Author Topic: My annual spending/saving  (Read 3958 times)

Mr Dumpster Stache

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My annual spending/saving
« on: January 07, 2016, 11:23:06 AM »
So, this would probably be better over in the wall of shame and comedy, but here is the Dumpster family spending totals for 2015! Get your punching hands warmed up...

Details:

Family of four (one of whom was born in June) plus a German Shepherd and a cat.
My gross wages at my primary job was 54,322. I made maybe 5,000 from my second job. The wife doesn't know what she made yet; she was self-employed part time and hasn't sat down to count it up.
We own a 2008 Kia Sedona (mini van) and a 2013 Honda Fit (prepaid lease, we will pay it off next year)
"Giving" is the category for non-profits, church, etc. "Gifts" includes birthdays, Christmas, and aprox 3500 in one-time cash gifts to friends and family who were in tight spots.
My employee stock plan lets me get a 15% discount. I will be using this to pay off the Fit next summer, from then on I will be selling right away and putting into Vanguard.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 07:59:24 PM by Mr Dumpster Stache »

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 04:57:56 PM »
Non-download version:

House Payment - $11,167
Extra house paymt - $2,636
Power - $1,280
Water - $640
Giving - $979
Car Insurance - $1,008
Life insurance - $574
Phone - $2,521
Internet - $364
Food - $2,032
Eat Out - $844
Gas - $940
Fun Stuff - $244
Gifts - $4,763
Vehicle (not gas) - $2,800
Medical - $2,801
House - $4,193
Clothes - $845
Wal-Mart - $2,020
Sams Club - $1,531
Misc. - $2,647
Health insurance - $3,706
Dental - $528
Vision - $158
401k - $3,259
Accident insurance - $54
ESPP - $7,541
Federal taxes - $9,730
Total - $71,805

Teacherstache

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 06:37:26 PM »
Hi!

It is a bit hard to comment when you don't have a total for your wife's earnings. Do you have a ball park figure? Right now it seems like you are spending far more than you earn. Do you have any assets? Any liabilities? Are you saving anything and/or investing?

The two things that do jump out to me (no matter the total income) are that your phone is very high and so is your miscellaneous category. Do you know what kinds of things fall in that category?

It does look like you are doing pretty well on your food budget. Is there anything in particular you are looking for advice on?

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 07:43:19 PM »
Last year my wife made about 12k, so maybe we do have more going "out" than in this year. Of course, the 401k and ESPP are savings, and that cash flow could be diverted if needed.

The phone isn't quite as bad as it looks - my brother pays us back for his line. We pay my sister's line right now as she is doing full-time volunteer work. (four-line family plan.) This will be going down slightly in 2016 as they changed plans on us a little. I also forgot to mention that there is a $600 or so cost for a new iphone for the wife rolled into that as well.

Assets are the are the $60k of the house that we own, 50k in my 401k, 17k in my employee stock (10k of which is earmarked for the car), 15k in a Vanguard index, and 6k or so in the bank. (Most of which is being stached for home improvement projects.)

Liabilities are the 70k of the house that we don't own, and 10k we owe on the lease on the car.

Miscellaneous category - 1000 of that was a life-time membership to a legal organization for homeschoolers. The rest is probably some personal items, and probably some stuff that goes in other categories that I was too lazy to hunt for receipts.

Food is low partly because some of that is rolled into "WalMart" and "Sams Club".

I'm not looking for any particular advice, just seeing what stood out to the group as being excessive. (Besides the overall total!) I feel like we've already completed most of the "small" cuts that can be made without some major adjustments to our lifestyle or expectations. There were plenty of one-time expenses this year (bills for the new baby and a bike injury, etc) that won't be there next year, but there will for sure be different stuff.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 08:00:04 PM by Mr Dumpster Stache »

Zikoris

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 08:19:01 PM »
A few things stand out to me:

What's "House"? It apparently doesn't include the house payment or utilities. Is it property taxes?

The cars seem to cost close to 5K. I've never had a car, but that seems pretty high.

"Wal-mart" and "Sam's Club" seem like strange categories. Is it groceries? Clothes? Furniture? Tools? If it's food, that would more than double your recorded food expenses.

