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A Year Later...
Exactly one year ago I wrote this post: Happy Belated New Year!
In that post I said that for the next year I wanted to post to this website at least once a week as well as posting once a month to another website. Well, I missed slightly on the posts for this site (I think there were a couple of times in the summer that I was a day or two late) but I didn't really make any of the posts that I wanted to on the other site. Oh well, 1/2 isn't that bad, is it?
For this year I have some slightly different goals. I want to focus a little bit more of my energy on my other website but I still want to post on a regular basis here. I want to revive Sam Spendalot, finish off my discussion on my model portfolio and track that portfolio and make posts on topics I am thinking about on a semi-regular basis. I also want to take more pictures with my D50 in 2007 than I did in 2006 and post more of those pictures here as well as print out more for at home...
I need to quantify this a little bit. I don't want to commit to posting once a week like I did last year because there are some times that posting once a week meant I had to push off some other things I wanted to work on. However, I think I can commit to posting a minimum number of times a year. I think I can post about 50 times in the next year. In fact, maybe I can keep track of how many postings I make over the year right here.
Post 1 Post 2 Post 3 Post 4 Post 5 Post 6 Post 7 Post 8 Post 9 Post 10...
Ok, as I go along I will fill in links for those as the year progresses.
posted on Saturday January 13, 2007 at 12:44:39
Reviewing Our Spending
I haven't talked about expenses and how important I think tracking expenses are recently so since we just ended a year I think it is a pretty good time to take a look at how our spending unfolded in 2006.
So I guess the first thing to do is look at how our spending went compared to my predictions (some people might call it a budget) at the beginning of 2006. I have 16 different categories that I track (and some sub-categories within those). These categories are Income (earned income, not investing income), mortgage/home equity line of credit, food, utilities, car, house, investing, health and beauty, movies/entertainment, charity, banking, technology, clothes, fitness, tuition/books, gifts, and vacation/outings.
Looking at our overall spending was about 25% over what I predicted. While that sounds really bad on the surface the extra 'spending' is more than accounted for by the extra funds we put into our investments. If I remove the extra that was put into investments we spent 6.7% less than I predicted we would.
There are some areas where we spent way more than I expected we would spend. For example we spent 154% more on maintenance for the car than I expected. There were actually a couple of things that explain this, we had to replace the rotors and brakes and we also had to replace the tires.
On the savings side we spent 24% less on eating out than I predicted we would. We also spent 44% less on clothes than I thought we would. However, our eating out bill increased 19% in 2006 over 2005. I hope in 2007 that stays about the same.
I think these year to year variances show that it is important to track expenses over a longer period of time. I don't buy car tires every year but every 5-6 years or so I do buy tires. If I want to make sure I have an accurate picture of our average yearly spending I need to account for that sort of spending.