My blogging tapered off in 2019, but since I’m trying to do more in 2020, I’m back on writing about my spending. This is what 2019 (top in red orange) looked like compared to the year before (bottom in blue). All information is tracked in YNAB (link is a referral) and then the charts were thrown together in Excel. I think it’s pretty interesting the shifts in spending categories because it represents where we spent more time in the year. As always, the disclaimer is that these percentages are based on total expenses and do not include any savings, which for the record, I increased in 2019!
In 2019, we spent “more” on Home & Utilities, Travel and Charity, while we spent noticeably “less” on Health/Fitness and Adulting/Taxes.
Home & Utilities (29% to 31%; 2% increase) I didn’t put a lot of effort into paying down the mortgage sooner, so increasing property taxes and insurance pretty much make up the additional spending in this category.
Travel (12% to 23%; 11% increase) - Most of this is due to our Disney Vacation Club investment. I suspect it’s a one-time increase in overall percentage since the bulk was paid off in 2019. As I mentioned before, I started counting all expenses while on vacation part of travel, rather than where I used to categorize them in food/bev or doggie daycare. And as always, there was also a bit of prepayment for 2020 trips in 2019.
Charity (1% to 5%; 4% increase) - I opened a Fidelity Charitable account, so that I could set aside funds for giving. It counts as a charitable donation in 2019, but the funds will sit there until I designate where to grant money. I had been wanting to do this to take advantage of my income now, while giving myself the opportunity to give to organizations that matter to me in the future.
Health/Fitness (15% to 3%; 12% decrease) We spent 2018 with a personal trainer. Once we felt comfortable enough to do workouts on our own, the $$ spent dropped significantly. Nowadays, while I admit that we COULD do more physically, when we DO work out, we mostly do things at home (like rowing or online fitness challenges). I also have some workout packages that I bought previously that I’ll probably finish using up in 2020.
Adulting/Taxes (8% to 2%; 6% decrease) - The big spend in 2019 in this category was mainly tax preparation and guidance. We didn’t have a repeat of 2018, which was mostly estate planning.
2020 Spending Goals
There were a few categories that I was surprised didn’t decrease significantly.
Food/Bev (9% to 10%; 1% increase) - Even though we consciously ate out less, we made up for it with our grocery spending. Plus I never cut out my fancy sushi budget. YUM!
In 2020, my hope is to do more cooking at home and to see if there’s a way we can stretch our dollars a bit on groceries. This might actually cost more, but I would like to spend with local farmers (farmers markets, farm boxes, local co-op) rather than the big chains.
Shopping (8% to 8%; no change) - Even though it felt like I spent less in certain buckets, I basically took the funds and rearranged where they were spent instead.
I didn’t think I would ever do this, but in 2020, I’m cancelling a few subscriptions (Amazon Prime and Rent the Runway) to see how I do without them. If I find that I miss their convenience, I can always resubscribe. I’m not quite ready to cut my Costco habit, so that’ll stay for now; gotta take this one step at a time!
Any surprises from the past year in regards to your spending? Are you making any changes in 2020?