Tracking 2015 – July

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We have started the new financial year with plenty of spending but when you look at it over the longer term it is just under the monthly average for 2015.

So, what did we spend our money on?  Unlike some other months, there was no spending on gifts or travel.  The category of ‘House & Garden’ continues to to be where much of our discretionary spending goes.  In July we bought our new desk for the home office and at the end of the month we replaced the microwave which died.  ‘Food’ was almost $700 as we stocked up on supplies in July and petrol was higher as I drove to Brisbane a bit more to spend time with my mother.  We spent $320 on clothing as we ordered several items of knitwear for both GMan and myself.

Budgeting

Here are the totals for the first 7 months of 2015:

January – $5,144.53
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,350.56
April – $2,385.31
May – $5,961.54
June – $2,939.07
July – $3,537.09

You need to remember that this is only our variable spending and does not include mortgage, rates, phone, internet, insurances or any other fixed costs.

The total for the first 7 months is $26,101.59 at an average of $3,729.00 per month.

I am starting to see some patterns emerge and these will be discussed in more detail later in the year.

It is important not to forget the reason for this tracking exercise.  I wanted to see how much we spend and on what so that we could better understand what our actual financial needs would be in our retirement.  Our plans to leave the paid workforce are still a few years away but preparation is a necessary part of that if we are to be able to live according to our means.

Tracking 2015 – The Halfway Mark

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 Well, another financial year is done and dusted.  More importantly, I have reached the halfway mark of tracking our variable spending.

BudgetingHere are the totals so far:

January – $5,144.53
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,350.56
April – $2,385.31
May – $5,961.54
June – $2,939.07

We are halfway through the year and our variable spending is $22,564.50 so far.

As I mentioned in the round-up for May, we began June with GMan buying a new pair of shoes.  Other than that we did not spend anything on clothes or shoes.  We bought Christmas gift for our other daughter so the majority of our Christmas spending is done.

The ‘House & Garden’ category continues to be a substantial portion of our expenses with $367 for repairs to the ride-on mower and $237 on a fancy new garden hose system which arrived yesterday.  There will be more detail about that in a future post.

It will be interesting to see how the second half of the year compares to the first.

Tracking 2015 – May

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Another month over and I have totalled up the spending for May.  It is not a pretty sight.  Almost $6,000 gone this month in variable spending.  Yikes!!

BudgetingHere are the totals so far:

January – $5,144.53
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,350.56
April – $2,385.31
May – $5,961.54

I have amended the figures slightly to include everything that we have spent in the past 5 months – that is variable spending so does not include mortgage, rates, insurances, phone/internet etc.

May was particularly high as we booked and paid for airfares and accommodation in Melbourne at Christmas as well as paying for birthday presents for both daughters and a Christmas gift for one of them.  Since they are both adults earning their own money we generally pay for something special such as an airfare and then buy a small gift to give on the day.  The other category that impacted significantly was ‘House & Garden’ of just over $1,200 which included $860 for the plumber and electrician and installation of a new sump pump for the greywater system.

I thought that we would pull our horns in for June but we started the first day of the month with GMan buying a new pair of shoes for work at $209 since the others could not be repaired.  The other not so good news is that the drive chain broke on the ride-on mower yesterday and we have yet to find out what that will cost to replace.

There are only 29 more days until the end of the financial year and I will be halfway through this tracking exercise which is nothing if not eye-opening.

Tracking 2015 – April

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Over the weekend I finalised the figures for our April spending.

BudgetingHere are the totals so far:

January – $2,628.73
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,320.56
April – $2,384.46

Now that I have 4 months of spending recorded I decided to extrapolate that to a 12 month period and came up with $33,351.72 which is rather high considering that is only our variable expenses and does not include the mortgage, rates, insurances etc.  I then took out the holiday costs and redid my calculations which presented a more realistic figure of $24,832.32 for the year.  Finally, I excluded our public transport costs and our variable spending dropped to $18,340.32 when averaged over the year.  The reason I tried excluding the public transport costs is that these are entirely associated with going to work and would not be relevant in a post-retirement budget.

This is certainly proving to be an interesting exercise to see where the money actually goes.

Tracking 2015 – March

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It is a few days into April and you could be forgiven for thinking that I had forgotten this series.  But no, I am just running a little late.

BudgetingHere are the monthly totals so far:

January – $2,628.73
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,320.56

Well March really blew the averages!  What did we spend our money on?

The blowout in our March spending has highlighted the precise reason why I wanted to track our spending for a whole year.  I knew that our variable spending was very patchy.

One example is the category “Pets/Vet/Registration”.  Our combined total for January and February for this category was $43 yet in March it was $673.  The dog had his annual check-up and annual heartworm medication, we bought 2 large bags of dog food, chicken feed and a fancy chicken feeder which will hopefully save us money in the long run by not allowing other wildlife to access the feed.

2011-12-12 04Food was also higher due due some bulk buying of nuts and dried fruit.

We both bought clothes this month – 2 dresses, a bag and shoes for me and Gman bought 2 new business shirts.

2015-03-21 01One of the cars was serviced and we continue to spend on things to do with house maintenance and developing the garden.

The spending was carefully considered but I certainly would not want to be spending like that every month.

The regular Friday Flashback post will be up this evening.

The More You Spend…………

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……..the more you save!

Spendmoresavemore

It is not a new line but I have been appalled to hear this numerous times on the radio over the past few days.  It is the latest advertising campaign for Harvey Norman.  I cannot remember the exact details but is based on the premise that you get a larger discount if you spend more money.  The examples in the advertisement are over $1000, over $2000 or over $3000 so we are not talking small amounts here.

Harvey Norman 2

I find this type of advertising unethical and just downright wrong.  How many people will get sucked in?

Harvey Norman 3What do you think?