Daily Spending and Saving in 2016

Daily Spending and Saving in 2016

Several people have suggested putting a certain amount of money in savings every single day, aim to spend less than a certain amount of money on any given day, etc. On a day to day basis, I don’t do well with that. I save in monthly spurts. But I liked the idea of tracking how much I spent and saved on a daily basis. Here are our 2016 expenses broken down into daily spending amounts in each category:

Daily Spending and Savings 2016

My Thoughts on our Daily Spending and Savings Rates:

  • I like that our transportation costs are a nice even $5.00/day. It seems a bit high, but nice and even.
  • After calculating how much our breakfast costs on a daily basis, it was interesting to see that we spent less than $20/day for our family of 5 to eat (and for 2016, that includes Mr.T and I eating out in the UK for 3 weeks!).
  • $7.67 on household expenses and stuff is lame. This includes toilet paper, haircuts (for Mr.T… I make him cut my hair), gifts for family members, etc. I wish I could say it was mostly gifts, but it’s not. I would like to cut this down. This category brings me very little joy, but is a necessity (we’re not going to go without toilet paper thankyouverymuch!).
  • $4.30/day on utilities is awesome. Our energy updates have really paid off! And it’s nice to see a daily total for this because in the summer, we pay hardly anything, and in the winter when it’s both dark and cold, our bills are way higher.
  • $7/day for internet/cell phones… blerg. I’ve cut our cell phone package down, so maybe we can get this around $6/day, but our internet is over $100/month and there’s nothing we can do about that if we want internet (which we do). Now, every time I sit down to work, I’ll think: “The first $7 I earn today will have to pay for the internet I use to work.”
  • Can you find a place to stay in Anchorage for less than $51/night? Not a chance! Makes me feel better about my mortgage when I think about it in those terms. Though I think it would be way more awesome to pay less than $25/day for housing. Add in our extra mortgage payments, and we paid over $100/day just to sleep here!
  • Travel – If someone said: “If you pay $20/day, you could take several vacations this year including a 3 week trip to the UK,” would you sign up? Yes. Yes, I would. Our vacations are definitely worth $20/day and we’re paying less than that!
  • $6.66 medical expenses – definitely evil!
  • $56.85 daily savings rate seems pretty good. More than our mortgage! Let’s see if we can get this up to at least $60/day in 2017!

Even though I don’t actually evenly spend or save these amounts on a daily basis, breaking spending and savings down into daily amounts really changes perspective. It takes the “latte effect” and turns it into things like “the daily internet cost effect.” It makes you value how much you would actually enjoy turning that amount over every single day to get the same results of your current spending. I’m mostly pretty happy with those amounts, though there’s definitely room for improvement.

Have you calculated your daily spending/savings rates? What surprises you the most?

Your Breakfast is Robbing You

Your Breakfast is Robbing You

If you haven’t yet calculated it, your breakfast is probably costing your family much more money than you think it is. Stop eating expensive breakfasts and switch to some cheap breakfast ideas. I’ll share the numbers of how much cereal could cost us and how much we actually spent last year on our inexpensive breakfast alternative (and how oatmeal can actually be yummy).

Cereal is Expensive

About once a month, we eat cereal for breakfast as a family. That’s right. Once a month. The last time we did this, I realized our family of five goes through the equivalent of one Costco box of cereal each time we eat cereal.

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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Inspiration is like Mario

Remember how I told you Lin-Manuel Miranda is better than you? Well, he is. And today we have just another proof. Way back in November, he tweeted a series of amazing tweets about inspiration that I haven’t gotten out of my head. Mr.T worked his graphic design magic on the tweets, and now look how amazing it is!:

Inspiration is exactly like getting a star in Super Mario Bros.

“Inspiration is exactly like getting a star in Super Mario Bros. Exciting, and super rare. You’re invincible for a short time. The rest of your time, you’re breaking bricks, navigating pitfalls, you’re living and dying. You’re doing the work.”

– Lin-Manuel Miranda

Isn’t that brilliant? Some days we’re struck with awesomeness and we feel invincible. But I love the imagery of Mario breaking all those bricks. He just keeps breaking the bricks. Every day, we get out there and we break more bricks. If you don’t jump up to break those bricks, you’ll never get the stars.

Let’s go break some bricks, my friends! And when you happen upon a star, plow through the obstacles as fast as you can! It won’t last long.

Love, Maggie

Comparison is the Thief of Joy and Productivity

Comparison is the Thief of Joy and Productivity

Teddy Roosevelt is famous for saying: “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” I took the liberty of adding “… and productivity.” When we compare ourselves to others, we lose sight of what we’re busy accomplishing.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is Better Than You

Last week, a Facebook friend of mine posted:

Lin-Manuel Miranda and my alumni magazine make me feel like I’ve done nothing with my life.

