in a higher tax bracket and 2: sales tax on everything is going up. So even groceries will get more expensive.

All in all, I would feel better if I had a good grip on things. 2019 will be the year to get some more control.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2018, 08:33:55 PM »
Definitely in!

meerkat

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2018, 10:23:44 AM »
I'm in!

Every single month it feels like there are "good reasons" to spend more

Same, each individual transaction seems like a good idea at the time but the broader picture is not as good as it could be.

beee

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2018, 10:46:55 AM »
I have a theory that just tracking all your incomes and expenses manually changes your relationship with money simply through paying more attention to it. All without any struggle of budgeting (=setting limits on your spending).

With time you start understanding where your money goes, and you think about each expense twice: first when you make it, and later when you record it and see how it affects your situation.

Through this, you optimize your spending for the ultimate goal of the most happiness with the least amount spent.

Recording incomes and expenses is a really simple task compared to the overall "earn more and spend less". But it works. Been tracking my finances for 7.5 years now, it helped me a lot.


ebella

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2018, 12:04:05 PM »
I like this idea.  In a way my 2018 spend/earn ratio was better than I thought, my income (after taxes and employer deductions) was around $72,000 and my expenses at $44,300.  Yet, somehow I feel like I don't have much left each month.  This was a spendy year, with a new home, a move, and some family/travel stuff that was costlier than I'd like.  I also gave pretty freely to charity.  I was strict about sticking to a shopping ban (no new clothes, shoes etc for myself unless things were falling apart) and food (not buying lunch, coffee, dinner) and those sort of social spendy things (like spa, drinks, movies) that can add up.

The only thing is I track actual income and expenses with Mint and it doesn't always catch things that are intra-bank transfers (like IRA contributions) or reimbursed (like healthcare expenses).  It matches up pretty closely to the Excel budget I set for expenses, however, on the Excel budget my income is $62,487. 

How do you like to track expenses?  I just use Mint because it's free and easy to set up since my expenses are rarely cash but it'd be helpful to increase the accuracy for 2019 so I can really drill down and see the larger trends of useless spending.

Basenji

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2018, 01:16:21 PM »
Oooh, maybe...

haypug16

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2018, 01:34:44 PM »
How do you like to track expenses?  I just use Mint because it's free and easy to set up since my expenses are rarely cash but it'd be helpful to increase the accuracy for 2019 so I can really drill down and see the larger trends of useless spending.

I track all expenses on a Google Sheet. Since I use a credit card for 99% of transactions I just pull up the credit card transactions every few days and plug them in. It's a little time consuming but I think it helps me really see where every penny is going through out the month.

cripes7

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2018, 06:10:39 PM »
I'm in. We spent a fortune in 2018, and have 2 more kids weddings this year. I have to get a grip and increase savings.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2018, 06:26:49 PM »
While we all know savings rate is king, and it feels good to have a high savings number, I just constantly remind myself that the less you can spend and remain happy and comfortable, the less you need for fire. Living off $40k/hr vs $70k/years means the difference of $750,000 needed for FIRE based off the 4% rule.

My goal is petty compared to many here, but if I can hit $6,000/mo or less for spending for at least half the months of 2019, Iíll be happy. At $6k/mo that puts me at around a 70% savings rate. In another post Iíll break down my monthly expenses. I donít have any standard expenses I plan on changing, itís all the random unplanned for spending I need to cut back on. Clothes, toys, expensive date nights, etc. I saved about $110k in 2018 which is great, but at my spending level itís a long ways to go.

My long term goal is I think in FIRE I can be content with $5k/mo and a paid off house, just need to start getting a little closer to that number.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 06:31:33 PM by use2betrix »

ooakosiryan

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 01:28:45 AM »
Count me in! Last year, I spent about $15,000, so $1,250/month on average. I'm planning to retire at the end of 2019, so I'd like to set an ambitious goal to start my new life on a good note. So for 2019, my goal will be to spend no more than $12,000. If I spend more than $1,000 in a month, I'll try to make up for it the next month.

