The Enough Time Machine has a full 12 months of recorded expenses in its data log, so it is time to command “Computer! On screen!”, run an analysis and determine what we can learn from all of those numbers. We use YNAB to record all of our expenses, and now they have some nifty built in reporting features, it is easy to drill down and listen to the stories that our spending is telling us.
Spending Story: Horror
I still can’t quite believe that we have spent nearly $80,000. I’m starting to understand why the barely dressed blondes neglect to run away when the scary man with a knife comes for them – disbelief in reality! I didn’t think that we even brought home that much money to begin with! I’m still trying to process the shock. How on earth do two people with no debt and no housing costs manage to spend That. Much. Money?
Note: The report is based on “some categories”, because I removed the small amount we invested this year. That definitely doesn’t count.
Spending Story: Food Porn
By far our biggest spending was on food. It made up 22.3% of our spending, for a total of $17,587.90. When I saw groceries topping the list, initially I thought phew! At least there’s some sensible spending. That just goes to show how the numbers can lie, because when I take all of the other non-essential categories and add them up, it amounts to $11,900.
Enjoying good food and the experience of dining out at cafes and restaurants is one of our values. I don’t believe it is that much higher a value than travelling, or retiring early to spend more time with family and friends. We will have to discuss how we might (be willing to) reduce spending in this category in 2017.
Spending Story: Frat Party!
Actually no. Truly not. Mrs. ETT is not a frat party kind of woman. 17% went on savings, which is really planned spending. A holiday to Tasmania, and making the backyard safe for Frank and Jelly comprised the bulk of this category. The rest was spent on home improvement. $13,411.86 is a lot of money, but it is something we are entirely in control of. We could have saved the majority of this if we really wanted to embrace frugality. The thing is, we made deliberate choices about spending this money in 2016, and we are still reaping the benefits. #livinglife.
13.9% went on Just for Fun, which encompasses personal spending for Mr. ETT and I, where we don’t have to be accountable to each other for the money. Ironically, we are both saving a lot of what we are receiving, so again in a pinch, we could not only stop taking the money, but we really have a backup emergency fund (as well as our regular emergency fund) if everything really started going to poop.
I feel a bit better now – here’s 30% of our spending this year that isn’t essential.
Spending Story: High Speed Chase
Like a time machine Speeding along with no brakes and a bomb on board (see what I did there?), we spent $10,155.45 on getting around (12.9%). The biggest expense within this was maintenance of our 2 cars and a motorbike, closely followed by petrol. Maintaining cars is expensive, however as I’ve discussed before, it is the best solution for us at this point in our lives. One day in the future, perhaps a single car with a motorbike will be all we need. Unfortunately before then we will definitely need to replace at least one of our cars, so that will be a new savings category in YNAB this year.
Spending Story: Boring Essentials
Bills represent 10.1% of spending, or $7,943.03, with the biggest expense being electricity. One of my goals for this year is to see how we might reduce the cost or get a better deal. It doesn’t help that while I am trying to support green power, they keep raising the costs. Ugh, balancing values and $, will they never align?
Spending Story: Oprah – spending for you, and you, and you!
Our various expenses set us back $7081.53, 9% of our total spending. As discussed recently, the bulk of this went on gifts, and not nearly enough to charity. (Although charity also comes out of my personal spends, which you don’t see). I want to allocate equal spending on gifts and charity in 2017.
Spending Story: Paranoid
Here, insurance companies, take $5,365.39 of our dollars. Six point eight percent! Enough said. Actually, no. A goal for 2017 is to review our life insurance, as we are both paying inside as well as outside of Super. Also, for all of our readers living in the United States, I’m sorry that I’m whinging when the cost of our health insurance for the year is less than the monthly cost for many of you.
Spending Story: The FIREd Life
Exercise, education and activities that bring meaning and contribute to society. A recipe for the perfect life post-FIRE. I think that this is one category that should grow (in time, not necessarily in $ costs) as we slowly move towards retirement.
Spending Story: Cute Furry Animals
3.1% of our spending was on our furry companions. I’d much rather spend on them than insurance! It appears that food for Frank and Jelly was the top sub-category here as well. Perhaps it is really just expensive to keep bellies full?
So there it is in all of its bald, horrible glory. We spent $80,000 this year. In order to make this much from passive income, if we take current return to be about 4% after fees, taxes and inflation, we will have to have 2 million dollars in the market. There is no way that will happen on our current wages in the time we have remaining, even if we wanted a 70% Savings Rate (which we don’t). But is it as doom and gloom as it first feels? Next post I’ll be trying to figure that out!
Also, Enough Time To is now on Twitter! Mr. ETT has accepted the mantle of Social Media Manager. You can find us @EnoughTimeTo