Seriously, I find it very interesting to see how my spending compares to others, so I figured you might enjoy it.
All in all I found it to be enlightening. Here are some more specific thoughts & comments on various categories.
Obviously, when you drive under 700 miles for the year your car expenses are low - but I ended up spending around a dollar per mile! Still worth the luxury of owning a car, though I think the amount I'm paying in insurance is crazy - it's a liability only policy but still... I'll have to shop around on that one.
Thank You President Obama! Seriously, my expenses here went WAY down thanks both to subsidies from the Affordable Care Act and the fact that it's now OK to switch to a lower level of coverage because they can't refuse to cover you like they could in the past (previously, my insurance company had a rule that you could NEVER switch to a policy with better coverage, so you had to hedge your bets and pay for much more than you really needed.)
Expenses here went way down from previous years since I got the mortgage paid off in late 2013. MMM (Mr. Money Mustache) had way cheaper insurance bills, but after some reading it looks like that's because he has a $10K deductible on his policy. Given the fact that I've suffered through 2 giant hailstorms in the 20 years I've owned the house - which took out the roof, siding, windows, doors etc each time - I think I've gotten my money's worth on the insurance.
I definitely spent more in this category than I usually would - bought and fixed up the mountain bike, and treated myself to a few things like slipcovers for the couch. There were also some big gifts in there, both for CatMan (just because I love him) and for my Dad on his 80th B-Day.
Guess I felt like I could afford it since the mortgage was paid off. Luxury spending to be sure, but all in all it's stuff I feel good about.
Don't EVEN get me started on the phone/internet situation. It's beyond infuriating to me that I could get both cheaper & better service if I lived in a fancier neighborhood, but such is life. I switched carriers mid-year and the overall costs went down, but there were setup fees.
The service is marginally better, meaning I don't lose phone service every time it rains and I now actually have fast internet, but digital phone service still leaves something to be desired since the signal garbles if traffic is high on the network. Still worth it to have a land line though, since I spend over 3 hours per day on the telephone.
The cell phone is a pre-paid neolithic thing, and the bill is much higher than usual because I had to rely on the cell when the land line went out. Still room for improvement on gas/electric, but since Princess is sick, I've decided to keep it a little bit warmer in here for the rest of the winter.
The grocery bill seems high to me, but it does include everything purchased at the grocery store, so there's some personal care in there as well as some kitty junk food, birdseed & squirrel food (yes, I'm a sucker) and random other stuff. Still, I'm sure there's room for improvement with the grocery bill, but you do reach a point of diminishing returns when you factor in the time required to sniff out all the best deals.
Oy Vay! I knew they were costing me a fortune but that total floored me! However, things haven't exactly been "normal" in kitty-land (though I'm starting to wonder if there is such a state as "normal".) This includes all of the end-of-life expenses for Sputty, the follow up from Smoky's illness in 2013, and crazy expenses for Princess including the raw food experiment & diagnostic stuff for her kidney disease.
The vet insurance is a negative number because I put both premiums and insurance reimbursement payments into that category, and as you can see, I got more than I paid for - plus there's about $400 of reimbursements that didn't come in until January. Overall I think pet insurance is worth it. Of course, they don't cover things like supplements and prescription food - and there's been a LOT of surplus cat food expense both for Princess & for Sputty since getting sick animals to eat can be a challenge.
I certainly wish this number was lower, but since I can afford it, I want to do the very best I can for my furry little friends, so I'm not gonna stress over it too much.
And there you have it, 2014 in a nutshell! I'm curious to hear what y'all think. Any suggestions for shaving a bit off of any categories? Do any of you tally up your spending for the year? I'd love to hear how your expenses compare.