Just this month, I got my cell phone bill down to $0, and I also passed on a trip to Europe with my wife and her family in the New Year. So I think I'm off to a good start! However, last month I also bought a backpack that I don't really need. I think some accountability would help me avoid making these kinds of unneeded purchases. Thanks for starting this thread! It's exactly what I need for 2019. I'll post my monthly stats here to keep myself accountable :)

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2018, 04:49:25 PM »
Count me in! Last year, I spent about $15,000, so $1,250/month on average. I'm planning to retire at the end of 2019, so I'd like to set an ambitious goal to start my new life on a good note. So for 2019, my goal will be to spend no more than $12,000. If I spend more than $1,000 in a month, I'll try to make up for it the next month.

Just this month, I got my cell phone bill down to $0, and I also passed on a trip to Europe with my wife and her family in the New Year. So I think I'm off to a good start! However, last month I also bought a backpack that I don't really need. I think some accountability would help me avoid making these kinds of unneeded purchases. Thanks for starting this thread! It's exactly what I need for 2019. I'll post my monthly stats here to keep myself accountable :)

Thatís super impressive! Would love to see a breakdown of expenses. Are those both yours and your wifeís expenses?

ooakosiryan

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2018, 12:46:46 AM »

Thatís super impressive! Would love to see a breakdown of expenses. Are those both yours and your wifeís expenses?

Thanks! No, those are just my expenses. I haven't tracked the details of all my spending. I just know I spent about $15,000 because my paycheques after all deductions totalled about $65,000, and I've automated exactly $50,000 to get transferred into my investments haha.

Here's an approximate break down of my expenses that stayed more or less constant from month to month:

  • rent+utilities+insurance: $480
  • internet + mobile: $30
  • groceries: $90
  • total: $600

That means I spent an average of $650 per month on things that vary a lot from month to month, including travelling, restaurants, fitness classes, gifts, entertainment, clothes, and public transportation. Mostly travelling though: I went on two overseas trips (one to the Philippines only and one to the Philippines, Australia, and Hawaii). I just chatted with my wife, and I think we'll be increasing our grocery budget to $100 each in 2019 (to make up for eating out less). But I also got my phone bill down from $10/month to $0, so my fixed expenses will stay at $600.

I'll track my variable expenses at a granular level in 2019, which should help me keep them reined in.

You mentioned in the original post that you think your discretionary spending needs to be kept under better control. Do you have any plans yet on what you're going to cut down on?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2018, 02:10:51 AM »
Copying the first numbers from another thread where I had already posted this:

I spend almost 2000 euro more this year than last year. I had to investigate where it went:
- a new fancy-brand tent, 800 euro
- a new smartphone, 300 euro
- a new refrigerator for the cabin, 450 euro
- financial contribution to keeping the shop at our cabin alive, 250 euro
- extra unplanned income taxes, 450 euro
- food, 400 euro
- home, 750 euro.

For home, I discovered that living in our house has become more expensive. I now pay for a property tax and I pay more for electricity, garbage, water and private road than last year.

I did save 400 euro on clothes and 400 euro on health related costs (doctor, dentist, medicine), compared to last year.

Total number for 2018, minus the following 2 weeks:

Nett income: 49,505 euro (working 80% from September, minus extra income tax from last year).
Expenses: 19,418 euro
Savings in the stock market: 42,150 euro (including some money we received from previous owner of our home, not registered as income)
Average spending per month: 1,618 euro.

By far the biggest spending posts:
Home: 5,000 euro (26%)
Food: 5,000 euro (26%)
Transportation: 4200 euro (21%)

Smallest post:
Clothes 78 euro (0.4%)

Spending 19,418 / Income  49,505 = 0,39. So I saved 61% of my personal income.

Mind that these are my numbers only, as DH doesn't track his expenses.
I buy almost all the food and most of the fuel, because I use bonus programs, which my DH refuses to use. I pay most of the bills for the house, because I have better automated payments. So I really hope that DH has spent a lot smaller mount of his higher income, so that our total savings rate will be higher. I will ask him to calculate his numbers in January. Last year we saved 75%, while working full time.

Our food spending is quite high. We make practically all the food at home from scratch. But we like some fancy ingredients, like good cheese, good stock and sometimes fancy croissants as a treat. Further, we live in an extremely expensive country. I normally buy the cheapest bread and the cheapest juice and carefully watch everything I buy, especially meat.

Next year, I need to spend some money on a new trousers. Yesterday I saw that I could see through my favorite pair, just beside the place where I patched it half a year ago. I could try to patch it even bigger, but I think the trousers are ripe for replacement.

