Author Topic: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019  (Read 687 times)

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1165
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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1310
  • Location: Europe
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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3743
  • Location: Avalon
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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1165
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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4689
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
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

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1042
  • Location: Seattle
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

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
  • Age: 39
  • Location: US of A
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

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 838
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Boston, MA
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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4569
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

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 838
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Boston, MA
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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4569
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

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 838
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Boston, MA
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

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8543
  • Location: Oregon
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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1165
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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Dallas
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

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8543
  • Location: Oregon
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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
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

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
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.

Are 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.

zygote

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
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

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 477
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

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: Hold yourself openly accountable for your spending in 2019
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2018, 08:33:55 PM »
Definitely in!