A financial blog is not a financial blog without some transparency with how we spend our money. Because of that, I have run the numbers on our spending in 2018. This includes every dollar spent except for deposits on wedding things (we are getting married this year) because we budget separately for the wedding.
Total spend = $24, 501.80
This is by far the largest category of spending for us. This includes our mortgage payment (about $20, 000), strata fees and council rates – everything it costs us to have a roof over our heads. This doesn’t include additional payments we make towards our mortgage as we consider that to be saving (and also we are pretty bad at tracking it because the money sits in the offset account).
Total spend = $5,422.18
This works out to be about $105 per week which is pretty good, considering our budget in 2018 was $110/week. However, in 2019 we have decreased that budget to $100/week. I know that this is very achievable and we’re already off to a great start in the first few weeks (we’ve been sick and unable to eat, great for the budget).
This number is a little higher than it may be otherwise because we very rarely eat out and also like to indulge occasionally with soft cheeses and deli olives. Particularly in 2018, when we had a lot of “celebratory” meals when Mr Millennial finished his thesis, graduated from uni, got his first job interview and got a job. We also include meals that we cook when we entertain in our grocery budget.
Total spend = $3,405.86
This includes our spending on electricity, gas, water and our contents insurance (because I wasn’t sure what other category to put it in).
Our electricity bills did reach a peak in 2018, but we then managed to cut them down significantly, which I will talk about in a future post. Other bills were fairly predictable and overall we did ok, but adding it all together like this is a little confronting.
Total spend = $2,394.84
At the end of 2017, we bought a new (to us) car, after having too many mechanical issues with our old car. This new car was only 2.5 years old and worth more than any previous car either of us have owned. Because of this, we now have comprehensive insurance, along with the usual green slip and rego costs. We also needed to get four new tyres for the car this year. Fortunately, we share a car, so this total cost is much less than it otherwise would be.
Total spend = $1,878.63
This category was a little more difficult for me to calculate because halfway through the year we changed how we budget for this. Before Mr Millennial started his job, my income was used to cover all our expenses. I set aside a little Splurge budget for myself each fortnight and Mr Millennial used his savings for anything he wanted to splurge on. After he started working, we now split our expenses, have shared splurge and shared savings. So my total here includes my splurge from the start of the year and our combined splurge for the end of the year. The true value including his splurging from the start of the year is probably closer to $2000.
For me, Splurge includes buying make up products, making donations to charities, buying takeaway food or coffee and any money we spend out such as going to the movies. I’m comfortable with this amount of Splurge spending.
Total spend: $1,865.23
This includes money that both of us have spent on public transport as well as money for petrol. Mr Millennial takes the train to work every day so $900 of this is his public transport costs from the second half of the year. I take the train very rarely although I have had to go into uni a few times this year for courses I have completed. Most days I walk to work, which keeps our petrol costs low. We did go on one holiday in 2018 and lots of visits to friends and family which would have boosted the spending in this category.
Total spending: $1,638.36
This amount looks huge but it includes $1300 of dental work for me including four fillings and a special CT of my mouth. In 2019, I’m going to spend even more on dental work as I need to have all of my wisdom teeth removed.
Mr Millennial has also had a lot of health expenses in 2018 due to a specialist visit and some medications he needs to take. In 2019, it looks as if this will be growing as well.
Electronic entertainment costs
Total spend: $1,598.21
This category includes our internet costs, Netflix subscriptions and our mobile phone costs. Again, this only includes Mr Millennial’s spending from the second half of the year after we combined finances.
We pay $60 per month for our internet through Exetel. We often purchase Netflix gift cards when they are on sale or have additional rewards points at the supermarket.
My phone bill used to be $30/month through Telstra (we both need to be with the Telstra network due to our home not getting reception with anyone else) but I’ve recently changed to Boost so I can reduce my bill to $20/month. I am possibly the only millennial who is still on prepaid but I don’t need much data on my phone – I mainly use it at home where I have WiFi so I just need data for things like navigating.
Mr Millennial uses more data than me as he uses his phone on the train and hot spots for me when we are on holidays. He is with Telstra and pays around $40/month. We’re currently looking into ways to reduce this.
Total spending: $1,565.92
I have to say that I am shocked at how much money we spent on gifts in 2018. I personally hate receiving gifts and Mr Millennial usually doesn’t like surprises but we love buying gifts for our friends and family.
In 2018, my sister moved out for the first time and I spent a fair bit of money on her housewarming present. Mr Millennial’s sister had a baby, our first niece, which meant that we had an extra family member to buy for. Mr Millennial also bought more gifts for his family as he started working full time.
We don’t buy each other presents for birthdays, Christmas or anniversaries, although if we go out to dinner for one of our birthdays we sometimes budget this as a present spend.
In 2019, my friends and I have made an agreement not to buy each other any presents, but to focus on being able to spend more time together. Perhaps this will cut down our gift spending in 2019 (although Mr Millennial’s sister is due to have another baby in July!)
Total spend: $595.83
Half of this was Mr Millennial establishing his work wardrobe and buying some nice collared shirts, work pants and nice shoes/belts. The other half was me making some updates to my wardrobe including throwing out lots of falling apart shoes and underwear and replacing them. Hopefully this number will be smaller next year.
Total spend: $427.41
We’ve only been living here for 2 years so there are still some things we are needing to buy (some glasses, a ladle, the occasional cook book) and we are still establishing our veggie patch. I have also spent some money on buying baking things and nice candles to make our house smell fruity.
2018 total spend: $45,294.30
Overall, this number is a little larger than I would like it to be. Ideally, we should be spending about $40,000 per year. Unfortunately, due to health costs, I don’t think this number is going to decrease in 2019 (and that’s without factoring in the wedding), but things should start to look up in 2020.
Here is the budget breakdown as a pie chart:
Overwhelmingly, housing costs are our largest cost and I expect that to continue until we pay off the mortgage. Ideally, in 2019 we will see a reduction in groceries, splurge, gifts and clothing. Although I also expect to see increases in transport (because Mr Millennial will be commuting to work for the whole year) and health costs.
See if you can add up all your spending for 2018 and make some goals for 2019!