Update: total household savings rate was 70%.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 08:44:12 AM by Linda_Norway »

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2018, 10:56:34 AM »

Thatís super impressive! Would love to see a breakdown of expenses. Are those both yours and your wifeís expenses?

Thanks! No, those are just my expenses. I haven't tracked the details of all my spending. I just know I spent about $15,000 because my paycheques after all deductions totalled about $65,000, and I've automated exactly $50,000 to get transferred into my investments haha.

Here's an approximate break down of my expenses that stayed more or less constant from month to month:

  • rent+utilities+insurance: $480
  • internet + mobile: $30
  • groceries: $90
  • total: $600

That means I spent an average of $650 per month on things that vary a lot from month to month, including travelling, restaurants, fitness classes, gifts, entertainment, clothes, and public transportation. Mostly travelling though: I went on two overseas trips (one to the Philippines only and one to the Philippines, Australia, and Hawaii). I just chatted with my wife, and I think we'll be increasing our grocery budget to $100 each in 2019 (to make up for eating out less). But I also got my phone bill down from $10/month to $0, so my fixed expenses will stay at $600.

I'll track my variable expenses at a granular level in 2019, which should help me keep them reined in.

You mentioned in the original post that you think your discretionary spending needs to be kept under better control. Do you have any plans yet on what you're going to cut down on?

Thatís a great breakdown. Youíd definitely fall into the early retirement extreme category. I just started diving into that blog - worth checking out if you havenít already.

My biggest discretionary spending in 2018 was mostly replacing wardrobe. I built more of a ďtime capsuleĒ wardrobe that should last a very long time. I shouldnít ďneedĒ to add any more, so hopefully can cut back on that. I do need some required specialty work clothes, but will get reimbursed. Aside from that, cutting back on the number and cost of our date nights. Iíll be working more in 2019 (6 days a week mostly) so with less free time on weekends that should naturally reduce spending. We moved in 2018 (twice technically) and will be in March again, but should have limited associated costs.

We were upside down on our fifth wheel we lived full time in, had to pay to get out of that. Then we moved to an apartment and had 0 furnishings, so bed, dresser, table, couch, entertainment center, etc.

Things like that should be one-offís for 2018 that I donít expect for 2019.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2018, 02:18:13 PM »
I was not going to join this due to our higher that MMM average spending but after posting about 2018 annual spending, I am really disappointed and need to do something.  This is very hard for me because although I am very frugal and the breadwinner the rest of the family is very spendy.  I also do almost none of our food prep/cooking and therefore almost none of the shopping so I feel like I am not able to make an impact on one of our biggest expenses.  I have started to make small changes the last few days that I hope will have a ripple effect. 

2017 Total Spending = $87k (Family of 3 Jan-Jun, family of 5 Jul-Dec)
2018 Total Spending = $122k (Family of 6 - Includes $14k in house remodeling that although is not done, it should not be this high again and about $2-3k in other "should not repeat" expenses.)

2019 Total Spending Goal <$100k

My current budget looks like about $107k for the year.  This includes principle pay down (~$30k) on some debt, so if I end up going over due to "extra" (>$30k) principle pay down I will probably give myself a pass.

TNT

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2018, 03:50:26 PM »
I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2018, 08:20:37 PM »
I was not going to join this due to our higher that MMM average spending but after posting about 2018 annual spending, I am really disappointed and need to do something.  This is very hard for me because although I am very frugal and the breadwinner the rest of the family is very spendy.  I also do almost none of our food prep/cooking and therefore almost none of the shopping so I feel like I am not able to make an impact on one of our biggest expenses.  I have started to make small changes the last few days that I hope will have a ripple effect. 

2017 Total Spending = $87k (Family of 3 Jan-Jun, family of 5 Jul-Dec)
2018 Total Spending = $122k (Family of 6 - Includes $14k in house remodeling that although is not done, it should not be this high again and about $2-3k in other "should not repeat" expenses.)

2019 Total Spending Goal <$100k

My current budget looks like about $107k for the year.  This includes principle pay down (~$30k) on some debt, so if I end up going over due to "extra" (>$30k) principle pay down I will probably give myself a pass.

I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

Glad both of you decided to join! Iím in a similar boat which is why I started the thread. Hopefully knowing we are going to have to expose our spending at the end of the month may make us think twice.

