This past Saturday, I withdrew $100 cash from an ATM. Today, two days later, I have $42 in my wallet and no record of where the other $58 went. After sitting down on Mint.com for 20 minutes, I finally figured out where it all went. That’s when these questions popped into my mind. “Why do I spend all this time tracking my finances? What does it tell me?”
So I decided to dig in, once again, and see what story my finances have to tell me, about me. The results were quite interesting.
Where Did I Spend My Money?
Straight out of Mint.com, here’s my spending totals, by category, for the past year:
What Does This Say About Me?
Well, let’s dig in:
Home: $745/month – My rent this year was $710 for most of the year and it just went up to $715. Lumped into the Home category in Mint.com is what I call “Home Supplies”. This includes everything I buy at Target to keep me up and running. This includes, laundry detergent, hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, garbage bags and even my personal care items (I know I classify these weirdly), like body soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. So, this says that, on average, I spend around $30-$35 on keeping my place up to par and keeping myself healthy and clean. Not bad.
Food & Dining: $324/month – I’m going to break this down for you (And I’m embarrassed to do it):
- Groceries – $140/month – I’ve been buying stuff on sale. Not terrible, huh?
- Alcohol & Bars: $100/month – Yeah, I spent almost as much drinking as I did feeding myself all year. Not cool.
- Smoking: $31/month – What a waste of money. Thankfully, I’ve been a non-smoker for almost 5 months now. Yay!
- Restaurants/Fast Food/Coffee Shops: $50/month – I didn’t see the inside of too many restaurants or coffee shops this past year, as you can see.
What does this say about my eating lifestyle? It definitely says that I ate at home quite a bit and ate out very little. It also says that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle of smoking, which I’ve now stopped doing. Another thing it says is that I may have a slight issue with drinking. Gosh, drinks are just too expensive. I’m not an alcoholic, I swear!
Auto & Transport: $272/month – Here’s the breakdown of this:
- Gas – $125/month – You may think that’s chump change, but I work about 2 miles from home. It’s that darn supercharged car that requires me to use premium gas, which is more expensive. Besides that, I probably drive as much as the average person. Not much of a story here.
- Car Insurance – $78/month – No story here. Just a regular rate of insurance, which reminds me though, I need to raise my deductible from $250 up to at least $500.
- Service & Maintenance – $47/month – Wow, I’ve never calculated this number before. Almost $50/month sounds kind of expensive for maintenance and service.
- Licensing – $16/month ($179/year) – Ugh, this just makes me mad.
- Washing/Detailing – $6/month – Wow, I’m shocked that I only spend this. I love to wash and detail my car. It’s almost always squeaky clean!
Health & Fitness: $150/month – This may look like a lot, but it’s nothing. This includes my health insurance (high deductible, crappy plan), and one dentist checkup/teeth cleaning, two visits to a chiropractor (my back was and is still all messed up) and a reorder of my contact lenses. My fitness (all $0 of it) included living life and going for a bunch of runs, walks and bike rides. Yeah, I may not be in the best shape but I’m at a healthy weight, eat well and can ride my bike 25 miles on a nice day and run a mile in under 7.5 minutes. I’m surviving!
Bills & Utilities: $140/month – This includes my electricity bill (it averages $40/month), my mobile phone (that averaged $40/month), which I canceled because I have a work phone provided to me and my overpriced internet, which I continue to be ticked off about. Interestingly enough, I’ve managed to cut my bills this past year.
Everything Else - Here’s a very rough breakdown:
- Gifts & Donations – $45/month
- Entertainment – $40/month
- Shopping – $38/month
- Uncategorized – $32
- Blog – $32/month
- Fees & Charges – $3/month
The story I see here just says “I’m a cheapskate”. In the giving department, I wish that weren’t the case. I hope to do better this next year on that. You know what, I hope to do better on all of these (except for Uncategorized and Fees & Charges) next year. That means I actually want to go out to more entertainment, I want to give more and I want to go shopping (a little) more. I at least don’t want to look like I can’t afford (or pick out) any nice looking clothes. I hope to crank it up a bit there.
Again….. What Does This Say About Me??
I honestly don’t know what this says about me because it’s my life and I can’t step outside of it. I don’t know any better, at least right now. I bet you can make some judgments about me based on this information though. Well, go ahead, make them, but only if you agree to comment on this post and share them with me.
One final question, What does YOUR spending say about you? Let us all in on those details, too!
Category: Living Cheap