Author Topic: 2015 Spending Analysis  (Read 3454 times)

TheContinentalOp

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2015 Spending Analysis
« on: January 18, 2016, 09:55:07 AM »
I didn't discover MMM until March of last year, but I did track my spending for the entire year.

I had set a goal of spending $27,000 for the year and came in at $23,769.91. I am convinced that the actually process of having to record the spending of every cent helped me keep the total down.

Here's the breakdown:

Housing/Utilities/Insurance: $11,756 - 49.4%


By being diligent with turning off lights and the use of powerstrips I got my electric bill down to $33 by the end of the year. I never really carried renters insurance until a couple of years ago and will drop it this year. I am looking for duplexes near my work (right now I am 2.5 miles from the office) and hope to rent out one side and live in the other. If I can't find anything, I'll move to a cheaper apartment and save abut $100 a month.


Food (home) $3,025.01 - 12.7 %

I bike and run a lot so I average about 2600 calories a day. During the year I made steady improvement. My January food bill was almost $350, while December was $250


Travel  $1773.86 - 7.5%

Two plane trips, and two week long biking/camping trips. Should be about the same for this year. Two hiking trips (AZ and UT) and two more weeklong biking trips

Health $1754.60 - 7.4%

I lost a battle with my insurance company and had to pay $750 for a colonoscopy. Don't need to do that for another 5 years. My premiums at work decreased $10 per pay. So if all stays the same, I should save $1000 in 2016


Car (Gas & Tolls)   $1003.67 - 4.2%

I only started tracking my miles once I found MMM. I drove 6511 miles from March 15th through the end of the year. 1500 miles of that was three trips to visit my family in Virginia. I had been averaging close to 17000 miles a year in the past. One of my bike trips will be to see the family in VA this year, saving 500 car miles.

Food (Out)   $778.66 - 3.2%

I went one whole month not eating out at all. Most of this spending is related to various 1st and 2nd dates.

Car (Insurance, Registration, Road Side Assistance)   $571.18 - 2.4%

My insurance rates dropped significantly in December. Roadside Assistance also includes two free pickups if my bicycle breaks down. Hope to shave off $100 in 2016

Chess $550.00 - 2.3%

I entered three big tournaments last year. Probably will only go go one this year. Expected savings in 2006: $300-$400

Bicycles  $469.14 - 2.0%

I rode my bike over 5000 miles last year. Quite a few flats. Got new pedals, new chain, tune-ups and the like. I should learn to do more of my own bike maintenance.

Entertainment/Books/Movies $429.26 - 1.8%


Cancelled NetFlix in September.  Started buying more used books and visiting the library.


Car (Repair & Maintenance) $403.67 - 1.7%

Started doing my own oil changes

Gifts $330.67 - 1.4%

Can't convince my family to stop exchanging Xmas gifts

Laundry/Dry Cleaning $235.82 - 1.0%

Clothes $172.04 - 0.7%

New running shoes every 6 months

Phone $168.99 - 0.7%

Vrigin Mobile Pay as you go. I don't have the Internet at home. I am able to connect to the free wifi at the restaurant next door.

Haircuts $142.92 - 0.6%

Home - $109.65 - 0.5%

MMM convinced me to stop buying paper towels

Stamps/Postage $94.07 - 0.4%

Mostly shipping books to friends, that I have read and no longer want.








clarkfan1979

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 10:22:07 AM »
Are you a single guy? Housing is 50% and you are talking about turning off the lights. What is your living situation? Can you get a roommate?

When I was a grad student I lived on 20K a year without really even trying because I always had roommates.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 10:44:29 AM »
Ohhhh there are so many joke possibilities loosing an insurance claim over a colonoscopy lol

TheContinentalOp

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 11:57:34 AM »
Are you a single guy? Housing is 50% and you are talking about turning off the lights. What is your living situation? Can you get a roommate?

