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Archive for December, 2013

2013 Year End Review - Real Numbers

January 1st, 2014 at 02:18 am

Category Amount
Home $17,886
Food $14,951
Credit Cards $11,879
Shopping $10,601
Car $8,275
Student Loan $7,991
Brother $4,800
Health Ins $4,183
Utilities $2,555
Pets $2,152
Personal Care $1,867
Travel $1,063
Spent Total $88,203
Savings $35,698
Taxes paid $33,842

Retirement Savings 23.36%
Total Savings 41.29%

Amount spent in 2013 on obligations that don't continue = $25,556. This includes the brother category (money given over the year for transitioning to his own), credit cards, student loan and about $900 of health insurance expense because my new premiums are much lower.

1st category to explain is shopping. Way more vague than many people may like but includes most non-food household items and $6000 in big ticket, one-time purchases. As I am not particularly concerned about this category at this time, I feel no need to break it down further.

Personal care can be translated as massage and hair cuts. Travel is low because it only includes air fare, hotels and airport parking and we did mostly day trips this year.

Now the category I have been avoiding, Food. See that awful number up there? That is why my big project for 2014 is going to be averaging under $900 per month by year end. For the curious, I started this goal in December and came in at $805 for the month. Hold the applause though, my goal is to get that consistent and one month does not a pattern make. I managed low numbers at the beginning of last year as well and we had already sprung back up to $1400 per month by the time I decided to cut it again.

I use gross income not net for calculating the savings rates since we have pre-tax and post-tax savings. Total savings includes debt payoffs and disappearing obligations as this money is freed up for savings goals.

Cash Poor at the Moment, 2014 Goals Posted

December 10th, 2013 at 02:45 pm

Between paying off the student loan and paying for the large irregular expenses that come with this particular December, I have an upcoming week (a Mon-Thurs period) where we will have less than $500 cash on hand. Youch. Fortunately after that we will return to normal levels almost immediately afterwards but, until then, I will be watching the cashflow like a hawk.

I am actually starting one of my 2014 Goals early because I have completed my 2013 Goals and because starting this one now will help me afford one of my other 2014 Goals. I am going to start cutting our food budget. We currently spend about $1400. I would like that down to $900 monthly on a regular basis by next December. This is really my only low hanging fruit left. While I can definitely do one month of reduced food spending, its the "on a regular basis" part that will be challenging.