@Slow&Steady - I donít think my 2018 spending was much better than yours, if any.

ooakosiryan

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2018, 08:35:07 AM »

Thatís a great breakdown. Youíd definitely fall into the early retirement extreme category. I just started diving into that blog - worth checking out if you havenít already.

My biggest discretionary spending in 2018 was mostly replacing wardrobe. I built more of a ďtime capsuleĒ wardrobe that should last a very long time. I shouldnít ďneedĒ to add any more, so hopefully can cut back on that. I do need some required specialty work clothes, but will get reimbursed. Aside from that, cutting back on the number and cost of our date nights. Iíll be working more in 2019 (6 days a week mostly) so with less free time on weekends that should naturally reduce spending. We moved in 2018 (twice technically) and will be in March again, but should have limited associated costs.

We were upside down on our fifth wheel we lived full time in, had to pay to get out of that. Then we moved to an apartment and had 0 furnishings, so bed, dresser, table, couch, entertainment center, etc.

Things like that should be one-offís for 2018 that I donít expect for 2019.

Hey, thanks for suggesting I check out Early Retirement Extreme! Just started reading through the 21 day makeover, and, after converting from USD to CAD, it turns out my spending on housing and food are within the recommended ranges, and I'm already car-free. So those are the big three, and I just happened to do it ERE style without even knowing it haha

Sounds like you've set yourself up for a good 2019!! Clothes is a thing I need to work on tooóin 2018, I bought new clothes and jackets that I don't need, so I think at this point I need to purge some older clothes I don't need and keep the essentials. I want to build a capsule wardrobe too.

Looking forward to seeing how your 2019 goes!! :)


OurTown

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2018, 09:59:28 AM »
I have been tracking take home income v spending for the last several months to see how much extra I can bank.    This is after tax withholding and tax-deferred account contributions.  It doesn't really have a significant impact on the savings rate, but it's good for discipline and accountability.  So far it's been coming in at about an extra $500 per month.

letired

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2018, 10:50:03 AM »
I've been using various versions of this spreadsheet layout to track the big-ish picture. I'm happy to say that I've been consistently spending less over the three years I've used it! My goal for 2019 is to do a better job filling out the spending breakdown column, because I don't feel like I have a good grasp of where exactly I'm doing my spending.

Serendip

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2018, 01:47:02 PM »
I'm interested in joining this challenge.

We spend quite a large percentage of income on experiences, food and travel (and my partner is not on board with trying to frugalize our life). However, we keep our finances separate though so I can track/post my side of things.

I am self-employed, low-ish income compared to others on this forum and income varies wildly over the year so it will be good accountability.
This year was very successful for my savings, so I'd like to keep momentum going.

We will be taking at least one big trip next year so I'll start a separate account for those savings.
Will be doing more simple meals at home and less cheese and wine :) I find if I work less, but spend more time prepping/cooking meals it balances out as we spend less on eating out.

Home costs are set at $800/m and will have to develop a spreadsheet to figure out the rest (groceries,etc)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 10:35:38 PM by Serendip »

Serendip

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2018, 01:50:32 PM »
I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

Good idea @TNT  I also sometimes feel silly posting some of our choices here  (ie.how crazy my groceries were getting last year, and costs for trips) but if you are doing it with awareness, I believe tracking it is really healthy!

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2018, 07:35:01 PM »
I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

Good idea @TNT  I also sometimes feel silly posting some of our choices here  (ie.how crazy my groceries were getting last year, and costs for trips) but if you are doing it with awareness, I believe tracking it is really healthy!

Iím going to feel pretty stupid to post some of my spending, and thatís the whole point here :)

Cassie

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2018, 07:49:42 PM »
I definitely feel that spending money on baby making is a good choice.  Yes we had 4 old dogs and got super expensive.  2 have passed and we added a young dog. Here vets are crazy expensive so as they die we will only have 2 dogs.  Our gross is 60k and that works well for us with paid for cars and 400 mortgage. We are doing traveling and other experiences and donít really spend money on things.

Gin1984

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2018, 09:36:43 PM »
I'm in, I need a kick in the butt.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2018, 08:24:07 AM »
I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

Good idea @TNT  I also sometimes feel silly posting some of our choices here  (ie.how crazy my groceries were getting last year, and costs for trips) but if you are doing it with awareness, I believe tracking it is really healthy!