When I was a grad student I lived on 20K a year without really even trying because I always had roommates.

I am single guy in a one-bedroom apartment.

The plan is to move sometime this year into a cheaper apartment, or buy a duplex.

Rents are on the highside in the area, the trade off is I am 2.5 miles from work and can bike or walk to the gym, grocery store, barber shop, post office, library, and  bike shop and I live right on a bus route that leads into the city.

NonprofitER

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2016, 01:11:24 PM »
I read "chess" as "cheese" at first glance.... then actively pondered what percentage of our household spending is fancy cheese. :)

faramund

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 01:43:30 AM »
I'd seriously think about cutting down on chess (although to be fair in declaring my interests, I used to be a very dedicated go player - until kids came along). There seems to be lots of posts in this forum about people cutting 'too hard' and then feeling that their life is 'empty', and then expressing their unhappiness about not having, well any, of the good things in life.

If playing chess gives a good deal of spark to your life, I think you should value it.

In truth, I intend to get more, back into go, as retirement happens and occurs, I'm sure it will be good for the mind, and I'm sure exactly the same holds for chess.

soccerluvof4

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 05:43:02 AM »
You seem to be doing well overall and the challenge will help you get even better. What is your savings rate that is the other half of this scenario.?

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 06:58:33 AM »


Food (Out)   $778.66 - 3.2%

I went one whole month not eating out at all. Most of this spending is related to various 1st and 2nd dates.



I hope your frugality isn't the reason for a lack of 3rd dates :)

Otherwise, congrats on achieving your goals.  You seem to be doing a lot of things right.

Vic99

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 07:03:33 AM »
I think that you are doing great.

At first glance, 50% for housing, uts, and insurance seems high, but when you factor in that you are generally  spending little in other areas, I think it makes sense.

You didn't say one way or the other in the post, but I agree with faramund about chess.  If you value it, keep it.

For bike flats, maybe it can't be avoided, but spend the extra money on good quality tires and keep them inflated to whatever the manufacturer recommends.  Thick tires should break less often.

Best.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 07:08:57 AM »
I'm seeing a lot of comments about your housing being high. It is as a percentage, but your overall spending level is fantastic! Your spending level is under $25k which I think is lower than even many on this forum.

I think your plan with the duplex is a really good one. One of the easiest ways to "get into" real estate. Once you can drop your housing costs, you'll be able to spend a little more on yourself while still keeping your overall spending the same.

TheContinentalOp

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 08:41:52 AM »
I am still playing chess. It's just $65/yr for my USCF and club membership, so I can play every Tuesday. And there are smaller one-day events I will still go to. it's the big multi-day tournaments with three-digit entry fees I an cutting back on. Plus I want to use that time to write: this is the year the novel will be completed.

My savings rate was 59.4% for the year, not including my 2015 federal tax refund. Maxed out my 401-k and my ROTH.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: 2015 Spending Analysis
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 11:24:11 AM »
My savings rate was 59.4% for the year, not including my 2015 federal tax refund. Maxed out my 401-k and my ROTH.

Yeah that is where the rubber hits the road: your savings rate relative to your expenses, or spending as a percentage of income.  2014 is the year that I finalized my divorced and was able to get my financial house in order.  I went from two years of negative savings (extreme high spending wife who refused to work) to 49.7% savings in 2014 and 60.8% savings in 2015.  It hasn't always been easy, but I like tracking it in a spreadsheet where I can see regular progress and documenting where I am at the close of every year.

I'm also in a similar boat for housing as a percentage of spending.  In my case, I have to live somewhere in my son's school district and because of my overall financial plan, renting a 2-bd unit made the most sense.  Excluding the car I bought in cash during 2015 (a one time expense that should only happen every 5-10 years), rent alone was 50.3% of all my 2015 spending.  It will be 2017 before I own a house, then once that's paid off I can bring my housing costs way down to just things like maintenance, taxes, insurance, and so on.