Tracking 2015


Today is Saturday.  Where did the week go?  I am very busy at work so although I have been thinking about my blog that is as far as it went.

Not only is it Saturday, it is Saturday 31st January.  The final day of the first month of 2015.  1/12th of the year gone.  Have you already forgotten what you resolved to do better/differently/more consistently in 2015 already?

BudgetingOne of my goals was to actually track how much we spend.  We have never worked to a real budget – actually allocating a certain $ value to each item/category but we keep careful track of the regular bills – rates/insurances/phone/internet but is the variable spending that is more difficult to calculate.  I do not have a specific amount of money for groceries each week as I tend to bulk shop for dry goods and meat and buy perishable items on a weekly basis.  I need to average my grocery spending over at least 6 months to get a fair and accurate idea of how much we spend.

As I said it is the last day of the month and we have been shopping so there will be no more spending today.  The grand total of our variable spending in January was $5,134.53 – yes, over $5K!  Almost exactly half of that was airfares and accommodation for our Singapore holiday later in the year. So, $2,618.73 looks somewhat better.  This figure includes food, clothes, gifts, hobbies, eating out, entertainment, alcohol, car fuel and maintenance, haircuts, public transport, pets, medical/dental and incidentals.

Apart from the holiday spending which is really a one-off, the categories with the highest spend were food $623 closely followed by public transport $620.  This is really interesting because what finally prompted me to track our spending very carefully was that I wanted to know how much we would need to live a comfortable lifestyle on our terms in our retirement.  Giving up paid work is a few years away yet but it is important to budget for life without regular employment.  We will still need to eat when we are retired but public transport will cease to be an issue as all of that expenditure is related to our lengthy commute to the office.

Do you know how much you spend?  Working or retired?  I would love to hear your comments.

4 thoughts on “Tracking 2015

  1. I have also been doing my sums for the month. We spent $580 on food this month but that will take us through to the end of this week, so Feb will look better I hope. That included cooking for DD’s engagement party. We spent very little extra this month though I did buy 2 beach towels for 1/2 price today at Spotlight. It was good to see a positive result for January.

    • Thanks, Barb. I know I shouldn’t necessarily benchmark myself against others but it is always interesting to hear how others are going. It sounds like you have done pretty well with the food budget considering the party preparation as well. Mine did include 12kg of sultanas (should last a while) as well as a stock up of meat and plenty of other bulk dry goods. My goal is to keep February food to about $200 ($50/week) so it will be interesting to see how I go. 🙂

  2. I have a pretty good budget knowing how much we spend in each category with the exception of food which runs away from us especially when busy. We are three adults and all meat eaters particularly my husband and 21 year old son and our grocery budget includes all of our work lunches as well. My aim is to track grocery spending with the hope that being organised will save me $100 per fn. I have done some bulk buying as items we eat have been on special and have bought meat when marked down so have most of the next four weeks of meat in the freezer only needing to buy a whole rump next weekend and some mince. I only shopped at Aldi for the fortnight yesterday and with going away the last week of February I should catch up then. We have spent $1190 on groceries, laundry items and toiletries for the past three fortnights from Dec 24 saving $129 o the budget. Next month should be more accurate with only two fortnights.

  3. It is interesting to see how everybody works a little differently. I definitely do not shop as a regular fortnightly pattern nor do I track my spending on a fortnightly basis.

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