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Year-End Recap

December 31st, 2015 at 06:32 pm

My total spending this year was $29,662. That compares well with last year, which was $34,004. Here is the breakdown, largest to smallest. The first number is the yearly total, the second the monthly average.

Housing - $8,124/$677

This is the cost of mortgage payments and assessment fees.

Gifts/Charity - $3,664/$305

This includes $1,500 paid to college funds for the grandchildren. The rest is birthday gifts, donations to charity, handouts, incidental gifts, postage for mailing gifts, cards and gift wrap.

Car Repair/Maintenance - $3,658/$305

This includes the cost of painting and repairing the body of the car this fall, which was around $3,400. The rest was oil changes and car washes, and in May I paid $120 to have the sunroof drain cleaned out.

Utilities - $1,738/$145

This includes cable, internet, gas & electricity. My utilities are low because I have radiator heat which is included in my assessment fees.

Property Taxes - $1,700/$143

They were $2,264 last year. That's what turning 65 will do for you!

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $1,577/$131

Last January I bought a $1000 mattress and box spring set. Also in January I bought new sheets, a coffeemaker, a suitcase, a tablecloth, a floor steamer, and some cookware. Since then this category has been minimal.

Groceries - $1,475/$123

Just a bit lower than last year. Only food is counted in this category.

Vet/Pet Supplies - $1,092/$91

This was high, about double what I paid last year. I paid the vet $589 in August to treat and then put down my cat. In November I had adoption fees to pay for my new cat. The rest was cat food, kitty litter and aquarium supplies.

Eating Out - $849/$71

Almost exactly what it was last year! The biggest bump was in June, when I did a lot of social eating out prior to retirement -- and a lot my eating out that month was paid for by others, so I did a lot of dining that month!

Vacation/Travel - $840/$70

This was a lot lower than last year's $179 average. The biggest expense was my road trip to Florida in October.

Medical/Health - $836/$70

A bit lower than last year. No medical emergencies this year. The biggest bump was in August, when I had to pay out of pocket for my semi-annual checkup at the dentist.

Fares/Parking - $623/$52

About half what it was last year. Obviously, I am not buying monthly train passes any more. It should be even better next year.

Phone - $608/$51

Entertainment - $448/$37

The biggest chunk was paying for my subscription last April.

Fees/Services - $404/$34

License plate renewal, wheel tax, beach pass, etc.

Gas - $403/$42

Should get better and better, as I drive less and less. Last year my average was $53 a month.

Clothing - $307/$26

This seems to have been mostly socks, gloves and items bought at Goodwill. About half what I paid in this category the year before.

Insurance - $282/$24

This seems wrong, but I think I must have pre-paid my semi-annual premium in December of the year before, rather than waiting for the withdrawal in January. The previous year's insurance total was more than double.

Personal - $237/$20

Just a bit higher than last year. This category is mainly haircuts and nail care.

Household Supplies - $209/$17

All the grocery stuff that isn't food -- except for pet food, which goes into Vet/Pet. Just a bit lower than last year.

Business - $200/$17

Just a few things I can write off - professional association fees, etc.

Laundry - $189/$16

Exactly the same as last year.

Home Repair/Maintenance - $160/$13

Basically, this was getting my windows washed.

Miscellaneous - $30/$5

This boils down to be books of stamps. It seems like everything else has its own category!

I'm pleased. My splurges, such as they were, were reasonable and practical. I had a good year. A happy year. I retired, I welcomed a new grandson, I visited friends and family, and I even have a man friend! I'm looking forward to an equally good -- or better - 2016!

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