The numbers are in!
Let’s start with how much we spent:
First off, if you want detailed breakdowns of previous years, check out our first “How Much We Spend” post. To summarize:
- In 2013, we spent $53,218
- In 2014, we spent $53,344
- In 2015, we spent $55,810 ($63,581 before subtracting the Alaska State Energy Rebate)
In 2016 we spent…. drum roll please…. $59,392!
Yes… more than last year, but still under $60k. So, how did this year break down? Here’s a lovely graph:
- Housing is still our highest expense. This calculation just includes our minimum mortgage payment and our escrow. Any extra payments will be included down in the savings section.
- Tithing/Other Donations is our second largest expense. No regrets there.
- Travel was $6,057 – $1,600 more than last year, but that’s pretty good for including a 3-week trip to the UK and Paris in my opinion (as well as trips to Portland, Seattle, Sacramento/San Francisco and this also includes our plane tickets to Portland, Seattle, Disneyland, Omaha, and Dallas for next year!). This is a budget line-item I actually meaningfully increased this year. Travel is important to us and we need to prioritize it while our kids are still young.
- Telecommunications are so high – $2,555. I wish I could say that we just haven’t gotten around to switching to cheaper providers… but there aren’t any. We don’t have the benefit of Republic Wireless or Project FI up here and internet services can charge a fortune (there are 2 options, and one charges for bandwidth!).
- Food was high this year – $7,270 – but considering $1,490 of that was eating out (primarily on our Europe trip), I think we’re doing alright in this category as well. (If you’re interested, you can compare this number to our historic grocery costs.)
- This is the first year that I divided up “Stuff” and “Experiences” in the budget. “Stuff” = toilet paper, haircuts, Christmas presents, etc. “Experiences” = tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (I’m sorry, was I bragging about that again?!), museum passes, etc. Because this is the first year I’ve broken them out like that, I don’t know how it compares to previous years, but we spent $2700 on experiences and $2800 on stuff for a total of $5500 for both – an $1,170 increase from last year… but again, Harry Potter. 🙂
- $2,173 on House Updates – most of this was our new carpet (which is still plushy and clean and glorious and I love it so much). Our home is finally completely decluttered and organized and updated. Mr. T can’t help himself, so I’m sure he’ll come up with little things to do here and there, but unless there is a disaster, all of our expensive fixes are DONE!
- We spent $130 less on utilities this year than last year (yay for being energy efficient!).
- Kid education expenses were similar to last year – we had the end of the 2015/2016 school year for Florin to go to preschool. We’ll get to avoid preschool fees all of 2017… but probably have to pay in 2018 for Lui. The girls both did two rounds of swimming lessons (Penny graduated… Florin probably needs a year before she’s ready to do it again) and now that we have a piano, we’ll probably start them in lessons sometime in 2017.
- Medical expenses were the highest this year ever ($2,432) even higher than the year Lui was born! The cost of being iron woman is high. I’m not sure these costs will go down in 2017… since my goal is to figure out my health once and for all… I’m guessing that will probably involve several expensive tests.
Overall spending: $59,392 – nearly all categories were higher this year than last, but for meaningful reasons. Hopefully 2017 will see us back in the $53-55,000 range of spending. No big house updates planned, no big purchases planned, and no big international trips planned. Obviously unexpected things happen, but that’s the goal for 2017.
Now that we’ve covered how much money we spent… let’s get back to focusing on the good progress we’re making. 🙂
- We put an extra $18,200 toward our mortgage this year. Again, I’m counting that as savings because it’s one of our main savings goals and once we pay off the mortgage, we can reroute all of this money into actual savings.
- Mr. T saved $15,250 in his 401k (set to max out in 2017!).
- We saved $5,500 in a Roth IRA
TOTAL SAVED IN 2016: $38,950! I realize we’re not hitting huge savings percentages like many people, but we’re really seeking to find a good balance of living now and preparing for later. I’m really happy with our progress this year. And now let’s see if we can get this number over $40,000 for 2017!