Today I played around a little with my records of my 2011 spending. Above is a pie chart of where my money went, on average, each month. What are the categories? Let's take a closer look. They're in a fairly random order, since my spreadsheet for 2011 was not all that well organized. Rest assured that the 2012 one makes a bit more sense as a result of my experiment so far.
|2011 average monthly spending ratios|
Overall, I'm pretty okay with this. The majority of my spending was apparently focused on paying off debt, which I'm a fan of. However, during this time I was still putting more charges on the credit card(s), so some of that is masking other spending. It's a slightly convoluted system, and I'll definitely be keeping closer tabs in the future.
The second biggest category was food. Not eating out, but groceries. See previous post; we're working on this.
I did not track wedding expenditures in this form, because
- it would have thrown off all the numbers by quite a bit, and
- it was a one-time cost, and I didn't want to be stressing about it too much.
We had a relatively inexpensive wedding, and it helped my sanity to not be tracking every penny and having to look at that rather large entry. Maybe that was a wrong call, but it's what I did. Consequently, I gave up entirely on tracking during the month of October for during the wedding and honeymoon, so there's a gap in the data. That said, the averages still hold; there's just a dropped month in there.
Of the money I spent, the above bar chart says where it went. But how much of my income actually got spent? For that, I need another section of my spreadsheet. While looking at expenditure ratios wasn't particularly depressing, this was. I figured out what proportion of my income was not spent each month, and plotted that. I'll let the chart tell its own story:
|monthly savings as proportion of income, 2011|
The grand average proportion of income that was not spent in one way or another (rounded to two significant figures): 0.012, or 1.2%. Yikes.
Apparently I particularly fell off the bandwagon in July. What happened in July?
- I got an oil change, which is somewhat expensive since I use full synthetic oil.
- I bought a digital camera for myself and Mr. Geek, just because we didn't have one.
- I spent nearly $300 on groceries just out of my account, and probably more than that from the shared account. We took a trip out of town for Mr. Geek's final fitting for his wedding ensemble, which perhaps ought to be tagged as a wedding expense and removed from the tally, but we took a mini-holiday while we were there so it remained a 'vacation' expense.
- I spent a ridiculous amount on audiobooks that month, since I was still driving my very long commute by myself at that time and needed them to keep awake.
- Finally, I bought a significantly overpriced (but fabulous!) retro swimsuit for a 4th of July pool party, except that it didn't arrive in time anyway.
Ouch! On the plus side, I apparently totally rocked in September. However, it's also possible that I simply failed to record some of my expenses. There are still some bugs in the system.
It's really eye-opening to have all these numbers to play with, and to be able to see trends over time. Hooray for spreadsheets!