What we spent in 2010

**  I often get questions about how I do my monthly roundups and track transactions, so I compiled a sticky post that hopefully sums it all up.**


I have never done an annual wrap. It’s quite an eye opener, isn’t it?

Some thoughts:

- I wish I’d kept track of every item of clothing bought. (Realistically though, I’m far too lazy.) I do know this included at least two skirts, two tops, two pairs casual shoes, runners, sandals, jacket, handbag, dress, boots. T bought new shoes, pants, shorts, some shirts and a jacket (plus possibly a couple other items on his own dime.) This category is actually clothes AND grooming, so also included things like haircuts, skincare, etc.

- Our eating out is basically staying within range, but as always, it could be lower. Y’all know I say this with reluctance, because while some people like to spend on clothes or shoes or gadgets or adventure pursuits, WE LOVE FOOD. I know if this included all his food spending, the total would be horrendous. This year I’d like to see if we can manage on $160 a month, even in milestone months (we go out to dinner, that’s how we celebrate).

Which brings us to entertainment. I calculate at least a third (roughly $850) was spent on concerts (7 tickets. 2 of them we haven’t been to yet!). There was another $300 or so on two more Metallica tickets too, which I onsold. Then BF’s Xbox, and a new cell phone, which brings us up to about the $1700 mark. The rest was little things like trips to Video Ezy, monthly Fatso DVD  subscription, a trip to the cinema every few months, visiting the driving range…and that’s probably the extent of it.

Fees and interest…well, you can see at what point I just decided to pay off the CC and get T to repay me directly.

We have some good weeks and some bad weeks with groceries. That much is obvious. Even in a lean month, it seems $500 would be the absolute lowest we can get by on. We could cut that to some extent if I was prepared to start buying dried beans and lentils and the like, but I’m not. Yet.

Almost half of “gifts and donations” was my dSLR alone. Yep.

Holidays included a fishing trip and road trip (him), some weekends away (us); events included birthdays and anniversaries. Did we get nearly $2000 worth out of those? I’m not sure. I guess it’s hard to gauge over several small, spread out trips. Generally, I don’t think these include gas for trips but do include things like food.

Obviously the big home expenses were moving costs and bond, and replacing our stolen computer and TV. (We did get insurance to pay a large portion via cheque.)

So much for cheap car insurance! We replaced our beater (which I didn’t include in here at all, actually), and shouldered the cost of full insurance. Contents insurance went up this year, too – boo.

Medical costs add up fast, do they not? Most of this was optical (lenses, eye exams, solution) with a few prescriptions and other meds thrown in.

Utilities registered a big blip when we moved. I still rage a little remembering why.

And our transport costs. About $1200 of that is me and my bus fares. Another $1000 or so on maintenance, at least. Perhaps $300 for annual registration. And PETROL. Let’s just say that at practically $2 a litre, $80 for a tank every week does not make a happy financial controller (that would be me.)

I had guessed around $500 for car repairs and maintenance, but we spent more like double that. Hopefully the ongoing costs of our current car will be lower, and even with increased insurance, the peace of mind that accompanies better reliability has so been worth it to date. T puts a lot of ks on the car, so tyres (EXPENSIVE) may not last as long as they otherwise would. What I really need to do is sit down and reassess what we put away each week for irregulars and calculate a new amount for 2011.

Side Income

Earlier in 2010 I set a reach goal of making an extra $4000, outside of my day job.

The total came to $5533, thanks mainly to freelancing, tutoring/editing, as well as focus groups,  gifts and mystery shops.

Which is actually a pretty big number. Where did it go?

I didn’t track exact dollar amounts but about $4000 was saved – I’m talking general savings, my travel fund and a little into our irregulars account. Maybe a little more. The rest was spent on “extras”, like clothes and shoes, contact lenses, the odd gift, an external hard drive.

In terms of mystery shops, I netted $687 in addition to $756 roughly of free stuff (clothes, beauty, food, lotto tickets.) Whee!

PFers, are you doing annual recaps? What on earth possessed me to spend the better part of a day crunching numbers?

9 thoughts on “What we spent in 2010

  1. I started tracking everything to the penny last month and already it’s been pretty eye opening to see where everything is going. Hopefully next year I can post one of these cool snapshots as well. :)

  2. It’s great that you can track so well! Do you use an online program? I use cash only, so I really struggle with tracking, especailly for a year. Hence why I started doing the weekly spending posts. Maybe next year I can do it.

  3. I will def being doing a 2010 year end budget wrap up. I just think it’s facinating to see where all of my money goes, how spending fluxuates from month to month, and just the overall picture.

  4. I’ve never consciously budgeted anything until recently (bad, I know, but at least I’m starting now). Your posts regarding your budget and how you keep track of your money is fascinating to me; it’s a whole world I know next to nothing about. I’m going to take notes from your methods as I figure out the best budgeting habits (and record keeping) for me :)

  5. Holy crap! Groceries are high. I knew that groceries in NZ and Australia is expensive… but that’s… EXPENSIVE. And I know you guys aren’t munching on lobster and filet mignons every night too. Eeep.

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