Iím going to feel pretty stupid to post some of my spending, and thatís the whole point here :)

Our grocery spending will likely make ANYONE feel better about their spending, so there's that.

...people are posting numbers for their total living expenses that are JUST our grocery costs, roughly. So uh... yeah, there will be seriously different numbers represented around here!

Waiting until the end of the year proper to run end of year 2018 numbers. It won't be pretty. Also need to decide how I'll handle certain reimbursable expenses.

use2betrix

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2018, 04:53:36 PM »
I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

Good idea @TNT  I also sometimes feel silly posting some of our choices here  (ie.how crazy my groceries were getting last year, and costs for trips) but if you are doing it with awareness, I believe tracking it is really healthy!

Iím going to feel pretty stupid to post some of my spending, and thatís the whole point here :)

Our grocery spending will likely make ANYONE feel better about their spending, so there's that.

...people are posting numbers for their total living expenses that are JUST our grocery costs, roughly. So uh... yeah, there will be seriously different numbers represented around here!

Waiting until the end of the year proper to run end of year 2018 numbers. It won't be pretty. Also need to decide how I'll handle certain reimbursable expenses.

For 2018 a rough estimate based on my somewhat organized personal Capital is:

$8500 groceries (seems like a lot but we eat super healthy, balanced, measured meals. We aim for $150/wk so this actually isnít terribly far off)
$4500 restaurants
$6000 clothing (this should be way, way less in 2019)

Are you much worse than that?

Regarding reimbursed expenses, Iím in a similar boat and for 2019 Iíll be traveling a lot for work. As much as I solely want to use personal capital for my budgeting, I think there are going to be a lot of caveats Iím going to have to create a separate note/spreadsheet for to really get the detail to the level I want.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 04:56:54 PM by use2betrix »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2018, 08:05:07 AM »
I'm in. I wasn't going to join because my savings rate is super low (and sometimes negative) and my choices are often decidedly unmustachian. But hey, making it public might at least pressure me into making absolutely sure I'm spending my money intentionally, right?

Good idea @TNT  I also sometimes feel silly posting some of our choices here  (ie.how crazy my groceries were getting last year, and costs for trips) but if you are doing it with awareness, I believe tracking it is really healthy!

Iím going to feel pretty stupid to post some of my spending, and thatís the whole point here :)

Our grocery spending will likely make ANYONE feel better about their spending, so there's that.

...people are posting numbers for their total living expenses that are JUST our grocery costs, roughly. So uh... yeah, there will be seriously different numbers represented around here!

Waiting until the end of the year proper to run end of year 2018 numbers. It won't be pretty. Also need to decide how I'll handle certain reimbursable expenses.

For 2018 a rough estimate based on my somewhat organized personal Capital is:

$8500 groceries (seems like a lot but we eat super healthy, balanced, measured meals. We aim for $150/wk so this actually isnít terribly far off)
$4500 restaurants
$6000 clothing (this should be way, way less in 2019)

Are you much worse than that?

Regarding reimbursed expenses, Iím in a similar boat and for 2019 Iíll be traveling a lot for work. As much as I solely want to use personal capital for my budgeting, I think there are going to be a lot of caveats Iím going to have to create a separate note/spreadsheet for to really get the detail to the level I want.

2018 YTD groceries are $8,527, although $350 of that is gift cards we haven't used yet we bought on cyber monday sale- so about $8200 for the year. From what I've read you post, we eat similarly.
2018 YTD restaurants are $1300
2018 YTD alcohol and bars is $1027 - this one is especially BAD

We're higher than many years on clothes, at ~$750. This definitely oscillates year to year, since we tend to batch buy then all our items wear out at once.

But total spending for 2018 is ~$120k. $37k of that is doctor/pharmacy costs for finding a brain tumor and 2 cycles of IVF. $7600 was preparing the house to sell. Another $2k is (now reimbursed) work lodgings. So at least without those it would be ~$73k, which I'm aiming to be under (excluding medical costs) for 2019. Which, considering rent will take up $33.6k of that, is actually a stretch goal!

OurTown

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Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2018, 08:17:50 AM »
Surprisingly, I banked an extra $2,100 (out of take home pay) in December 2018.