Showing posts with label yearly total. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yearly total. Show all posts

How We Spent Our Money in 2012


One of my favorite websites, Mint.com makes evaluating your expenses much simpler at the end of the year. They actually have a pretty good app for smartphones too which I check everyday to make sure no one stole my identity, or money. One of my other favorite websites, Mr Money Mustache has posted his yearly spending so I feel compelled to also drop our drawers and lay it all out there.
 
I thought it would be interesting to see where all our money went last year and what opportunities there are for improvement this coming year. You might not really care what we spend, but you're probably nosy and will continue to read and see how you compare to us, a couple of cheap asses who recycle plastic baggies (not really). I think this may be a useful exercise to see where our money goes and to try to manage it so that when we retire we'll be able to fully enjoy ourselves on a limited budget. We learned a long time ago how fun it is to not have a car payment. And we learned a few years ago how fun it is to not have a house payment. And we learned last year how fun it is to not have to pay for food, gas or household products. So, just there we have three categories of expenses that have just went poooffff! up the air, gone to heaven and hopefully, never be seen again.
 
As you recall, we did a pretty extensive remodel of our home including all three bedrooms, dining room, living room and office. This ended up being our largest expense of the year and its worth every dime. Now our home is totally renovated and modern, and we're on our way to a clean, uncluttered existence as we sort through the outcast stuff we still have in our "green" room or the stockpile room.
 
Anyway, listed here are our largest expense categories of the year.
 
1. Home (Insurance, taxes, remodel, furnishings, appliances) $13,291
This was by far our biggest expense even though we have no mortgage or loans. The taxes $1000 and insurance $2500 are pretty much out of our control so that is a fixed expense. The remodel and new furnishings were a one time expense we  don't anticipate this again, although there are other projects on the horizon in years to come such as a new roof, fenced yard and we expect a new A/C unit will be needed someday since ours is over fifteen years old. However, we paid for everything and expect next years home expenses to be less than a third of what they were. There are opportunities to repair rather than replace, and preserve what we have so it lasts longer. My goal for 2013 is to spend less than $5000 for the year on this category.
 
2. Utilities (mobile phones, internet, TV, electric, water, garbage) $6,056
We are generally frugal in our use of utilities such as water, electricity and try to recycle to minimize garbage. I've unplugged one dorm size refrigerator and hope to empty our small freezer so we can unplug that as well. That leaves two full size refrigerators and a kegerator sucking down electricity at a high rate. In the warm weather, I unplug and drain the hot tub since we use the pool. Likewise in the cool weather I run the pool filter pump less hours per day since we don't swim in it for half the year (although the dog does - every day!) I was hoping to decrease our TV/Internet expense when our contract was up, but that didn't turn out and I feel fortunate to pay the same rate for another two years. Maybe by then DH can be weaned off cable and we can subsist on online streaming of sports events and TV programs. I'm looking to cutting our cell phone costs in half this year as I combine my smartphone with DH's account at only $40 a line unlimited everything. We are both eligible to upgrade our phones, but the frugal thing is to just keep them both as is. So there is definitely opportunity to cut expenses in this category, so my goal this year is to spend less than $5000 in this category as well.
 
3. Allowances $6000
DH and I each get an allowance monthly to pay for stuff that is not a household expense.This category would also include going out to restaurants which we only do a couple times a year - except for the Firehouse where we go regularly for wings and beer. These optional expenses like beer, cigarettes, going out to eat, massages, extravagent unnecessary expenses (Ipad, extra computers, music) are paid for with cash from our allowance. We both save a significant portion of our allowance being the frugal spenders we are. DH used to spend a good portion of his allowance on driving a race car and I purchased computers and photography equipment. If we decide to do something extravagent that the house "can't afford" we both chip in from our allowance. This category will stay the same next year.
 
4. Auto & Motorcycle (insurance, maintenance, gasoline) $4,126
Our two old cars and two newer motorcycles are very expensive to insure in this state of Florida where almost half the drivers do not carry insurance, and I'm sure a good portion of them are driving on suspended licenses as well. It is dangerous and therefore we have probably excessive insurance compared to most people. But after DH was struck by an uninsured driver in 2010 and we received a nice settlement from our own insurance, we feel safer on the roads having sufficient insurance. But this is one area we can still cut back on insurance with the red truck since it sits in the driveway the majority of its life, and its the biggest boxiest safest vehicle we have. Of our auto expenses, over half is insurance $2470, $1657 was maintenance on all four vehicles. I've made a note to mention $1722 for gasoline even though this was paid for with gift cards we got at Publix from overage, and yard sale proceeds. So the opportunity here is to cut insurance a little and to ride my bike more this year, so this year we can spend less than $4000 in this category.
 