$2600 seems like a pretty big Misc when you have so many other categories. I'm having trouble figuring out what would be over $200 a month that wouldn't fit into any of the other categories.

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 10:56:05 AM »
"House" = "Things I bought at Lowes" pretty much anything home improvement. The big project this last summer was a chainlink fence.

Wal-Mart is a lot of things, but includes some food. "Sams Club" is probably close to 1/3 dog food.

1000 of the misc was a lifetime membership

Part of the "car" expense was renewing the wife's drivers license, as well as some repairs to the older vehicle.

HeadedWest2029

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 12:32:31 PM »
I'm always amazed at how little mustachians spend on groceries.  I'm guessing some of this is hidden in Sams Club and Wal-Mart, but still...crazy low for family of 4. 

Your phone bill strikes me as very high.  Switching to Republic Wireless or some discount MVNO would be a relatively easy reduction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators

Gifts also strike me as high.  Family / friend dynamics vary, but I'd try to shoot for more shared experiences / joint adventures if this is possible.  My wife and I all have an agreement with siblings and parents to not do gifts at Christmas and it's totally liberating.  Just a few gifts for the kids and even that is totally over the top with how many toys my kid has.

I know a lot of people like Personal Capital, so I can't touch on its capabilities, but I use Quicken and can split out purchases into multiple categories.  It's definitely more work when you need to do this for trips to Wal-Mart, Sams Club, or the "misc" category, but having a more detailed insight into your finances will help you accurately identify bloated spending. 

honeybbq

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 12:34:35 PM »
>4k on gifts? I want to be your Xmas buddy! :)

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 04:40:31 PM »
I'm always amazed at how little mustachians spend on groceries.  I'm guessing some of this is hidden in Sams Club and Wal-Mart, but still...crazy low for family of 4.
Also the dumpster diving.... :D

Your phone bill strikes me as very high.  Switching to Republic Wireless or some discount MVNO would be a relatively easy reduction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators
I need to look again, but I think I'm already using the cheapest option for my small town, rural area. Cricket just opened up shop here; I should check their prices. Part of that total was getting a new phone for my wife. Maybe shouldn't have rolled those together.

>4k on gifts? I want to be your Xmas buddy! :)

Gifts also strike me as high.  Family / friend dynamics vary, but I'd try to shoot for more shared experiences / joint adventures if this is possible.  My wife and I all have an agreement with siblings and parents to not do gifts at Christmas and it's totally liberating.  Just a few gifts for the kids and even that is totally over the top with how many toys my kid has.
I agree; part of this situation is that out of my (very large) family and our social group, we are very well off compared to everyone else. We gave a lot of anonymous cash gifts to people with medical issues, vehicle problems, etc. I know we are nearly broke compared to the average mustachian, but when those around us are choosing between electricity and food, I can't NOT help.

The other side is that both of us came from big families, so Christmas and birthdays are a little crazy. I'm trying to stem the tide a little and move towards no gifts for adults, just the kids. But my wife really enjoys finding stuff for everyone. At least we (she) made a lot more of the gifts we gave this year, instead of just buying crap.

I would like to go to a giftless Christmas, but not sure I can convince the wife or the rest of the family. Any suggestions for selling that one? Or convincing the grandparents and great grandparents not to buy stuff for the kids?

HeadedWest2029

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2016, 08:37:49 AM »
This is definitely not meant to be preachy, but for me personally working through the Advent Conspiracy book gave me perspective (super short book).  They have a YouTube video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU and maybe that is a trigger for your wife.

Even from an agnostic approach, giving your time and gifts are far more valuable.  I'd much rather a handy friend help me with a home repair than give me a gift certificate to Olive Garden.  Kids get more enjoyment when you volunteer to take them to the local playground for a couple hours versus some toys which will be quickly forgotten.  Give relational gifts.  Give time.  Spend Less, but give more of yourself which is honestly harder, but more rewarding.  Something I work at getting better at every year 

HeadedWest2029

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Re: My annual spending/saving
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2016, 08:42:42 AM »
But I should definitely add...KUDOS for your generosity.  Giving more detail on WHY and WHO you give to makes it much more understandable.  So long as your gifting is inline with your values, then I say keep it up!