2013 Financial Report

-Written by Cel

This report shows the breakdown of our spending over the 2013 period. The first graph shows our total spending, broken down into categories. The next few graphs break down some of the individual spending categories into further sub-categories. The last graph shows our expenditures month-by-month.

Total Spending

Our total spending for the year was $18,775. Nearly half the expenses were in the Home category, just like last year. $8,784 of this was rent; the remainder includes home insurance, lightbulbs, mandatory bedbug inspection. This category is largely outside our control, as rent and other home maintenance expenses are non-negotiable. However, we may consider moving in 2014 as the rents for our current building are expected to go up, though we are not sure how much.

Bills and Utilities consist of our cell phone contracts, our internet/landline (we dropped the landline in August). Last year, we had put our $61 annual Costco membership in this category, but have now moved it to Food and Dining. Next year, our expenses should go down significantly, as we will not have a landline at all, Cel’s cell phone contract will be slightly cheaper (switched to Koodo in December), and Stephanie will be switching to a cheaper plan come July.

Our Transportation budget went down significantly from last year. We stopped buying a bus pass, and Cel now walks to work. In the summer, Cel learned how to bike and we now bike to the grocery store. We buy about 1-2 books of tickets a month between the both of us. We expect this category to drop significantly next year, since we both bought bikes and related gear this year, but will not next year (barring bike theft).

The Personal category includes haircuts, toiletries, and laundry. Our haircuts are fairly expensive – $48~ every two months for Cel, $71~ every two months for Stephanie. We justify this expense as our hairdresser is excellent and we want to look professional for work.

Entertainment is any shows/concerts/movies we go to. It also included bike rentals in the summer. This will probably remain about the same in 2014.

Other covers everything not included in any prior category – such as pet-related expenses, shipping costs, gifts, Stephanie’s sewing lessons, Cel’s eye exam, charitable donations, etc. This should also be fairly stable.

(Our travel expenses, which we categorize separately, were a total of $7,601, which included all travel expenses, for a one week trip to France and a one week trip to Guatemala).

*       *       *

Food and Dining

Our total expenses for food were $3,310. Over 82% of this was grocery spending. The maple butter category is a luxury for Cel – $13.29 per jar. It’s dropped since last year due to finding a cheaper price and eating less frequently. Our restaurant spending was slightly up from last year, but still reasonable (this was due to Steph being hospitalized in the summer, and an extravagant anniversary dinner). The other category includes our $57 Costco membership, and the rest is mostly Steph’s Diet Coke and other snacks.

*       *       *


Our shopping expense increased significantly compared to last year. As expected, our clothing expenses plummeted ($504 last year). Our electronics skyrocketed, as Steph bought a new laptop and new camera (well over half the expense). Cel bought a new cell phone, and various video games and electronics stuff. For craft supplies, Steph bought a sewing machine and outfitted herself with sewing supplies. Books was about the same. Sporting goods were Steph’s new hiking boots, and ankle weights. Other includes home decorating, kitchen stuff, furniture, and some miscellaneous small items.

For next year, clothing should be down a little bit. Electronics should be down a bit (Cel will likely be buying a new video game system). Shoes should be much lower, and craft supplies probably cut in half. Sporting goods probably about the same, we plan to buy some more hiking gear.  For “other”, who knows, probably similar though.

*       *       *

Grocery SPending

Our lowest month, May, was a travel month. However, we also had low months in January and September that weren’t travel months. We pushed our winter travel month to January 2014, as opposed to last year. We expect our spending to be fairly consistent in 2014, around $230 a month.

*       *       *

Spending By Month

June was our highest month for total spending, due to Steph’s new computer. In July, our restaurant expenses were through the roof (bought Steph food while she was hospitalized, had an anniversary dinner). Steph also paid for her sewing lessons. In August, both of us bought bikes and related supplies, and Steph’s sewing machine.

As a general trend, our spending has moved lower relative to last year as we tighten up various categories and find new ways to lower expenses (e.g. drop our landline, walk to work instead of bus, etc.). The only three months in 2013 that were higher than in 2012 were months with significant infrastructure costs (buying bikes, sewing lessons etc.) which should pay off in the long run.

Overall, we’re quite happy about our spending for 2013, and look forward to 2014!



  1. Great planning! But with you being in Vancouver , why are you paying for groceries when you can coupon and get everything for free!?!?! Giving you even more money in the bank!! And if you think it isn’t possible to do in canada, I have done it and it’s very possible!! 😄

  2. Your blog is great at breaking down where you spend and where you save but I am curious as to what you do with your savings? How do you have it invested? Is growth of equal importance to savings? Also what is your current trajectory for retirement?

    • Hi Kristyn,

      Our savings goes to our investments. We are both invested in index funds – TD e-series for me, and through her work for Steph. We have Canadian Index, International Index, and US Index – pretty similar to a standard Canadian Couch Potato formula. I have a lot invested in a People’s Trust TFSA as my fixed-income safe portion, and she has Canadian Bond Index.

      Growth is important, but when you are first starting out and your net worth is not that high, savings is much more important than savings rate. Near the end, when your net worth is mid to high six figures, than growth is more important than savings rate – though savings will always be important.

      Not sure what you mean by trajectory – but we are on track to retire within 12-13 years. Let me know if that answered all of your questions!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s