I totally agreed. A few days later, I happened across this article (headline is NOT changed): Lin-Manuel Miranda even sings karaoke better than you do.* Of course he does!

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An Honest Look At Your Awesomeness

An Honest Look At Your Awesomeness

An Exercise in Self-Reflection

  1. Grab a Piece of Paper and a Pencil
  2. Write down 5 things you are AWESOME at.
  3. Write down 5 weaknesses you have.
  4. Write down 1 thing you want to actively get better at.

Are you Too Hard on Yourself?

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Am I Happy? Stop Looking Outside Yourself.

Am I Happy? Stop Looking Outside Yourself.

We introduced our children to Wii Fit recently and they’ve been loving it. Florin, my 6-year-old, will finish every single game and then say: “Am I happy?” and wait to see if her character is excited (happens when played well) or sad (happens when played poorly). She can roll down the entire hill crashing into things in Wii Fit Skiing and STILL be surprised when her character is crying. On the flip side, she can do an amazing Wii Fit ski jump, but she won’t be happy or excited about it until her character starts jumping up and down with excitement.

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Rockstar Finance #GivingCard: A Loved One

Rockstar Finance #GivingCard: A Loved One

Each month, the Rockstar Finance Giving Fund gives out 25 VISA cards loaded with $20 for people to go help make the world a better place. In February, I signed up for one of them. February’s assignment was to help a “loved one.”

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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: The Wilderness Will Tear You Down

Happy Friday! Tomorrow is the ceremonial start of The Last Great Race on Earth, AKA, The Iditarod! So, today’s Northern Expression comes from 4-time Iditarod Champion (including last year), Dallas Seavey:

The wilderness will tear them down. It's bigger than anybody out there. It has to just be your home.

“Every time I see people having to build themselves up to face the wilderness, the wilderness will tear them down. It’s bigger than anybody out there. It has to just be your home.” – Dallas Seavey

He said this in an interview with Survival Life. I really enjoyed the thought that if you have to build yourself up for something, you’re probably not ready for it. You have to learn to be at peace in even the harshest climates (literal or figurative).

If you have to build yourself up for financial set-backs and financial emergencies, your finances aren’t ready for them. The goal is to be so prepared that they just become an obstacle to overcome on the course rather than a complete roadblock.

So… let’s get prepared, friends! And get out there and enjoy the weekend! Run, dogs, run!

Love, Maggie

February 2017 Plan Update

February 2017 Plan Update

February was a beautiful, snowy month here in Anchorage. On the home front, it was a crazy month, but good. I got some health answers and am working on finding a good management program (testing which foods impact me and which don’t).

It was also a good, but busy month at work. After quitting my job, things have improved greatly and at least I’m back to loving the work.

My totally awesome survey is up to 367 responses… not close to the 1000+ I’d like to see in order for this to turn in to an actual study… If you have any ideas on how to get more visibility/more responses, I’d love to hear them. (Non-spammy places to share it? A database of thousands of people waiting to take surveys perhaps?) Help a sister out!

We also had the awesome privilege of getting one of this month’s Rockstar Finance Giving Cards. Full story coming Monday!

The Numbers:

Want to know how easy it is for us to write these every month? I literally just log into my Personal Capital and revel in all the numbers being in one place. Do you like checking numbers? Do you like graphics? Do you like playing with calculators like retirement calculators and how much your fees are costing you? Then, you should obviously use my affiliate link to Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! (I assumed bloggers pushed this because of the affiliate income until I started using it myself… worth the FREE pricetag! And Seriously Amazing.)

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How to Quit Your Job (to Make it Better!)

How to Quit Your Job (to Make it Better!)

Is your job terrible? Do you feel undervalued or stressed out or overworked? How much do you depend on that income? How badly do you want out? Here’s how to quit your job (and how that might actually make your job better).

Want to Quit Your Job?

BACKGROUND: I was hired nearly seven years ago by a behavioral economics company to be a contractor. I was hired to do research for the company and help write white papers when needed. Back in those days, the company had less than 30 employees. Today, the company is much larger. It has 3 offices and over 200 employees. My boss is awesome and has always been an advocate for my work and my flexibility (and gave me a 33% raise just over a year ago). The company, however, has had some growing pains. For the past 6 months, they’ve been adding hierarchy where there hasn’t been any.

Over the past six months, with the restructuring, several things have happened. Several people around the office have decided I’m under them in the hierarchy and have either decided to ignore my work or not consult with me in the first place. With changes in H.R., my paycheck was forgotten for three pay periods in a row! Then, in December, someone in the office accused me of dishonest business practices via email (and then failed to apologize or even respond when I responded with proof against the accusations). Needless to say, the past six months haven’t been great for work.

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