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2012 Recap

January 2nd, 2013 at 09:25 am

My overall spending for the year was about $4000 more than last year. Not so bad considering all that happened….

Housing was $14,826 – average $1236 per month (as opposed to $1121 last year). The increase was mostly because of fees I paid as part of my condo purchase (I didn’t include the down payment, however).

Medical was $2,686, or $224 a month. Last year was $220 a month, so amazing similarity! Especially considering that last year I had a long hospital stay and visiting nurse care in addition to surgery. This year I had a surgery but it was much less major. Still, the out-of-pocket expense was much the same.

Car repair - $2199, or $183 a month. That was $97 more per month than last year, but with the car aging, that’s not surprising.

Gifts/Charity - $2093, or $174 per month. Only $35 more per month than I spent last year, though it felt like more.

Vacation/Travel - $1977, or $165 per month. Actually a little better than last year, when I spent $179 per month. (But still close) Both years, my “vacationing” consisted of family visits/events, extra days at conferences, and girlfriends’ weekends.

Utilities - $1705, or $142 per month. Down from $215 per month. The new condo is part of that; also, last winter was really mild.

Fares - $460, or $115 per month. A new category.

Fees & Services - $1282, or $107 per month. Last year I only paid $19 per month. This is a very fluid category. I think I counted a lot of my real estate expenses here this year.

Groceries - $1279, or $107 per month. As opposed to $111 per month last year. The challenge will be keeping it this low this year, with rising prices and different demands on my time.

Insurance - $975, or $81 per month. It was $71 per month last year. I switched from renter’s insurance to homeowner’s insurance. The car insurance ought to be going down, as my car gets older, but I think I moved to a higher-risk area.

Furniture & Equipment - $859, or $72 per month. I spent $106 per month last year (and I don’t know what on? My computer, maybe?) I know this will go up, as I will add new living room furniture and carpets to my home this month. And plans after that to replace/upgrade my desk and the dining room sideboard. And I expect I will need a new TV soon.

Eating Out - $794, or $66 per month, $11 more per month than last year. Not as bad as I thought it might be.

Clothing - $756, or $63 per month, $29 per month more than last year. This year I needed to replace coats, boots, etc. – things I usually can’t find secondhand.

Moving Expenses - $710. A new category and hopefully, one I won’t use again!

Gas - $672, or $56 a month. Despite fluctuating prices, that’s only $8 more per month than I spent last year.

Entertainment - $568, or $47 a month. Again, $8 more per month than I spent last year.

Phone - $275 or $31 per month. Didn’t start tracking this separately till March – it used to be part of Utilities.

Household Supplies - $275 or $23 per month, $6 more per month than last year.

Business - $264. This expense ended in April, but it was costing me $66 per month till then. Even so, that was $28 better per month than last year! Closing the antiques booth was a big savings.

Vet/Pet Supplies - $222, or $19 per month. Last year it was $36 per month. The cats’ health has been stable, and since they are indoor pets, I haven’t needed to get vaccinations.

Personal - $210, or $18 a month. Last year I spent $25 a month. This is mostly haircuts and cosmetics, so I guess I was better looking last year!

Laundry - $52, or $17 per month (since October). New category.

Miscellaneous - $105, or $9 per month. Up from $5 per month last year.

What always surprises me is how much expenses stay pretty much the same, even when it seems that big changes are taking place.

My next step is to figure out how to pare things down in 2013.

On the savings side, my net worth went up by $5210. This is based on the assumption that my condo is worth $120K (which is what the appraisal said). But even more important, I now have a permanent place to live which is affordable and which will eventually grow in value (barring any new recessions!)

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