-Written by Cel
It’s time for our annual financial report! This shows the spending breakdown over 2014, and a detailed discussion on each category.
Our total spending for the year was $17,914 ($18,775 in 2013) – an average of $1,492 per month.
Once again, Housing was the biggest expense, at $9,359 ($9,055 for 2013). The difference was due to a rent increase and moving expenses. We are not anticipating any significant changes in 2015, other than a small rent increase in November.
Food was our second largest expense, at $3,205 ($3,310 in 2013). We’ll go into more detail on this later.
Entertainment was $1,398 ($675 in 2013). The difference was mostly due to spending $480 on paragliding in the summer. This also includes movie tickets, concerts, dance lessons and expenses, etc.
Shopping was $1,271 ($1,969 in 2013). More detail to follow.
Bills and Utilities were $1,006 ($1,375 in 2013), and consisted of our cell phone plans and home internet. The reason for the drop is because we both switched to cheaper cell phone plans. This should drop slightly next year, since Steph switched to her cheaper plan in the middle of the year.
Personal Care was $753 ($915 in 2013). Most of this decrease was due to buying clippers and having Steph cut Cel’s hair, rather than paying for it. Should be pretty similar next year.
Other was $919 ($694 in 2013). The increase is because our Transportation spending declined enough such that we now lump it in with Other, rather than being a separate category. Our Transportation expenses were $527 of the $919, compared to $778 in 2013.
Our travel expenses, which we categorize separately, were a total of $8,373 ($7,601 in 2013), which included all travel expenses. This included incidentals associated with our January 2014 Guatemala trip; two weeks in Budapest, Vienna, Zurich, and Paris; one long weekend trip to visit family; and most expenses (flights, hotels, spending money) for our January 2015 Hong Kong trip. The increase compared to last year is due to spending more time abroad and in more expensive countries.
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Of the total Food expense of $3,205, 76% ($2,426) was groceries, 13% ($403) for snacks, 8% ($257) for restaurants, 2% ($59) for Maple Butter, 2% ($57) for Costco membership.
The maple butter spending was cut in half compared to last year. And grocery spending was about $300 less than last year, which we are quite proud of.
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Shopping had a huge drop this year, from $1,979 to $1,271. The biggest expense continues to be electronics ($460), which was surprisingly heavy on Steph’s end. She got a new iPod, a new Kobo e-reader, and a new cellphone. We also bought a new TV, a new Kindle, a paper shredder, and many video games.
The other shopping expenses were fairly comparable to last year, nothing remarkable. We did have to buy some new furniture due to moving to a smaller apartment.
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Spending By Month
Our highest months were June, July, and September. We generally tend to spend more in the summer, as we go to more events and shows, and do more activities. July was extraordinarily high due to the $480 for paragliding. Nothing too notable other than that, just standard fluctuations in spending.
We are quite happy with an almost $1,000 drop comparing 2014 to 2013. That is a significant achievement considering our already low numbers. We anticipate another great year in 2015!