Well, we figured there’s no better way to get to know somebody than to see exactly what they’re spending their hard-earned money on…so here we go!
Paradise Family spending in 2015
We use Mint.com to track all of our monthly spending. Another great option is Personal Capital. These are free services that you can connect up to your bank account and have them automatically record your spending. The bar chart shows our total spending each month in 2015. We excluded our mortgage down payment and closing costs for our house, but rent (through August) and mortgage (Sept – Dec) are included. Here’s a couple of breakdowns of the different spending categories:
Most of our $’s went to rent and mortgage. Thankfully about $1600 of that went to home equity1. Our total mortgage / rent was $15,083, with the rest of the “Home” category made up of insurance ($1,079), a brand new mattress ($900 – ouch, not that frugal), mortgage application and other misc. fees ($800), a security system after Mrs. Paradise freaked out about the neighboring house being vandalized ($760), TWO home inspections ($750 – blarg), and, you know, all that “stuff” you “need” when you buy your first house. After excluding mortgage and rent, our 2015 spending was a grand total of $37,5032.
The case for a little back-up money…
Now, you might be wondering what kind of food we are feeding our two cats that we spent 22.5% of our non-housing spending on “Pets”. Our two cats, Cucumber (a.k.a. “the good one”) and Apollo (a.k.a. “stinker”), get treated pretty well, but we aren’t buying them diamond-encrusted collars. Unfortunately, we brought Cucumber in for a regular checkup in August this year and found out she had a mass in her abdomen. This turned out to be a rare form of cancer (hemangiosarcoma) which required surgery and five treatments of chemotherapy. We researched this to pieces to make sure we were doing the right thing for her and not just making things worse. We decided to go ahead with treatment: surgery in August and 15 more vet visits in September – December. We aren’t quite finished with the vet bill (a few more follow up visits needed), but happy to report she is in probable remission and curled up next to me on the couch right now!
When we found out that our little baby was sick, we had to drop about $5k with only a week’s notice. We are extremely grateful that we were able to do this because of the modest emergency fund we keep in our checking account. Personally, I never really thought an emergency fund was that important until we had our first big emergency. Lesson learned (and money well spent).
Ok, something less serious!
The next biggest category was food and dining at $5,748. This includes all groceries, restaurants, and alcohol / bars. For two people, I think we could probably get this down a little bit. Goal for next year?
Our other big category was travel, which included some trips to see the parents, and most awesomely, a two year late honeymoon for the Paradise family! No regrets here. Aloha!