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.

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