For the first time in several years, we are not writing our annual financial report from a foreign destination or on our way to the airport, but in our lovely apartment, as travel continues to be banned.
2020 was not a bad year financially. We finished the year with a net worth of $550,120, which is an increase of $87,567 from last year. Our savings rate for the year was 69%.
Our total spending for the year was $24,429, compared to $28,911 in 2019. That’s a drop of $4,482, which is very substantial! Unfortunately, this was due to our prized international travel being sacked for the year, though we managed to do some fun stuff to make up for it to a degree.
Our detailed tracking fell heavily by the wayside this year. While the total spending number is 100% correct, the exact breakdown was not as good as normal. This is because in normal times we split things out into separate transactions – for example, if we bought toothpaste, soap, cat food, cat litter, and a sack of flour, we previously would have done multiple transactions to split it into personal care, pet supplies, and groceries. This year we’ve been trying to get in and out of stores as fast as we can, touching as little as we can, so a lot of things got lumped under groceries that might not otherwise, for example. But as mentioned, it’s roughly accurate by category, and still 100% accurate for the absolute total, which is not bad considering the circumstances.
Our housing costs for the year were $10,341, or $862/month, compared to $10,149 in 2019. This is for rent and insurance on a small studio apartment in Vancouver. This has been fairly consistent for many years, and we do not anticipate any major changes in the near future.
Our food costs increased dramatically, as a good chunk of the year had us shopping at the expensive places closer to home to avoid public transit, and the cheapest place we go shut down for several months to renovate. We’re now getting back to our normal spending levels, and expect 2021 to be more in line with our usual numbers. Our food spending for the year was $4,805, or $400/month, compared to $3884 in 2019. The breakdown was 86% groceries, 7% restaurants, and 7% snack foods.
Normally we don’t spend too much on health, but we had some bad luck this year (particularly with regards to teeth), and our health spending was $2,517, or $209/month, compared to $630 last year. It was mostly required spending, though we did buy some home exercise equipment, and I had DNA testing done for fun.
Our entertainment spending skyrocketed this year, as we tried to make up for not being able to travel. We spent a total of $1,861, or $155/month, compared to $913 last year. In addition to some big ticket items – namely, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, and an Xbox- we bought tickets to anything we could find that wasn’t cancelled, a few day trip activities, and soooooo many video games and ebooks. If we can travel again in 2021, this will likely go down, otherwise it’s skydiving and finding some other nice rivers to raft down.
Our travel plans obviously got gutted for the year. We had some incidental spending from last year’s winter trip to New York in December/January prior to COVID, and we did a short summer trip scouting out islands. We spent a total of $1,356 on travel, or $113/month, compared to… $9,776 in 2019! We are very much hoping this increases dramatically in 2021.
We spent $1,013 on bills, or $84/month, compared to $1,153 in 2019. This is for two cell phones plus internet, and has been very consistent over the years, with no real likelihood of changing anytime soon.
The remainder of our spending was $2,580, or $215/month. This was mostly cat expenses ($917), followed by personal care ($787) and transportation ($399), and then all the little things – clothing, shoes, and kitchen stuff.
Despite everything happening, it was a fairly good financial year. We were very happy to hit our latest net worth milestone, $550,000, right before the calendar changes, and hope to hit more milestones soon. Here’s hoping 2021 will be even better.