Projected Spending For 2015

In November I  revealed my spending for perhaps the fist time on this blog and followed that up with Decembers spending as well.  I plan to continue this for all of 2015 so I can determine what my spending levels are based on the lifestyle I have chosen to live. I was a little lazy last year in tracking my spending, but I want to get back into the habit of it so I can better measure what I hope will be some financial progress in 2015.  Having this information will be vital in determining how much and of what type of work I need to do, as well as give me a target for hitting financial independence (FI).

For 2015 I’m expecting my total personal expenditures to come in at $9584.00  Here is the breakdown of how that spending will be divided up, with totals representing yearly amounts:

  • Food– As troubling as I find it to be, feeding myself is projected to be the most expensive of my combined behaviors, even more so than housing myself.  I know that because my housing expenses are so low it makes the other categories look higher, but it still makes me feel like a glutton that I spend so much on eating.:-(  Under this category I include groceries, eating out and alcohol.  Things like toiletries and household products are listed separately. Total: $3000.
  • Housing– Housing costs include electric/gas, water, internet, insurance, and taxes.  The only thing I haven’t included here is maintenance, but since I’ve basically turned this place into a new house, I don’t anticipate this being very high.  Total: $2708.28.
  • Transportation– Transportation costs include insurance on both my vehicle and my motorcycle.  This is an area that will likely see some changes as I’m going to report my transportation expenses to reflect the use of my vehicle for work as well as my plans to sell my motorcycle in the spring.  When these changes occur I will list them under the monthly spending updates. Total: $1836.00
  • Shopping– This is a catch all for the various things I buy.  The single largest item is likely to be books because, well, that’s my thing.  I’ll try to do a better job of reporting the actual items that are included here in the monthly updates.  Total: $900.00
  • Entertainment: Usually a Red Box movie or a trip to an actual movie theater.  Entertainment is usually what we decide to do with our leisure time and for me that is reading, which shows up under shopping expenses and for the most part is quite inexpensive.  Total: $480.00
  • Laundry– Since I have yet to finish the utility room, I take my clothing in and have it cleaned for me.  This is usually $2o.00 monthly for a total of: $240.00
  • Personal Care– I need you to sit down for this.  Are you ready?  The Stoic is a pretty low maintenance dude.  I know, with my writing you probably were expecting something very different, but it’s true. 🙂 With deepening wrinkles around my eyes and more white showing up in my beard on what seems like a monthly basis, my days of vanity are long behind me. Besides the basics, like toothpaste, deodorant, contact solution, and the occasional over-the-counter meds this category is relatively small.  Total: $240.00
  • Household– Items such as toilet paper, dish soap, candles, etc. Total: $180.00 

I don’t think I will come in at exactly this amount because there may be a couple of unaccounted for expenses.  However, I do expect the spending in each category to be very close. Even with unplanned expenses my total spending should stay below $13,000.  I can live with that.

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11 thoughts on “Projected Spending For 2015

  1. Everything looks pretty good, SI. Have you ever considered breaking down the actual groceries from eating out and alcohol? That might give you a better idea of where you’d want to cut if you feel like that ‘s a bit of a gluttonish number.

    • Excellent suggestion. Even though I haven’t included them here, in my posts on Nov. and Dec spending I do show the breakdown of each category. There is plenty of room for improvement.

      On a side note,I stepped on the scale yesterday and was instantly depressed by the number I saw. This has motivated me to get back in shape and will likely make a huge difference in my monthly food expenditures. I’ll keep things updated as the year progresses.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • We made a pretty big push to eat healthier last year and I was surprised to see that our grocery bill actually went up. All of those fresh fruits and vegetables add up.

      • I think part of my problem is the enjoyment I get from cooking and always finding recipes that require a trip to the grocery to pick up various ingredients. Things are looking good though and this month is trending down as well so I’m thinking I should see progress.

      • LOL, I hear ya there. 🙂 Eating whole foods at home is a terrific way to save cash and get in shape. 🙂

  2. You may have already answered on a previous post but I was curious. When I matched up budgets with my own, and granted I have a family, you have no health insurance or life insurance? I wouldn’t have life insurance if I were single but I would have health insurance.

