Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Annual Spending Review (because everyone else is doing it)

If you want to be fast, study sprinters.  If you want to be strong, study strong people.  If you want to be rich, study PF bloggers?  Maybe.  The point that I'm trying to make is that I'm unashamedly copying some other PF bloggers out there (namely MMM) and decided to look back at what I spent in 2014 and on what.  It may not be the best representation and I realize there will be some odds and ends that I have to tie up, but 2014 was the first FULL year of using mint and tracking expenses for the old school family.

Here we go.

HOME: $8,788.00.......Per month: $732.33
Out biggest expense was our house next year.  We are probably not alone and I believe most Americans spend the most money in this category.  We went a little house cray cray last year and slowed down after February.  We just have to keep telling ourselves that projects happen over time, not ALL AT ONCE!

I do expect the total $ to go up on home this year, but that will primary be due to the mortgage and not projects (fingers crossed)!

HEALTH AND FITNESS: $8,454.00.......Per month: $704.50
What in the heck did we spend that much money on you may ask?  Well my wife has a chronic illness and we finally figured out what was causing her so much discomfort...took a lot of money to do so, but in the end well worth it!  I had a few teeth that needed worked on (I was born without thirteen, so I have mostly baby teeth still) and we did a lot of diet switches.  I believe we have our diet nailed down pretty well so that shouldn't be a problem.

We do our best to take care of ourselves and this year we are maximizing our FSA's, but you never know what life will throw at you.  Hope we stay healthy in 15'.

FOOD AND DINING: $7,472.00.......Per month: $622.66
So we are going to be cutting down on the diet changes and that will help.  I think that we also need to cut down on going out to eat.  The crazy thing is that I don't feel like we even go out to eat that often, but when you spend $622.00!!! a month on food then obviously that money is going somewhere.  YIKES!  We are going to get this category under control in 2015 no doubt about it.

FEES AND CHARGES: $6,183.00.......Per month: $515.25
We didn't actually pay this in fees and charges, Mint just recognized our credit card as a fee/charge which leads us to...

UNCATEGORIZED: $5,823.00.......Per month: $485.25
Oh boy...well $12,000 in dollars where we don't know where it went...that ain't good!  This year I hope to stop that by staying on top of Mint like a hawk, monitoring the CC, and fixing those uncategorized transactions asap.  (AS a side note, mint takes every transaction, + or -, and puts it into uncategorized.  Some of that money did not get spent on wares or trinkets but investments that weren't recognized.)

SHOPPING: $4,544.00.......Per month: $378.66
Meh.  I don't really shop for a whole lot and neither does my wife.  She is taking a no buy clothes challenge for 2015 so I will be interested to see what happens in this catagory.

AUTO AND TRANSPORT: $4002.00.......Per month: $333.50
Not bad as both of us drive to work.  I look for this number to go up because we car pooled a lot in 2014.  Now that I started working out every morning we can't carpool, but my health and fitness has drastically improved.  Every action has an opposite and equal reaction?  

BILLS AND UTILITIES: $3,338.00.......Per month: $278.16
I'm not for sure if this is great or not.  It is our first year in the house fully, so I will have to compare next year to 2014.  I always turn off the lights, take short showers, and try to turn off and unplug devices we aren't using.  I hope that helps:)

OTHER: $5064.00.......Per month: $422.00
So this is Mint's miscellaneous category I guess.  I looked at some of the transactions and they range from pet food to charity/tithe. 

What did I learn from all this....
I learned that if nothing else the Old School family is still a bit sloppy and undisciplined when it comes to tracking and spending our money and...ok maybe a lot undisciplined...alright we are freakin' slobs now leave me alone:/

Staying on top of all this information, involving my wife, and making good informed purchase decisions will hopefully yield a better result in 2015.  Since we spent over 52k this year I hope to spend under 50k next year.  Even though that may not sound like a great goal you have to start some where and that is where I will start.

Now I have to eat some fish.  I'm starving.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Net Worth Update: December Review + New Year Goals

What up, for the first time in 2015!!!!  Comin' atcha' like a freight train, or maybe like a train wreck, is Old School's breakdown of how December went.

First I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and New Year.  I know in the Old School family we kept it pretty lighthearted and fairly non-consumeristic.  I think that even though we do a good job next year I would like to cut out presents all together from most of my family.  I still want to get my mom and dad something, but as for the siblings, cousins, and grandparents we are done.  I don't mind giving small appreciations of our affection that we make, but I personally don't want to receive any food presents next year.  SERIOUSLY!  I probably ate my weight in candy and chocolate and this is not good for my body at all!


Mint says my net worth is currently...

$ -130,673.77

That is a difference from last month of...

