-Written by Steph and Cel
Has another year ended already? Well, it’s time for the annual reckoning! Here’s the annual financial report, where we bare our financial lives for all to see.
First, we had an almost unbelievably good fiscal year. Right now we have a net worth of $244,341, which is a $75,121 net worth increase from last year! Our savings rate was also astronomical, at a whopping 70% for the year!
Let’s take a detailed look at where our money went.
Our overall spending was very similar to 2015. Our non-travel spending for the year was $18,451, which averages out to about $1537/month. We also spent $8882 on travel, which included some of our last winter trip to Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia, our summer trip to Ireland, our fall trip to Vegas, and most of our upcoming trip to Thailand and China. It’s been a busy travel year!
Unsurprisingly, housing continued to be our largest expense. We spent $9518, or $793/month in this category, which includes rent and renter’s insurance. This compares to $9406 in 2015 – our rent increased slightly.
The usual steep drop-off following the housing and travel categories continued in 2016, and we spent a total of $3665 for the year, or $305/month. This compares to $3413 in 2015. The breakdown was 74% ($2713) groceries , 14% ($530) Steph snacks , 7% ($266) restaurants, 3% ($96) bulk grain purchase from a local farmer, and 2% ($57) Costco membership. We’re thinking of ditching the Costco membership and getting Costco gift cards instead, and also cutting back a bit on snacks in the new year. Overall, we had an average of $226/month in grocery spending, which we consider very reasonable.
This is a huge category that covers so many different things! This section came to $1413, or $118/month, compared to $1660 in 2015. The majority was electronics, as usual, $502, mostly because Cel’s computer died mid year and needed to be replaced. Clothing was the second largest category ($316), followed by digital purchases – mostly ebooks and video games – ($244), kitchen things ($142), and shoes ($44). The “What the hell do I categorize this as” category came to $163, and included stickers, locks, a calendar, closet organizers, fridge magnets, baskets, and scotch tape.
Entertainment spending landed at $1004 for 2016 or $84/month, compared to $996 in 2015. This was mostly my ballet classes ($418), concerts and shows ($371), movies ($141), and activities ($73).
Bills for the year came to $938, or $78/month, compared to $930 in 2015. Nothing too exciting here – just two very basic cell phone plans, and cheap internet.
Haircuts, toiletries, and laundry came to a total of $701 for 2016, or $58/month, compared to $688 in 2015. This one should see a sharp drop-off next year as I recently switched to getting haircuts at a low cost barber down the street.
Finally, our catch-all category for all the little things came to $1209, or $100/month, compared to $1173 in 2015. This skewed heavily towards bus fare ($457), followed by cat stuff ($336), and gym memberships/medicine ($306), plus a few random smaller things.
Discussion by Cel
As Steph mentioned, we had a great fiscal year in 2016. We’ll hit $250K very quickly, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, will be hitting $300K sometime in 2017. Steph likes to run the numbers every so often about where we could afford to live if we retired on the spot, with just passive income from the money we have invested at the time. We’ve worked our way past “hut in a village” all the way to “small apartment in an Eastern European city”.
I don’t anticipate next year to be much different. People keep talking about inflation, especially when it comes to groceries. But we’ve been doing these reports for four years now, and so far we’ve largely managed to avoid any inflation. In fact, we’ve actually lowered our costs in a lot of areas, compared to a few years ago.
Here’s to a great 2017!