    Also, do you not plan for non-monthly expenditures like vacations, vehicle maintenance, etc.? Or do you just call it unplanned and know something may come up? Thanks! Budget looks very spartan and I congratulate you on that.

    • Thanks for stopping by and for the great questions. Dividend Mantra asked something similar in my Dec. spending update. Up until this month I didn’t have health insurance, as I had always been covered by an employer plan. Just last week I signed up for my own plan though (long overdue). However, you won’t see this in my monthly spending updates. Since I can deduct my premium from my self-employment income, I count it in my business accounting and not my personal budget. If you’re curious the premium is $205 monthly.

      I’m not married and have no children so life insurance is not something I really need.

      I turn 40 this year and I may take a little trip around that time. This is part of the unplanned for expenses that I mentioned. Other things I will account for as they arise.

      As far as the budget being “Spartan”, well, I take that as a compliment. 🙂 This isn’t something that has happened over night. I’ve gradually designed my life to allow me great flexibility with my time and keeping my expenses reasonable is part of that design. What’s interesting is that I don’t feel “deprived” or that I’m missing something. Quite the contrary, I feel that I have full control of my time and have many indulgences. Part of this is a mental outlook though. I’ve cultivated an approach of gratitude for what I have and how much I would miss it if It were gone. This keeps me content with what I have and less worried about what I would like to have. It’s still very much and evolving experiment in living well.

      • Stoic,

        Solid budget plan here. I’d be willing to bet you go over, as this doesn’t include any incidentals, which seem to pop up from time to time for us all. But, like you said, spending under $13,000 is still extremely frugal.

        However, I don’t agree with the fact that you’re not listing health insurance up there. It’s your budget, so you can really list it however you want. But taking a deduction doesn’t mean it’s free. You’re still spending the majority of that $205 premium. Not including it makes it look like you’re spending a lot less than you really are, when it’s not the case. If you look at it like a business expense, you could stretch that out across your whole budget. Don’t include your housing because you deduct office space. Don’t include food because you eat lunch “on the job”. That’s a slippery slope to just start cutting out expenses and skewing the budget. I personally show everything as true cash flow in and out. If I were to cut things like that out, I’d be doing my readers a disservice and not showing true cash flow. Just my thoughts!

        Keep up the great work.

        Best regards.

      • DM,

        I really appreciate your thoughts on this. Truthfully, I’m not sure how I should I go about reporting these expenses. Self-employment is a new venture for me and I’m still learning how I “should” report expenses when it comes to some personal expenses that aren’t usually deducted when traditionally employed. My initial plan was to keep anything that was deductible as a business related expense and to keep everything else as personal living expenses. My intent was certainly not to mislead readers into thinking my personal expenses were artificially low, but to show the advantage that working for yourself provides.

        I do agree with you that a deduction doesn’t equal free. If you can avoid the expense it’s usually best to do so. That said, I do think there should be a way of showing the relationship between how working for yourself can benefit your personal finances, which combined with flexibility with my time is the main reason I chose this route. I look forward to hearing any additional thoughts you might have as well as those from other readers on the subject.

  3. I’m just wondering, have you included gas money in the transportation cost? I know gas price is cheap right now, but it may add up.

    Food cost is very high in my household too, and I think it’s the same for many, so don’t feel bad:) I do notice that even when we try to cook at home more often instead of going out, the cost doesn’t change by much. Part of the issue is me trying to buy more ingredients to try out recipes, like you said, and end up with a huge kitchen stock of different spices, baking supplies and sauces. Now I need to look into the pantry first before going shopping, to make sure I use what I already have.

    • Gas has definitely been cheaper over the past few months. It’s been great!

      I own two different vehicles right now. One is a personal vehicle and the other is a work vehicle I purchased this year. I primarily use my work vehicle so I use very little fuel in the other one . This will change this year as I plan on selling the Saturn and splitting the usage between personal and work.

      Using what food I have is certainly going to be a must going forward. I’m comfortable enough these days to be able to combine ingredients as I see fit to come up with a pleasing dish. Time to use my own creativity in the kitchen instead of someone else’s. 🙂

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