+ $819.23

That is not a huge number, but it is a number that is positive and we are headed once again in the correct direction!

Let's take a look at those accounts shall we...

1. Emergency Fund                  $6,263.21                                                                                                2. Checking                              $179.55
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred  - $463.27
4. Wife's Card                        - $4.99
5. Mortgage                           - $161,259.88
6. Wife's 401k                          $12,363.09
7. My Roth                               $526.32
8. Wife's Car                            $9,222.00
9. My Car                                 $ 2,500.00

Not a ton of movement.  We added some more cash towards our savings goal and are getting close to the 7k mark which is where I want to be.  That will continue to be my goal for my emergency fund until we hit it.  We always invest money every month into our retirement, but the market did dip a bit and we lost a little.  Oh well, good time to buy:)  Life continues and now I will share some goals...


1. Savings: Obviously we are a little closer to our 7k goal in the emergency fund.  Over all I want to be at 10-15k, but one step at a time, eh?

2. IMRF Goal from last month was partially a success.  I found out I have about $800.00 sitting out in no man's land, but I did nothing about it.  I need to dial up my guy (always wanted to say that), and get him to help me with a transfer form to my 403b or my Roth.  I think if I roll it directly over I can avoid paying taxes, so that is the goal currently.

3. Side hustle nation has officially closed its doors for now.  I found it too time consuming and non profitable to buy and re-sell.  I feel like a failure but I also feel good.  Normally my side projects go to complete waste but since I was writing about this and keeping track of numbers I didn't lose any money and managed to spark other ideas for the future and speaking of the future...


Indeed I usually just set monthly goals but now I want to take some time to record yearly goals.  Since this is the first January the Old School blog has seen I figured that it would be a great time to record some yearly goals.  This will help keep me honest and focused throughout the year.

Continuing Education:
There is no place like college to rack up some debt and get an advanced degree!  This year I plan on continuing my education and starting my goal of receiving my masters in human counseling.  This is a long program and could take me up to FIVE YEARS to complete.  So to make it more manageable lets break it down...

1. Get accepted into masters program and apply like crazy for schoolarships, grants, and tuition assictance!

2. Begin to learn another language, probably mandarin.  O.k.  So I stole this one from Financial Samurai.     It seemed like a great goal to have and since I may or may not adopt a child (in the future) who speaks mandarin I would want to be able to speak it as a culture thing.  I also believe the ability to speak mandarin is just plain cool.


1. Pay down the mortgage to $140,000.  I know that we have interest working against us but I am determined to get this monkey off of our backs sooner rather than later.  House debt is our number one anchor and the sooner we are rid of this loan the better.

2. Contribute at least $3600.00 to my 403b and $2600.00 to my wife's 401k.  This is not a lot of money.  This number needs to increase.  However, I wanted to set a goal that we could achieve and I know we can achieve this goal.  Call it a cop out, but everyone needs a win or we get down.  If we reach this goal early we will just set a new one for the rest of the year anyways, so suck it haters;)

3. Don't go overboard on house expenditures: House debt may be our biggest exspence but some times we go overboard on buying things for our house.  We need to take on projects as cash flow allows and not hamper our other goals.  On the other hand we also need to make sure we get some important projects done this year i.e. basement finishing, window well covers, gutter guard, driveway paved, patio finished, trees planted, and garden started.  We should not try to accomplish all of these tasks, but maybe a few for the year would suit us well.  I'll write about this as we do them and give a detailed $ break-down.

4. Use my 1k in my flex spending: I don't have to use all 1k (becuase 500 rolls over), but I do want to make sure I use at least $500.  I think that sometimes I neglect to go to the doctor, but maybe having the money already set aside will encourage me.  This year I will have to visit the doctor, eye doctor, and dentist (at least twice for the dentist:)  I'm sure that $500 shouldn't be a problem.


1. Love my wife and the Lord more: I know that most people with a spouse or who are spiritual probably list this as a goal.  I NEED to list it or it won't get done.  I think that I can achieve this goal by spending more time with both daily.  One feeds from the other and I really want a successful and happy marriage.

2. Read at least 10 non-fiction books.  The best way to improve myself is to obtain more knowledge.  One of the best ways to obtain more knowledge is to read non-fiction books.

3. Run a marathon: Not sure if this is going to happen, but I figured I'd throw it up here and see if it encourages me to do it.

4. Continue this blog for the entire year with at least one post per month: It is going to get pretty hairy soon (especially if I get accepted into the master's program).  I may have school work, coaching, teaching, and house stuff on my plate plus all my other goals.  I don't want to push Old School aside, but when it comes down to it blogging is just a luxury.  Even now my wife is hollering at me to spend some time with her.

I gotta go, but I'll catch all you on the flip side!