Last month I reported my expenses for the first time on this blog and true to my word I’ve decided to report them again this month. I think I see why I became a little lazy in tracking my personal expenses; there isn’t much change from month to month. Granted, this is only two months, but it’s also very similar to some of the months I did track my expenses last year. I don’t use a budget, but my December numbers are very similar to November’s. I’m going to track all of my expenses for 2015 so I can account for the random oddball spending that occurs over time, but here is a prediction, my expenses will average out to $1100.00 a month for 2015. Hold me to it guys and gals.
Let’s look at some numbers and then I’ll add my thoughts:
Total spending on food dropped, but still makes up a large amount of my total monthly spending as you will see in a moment. For the month of Dec. my spending on food basically transitioned from eating out to eating at home. I think in Jan. I will see a noticeable drop on food expenditures. Since I had been eating out most of the time my pantry was pretty bare and there were several things I needed to buy over the course of the month to allow me to cook at home more often. Things like sugar, spices, flour, oils etc. that aren’t on the shopping list every week. Now I have a fully stocked pantry going in to Jan. as well as a freezer full of meals that would last me for 2-3 weeks if I didn’t cook at all. I do a lot of cooking with the slow cooker this time of year and each time I made something I would freeze a portion of it. This means I have an assortment of chili, potato soup, vegetable soup, chicken noodle soup, and stews on hand and ready for easy prep. This has worked really well for me, as it’s super easy to thaw one of the meals, heat it up and enjoy a meal with very little effort. Having a variety of things already prepared means I don’t get bored with what’s available.
The electric/gas bill went up last month which corresponds to the arrival of winter and firing up the gas furnace. This will be elevated through February.
Gift expenditures were for the holidays. Not much else to so say on this one.
Everything else was about the same. In the shopping category I purchased some thermal underwear, books, and a travel mug. Books made up just under half of the amount reported. I could probably report my book purchases under entertainment as I typically buy 2-3 books a month and it really is my main mode of entertainment. What can I say, I’ve always been a reader since childhood. I blame on it on my aunt. She would always read to me when I was a kid and I loved it. The lesson here is don’t read to your kids or they may grow up to develop a nasty reading habit! 🙂
As you can see food continues to dominate my total expenditures which I feel is a bit absurd. We shall see how Jan. shapes up. Total spending wasn’t much different from last month even with the additional money for electric/gas and gifts. So here is a question for you, not only how it applies to my life, but yours as well; would increasing or decreasing spending improve my quality of life? And when I say improve I mean a lasting improvement. Sure, I could increase my spending in the shopping department and perhaps buy some gadgets that might give me a temporary spike in enjoyment and then fade, necessitating yet another purchase to maintain that feeling. I’ve been down that road and I can say from experience, it doesn’t lead to a “good life”. You probably know where I stand on this topic, but I’m curious if there is perhaps areas that would substantially improve my enjoyment of life if I were to spend more money. Looking forward to your thoughts.