5. Travel $3,384
This category has suffered since we have been remodeling. Now that our home is updated, we plan to resume frequent travel. We already have booked a nice seven day cruise to the Virgin Islands this spring, and plan to book another for Fall 2013, in addition to our annual trip up North to visit our families. We have let all our season tickets to NASCAR races go unrenewed and we may attend these types of events at most once a year. I actually desire to travel to places I haven't been to before, or places I traveled to as a child. I would love to visit San Francisco, Hawaii, Yellowstone National Park, Colorado and Canada. We're actually in a holding pattern for extended long trips as long as we have our old dog. When she passes in a few years, we'll be able to take longer trips overseas without having to worry about finding a caretaker for her. So this year, I would expect this category to at least double, if not approach $10,000.
 
6. Shopping $2,793
Amazon is the death of me. It is way to easy to shop online and it shows up here in this category. We have way to many clothes and shoes and could easily go years without purchasing anything to wear. I see this category as an opportunity to cut in half to about $1400.
 
7. Health (Rx, copays, insurance) $1,722
This category just increased this year because of our Governor, for the first time in ten years we were required to pay health insurance premiums. I hope to just maintain the cost of this category in the future, not much hope of decreasing it until I hit menopause or quit having sex, and can quit going to the doctor for those little pills.
 
8. Entertainment (Busch Gardens, Concerts) $1,656
This category is actually not very much of our budget and I hope to be able to maintain that amount this year. We do go to a lot of free festivals and inexpensive concerts to keep this cost down. Actually, since we used to work concert events we have seen almost every performer we care to see and the cost is often not worth it if we've seen it. We did splurge and buy good tickets for an upcoming Lady Gaga concert this spring.
 
9. Pet $695
The love, companionship and protection we receive in exchange for vet bills and medications is worth the cost for our dog. Dog food and treats are paid for with overage at Publix so this is actually less than most pay for a pet. If we keep this expense under $1000, that would be good. In the future this expense will go away when the dog dies.
 
10. Personal Care $249
This category is probably low since DH pays for his haircuts with cash and takes out the money when he gets his allowance. So it really should be double, closed to $500 for hair cuts and perms. It helps being low maintenance people - no manicures, hair color, no pedicures or expensive massages. All that individual stuff comes out of allowance anyway, it is not considered a household expense.
 
The missing category -  Food & Beer
This category is one where we have eliminated the expense by using coupons and shopping the sales. We buy stuff we don't need, to use the overage to get what we need. We actually made $803 last year, spending $2951 in cash and gift cards to purchase $32,729 worth of products (including $3755 in gift cards and gas cards). The cash used in shops was proceeds from yard sales selling our stockpile from couponing. We also use the cash to pay for our beer kegs, and extra spending money when we travel.
 
So, in summary our goal for the upcoming year is to cut our spending by 10% overall.
 
How did you do?

 

2012 Yearly Shopping Totals


This is complicated calculating yearly totals since there are so many factors that everyone uses differently. My yearly totals include all household products that are consumed, including gasoline for the vehicles. I pretty much only shop at Publix, I went to Sweetbay three times and Winn Dixie twice. I did not shop at CVS, Walgreens, or Target. Using manufacturer, store and competitor coupons matched with sales and occasional rainchecks we were able to get all our household products essentially free this past year.
  • We had 444 transactions and purchased $32,729 worth of products and gift cards.
  • Of that amount purchased; $3755 was gift cards ($1005 Publix, $2750 gas cards).
  • Total spending was $2951, for a profit of $803 in gift cards plus all the product was essentially free. 
  • On average, we spent $245 a month to purchase an average of $2727 worth of product.
  • The largest transaction was $179 spent for $384 worth of product including $200 in gas cards.
  • This does not include rebates and gift card offers received - I didn't track those.
You may notice we purchased a lot of product. We consume a normal amount of product and have stockpiles of paper goods and non expiring products to last years.  With food and products that expire, we determine our usage and purchase enough to have through expiration. If items are free or very cheap (less than $0.25 ea) we will buy to get our totals up to use a $/$$ coupon, or to use up the coupons I have. We donate a lot of product, and also have a yard sale to move any products that are extra and we cannot consume before they expire. The cash we earn from the sale goes into my coupon envelope and is used when we need to get gas cards, so the months with lots of cash spent - it is yard sale money. We are still learning how to manage a stockpile and determine what is appropriate amounts to keep. It is very frustrating to sell extra laundry detergent at a yard sale, and then the good deals disappear and we come perilously close to running out of a household item. 

TYD totals JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
 $   1,925.47 cash spent  $ 546.48  $     (3.28)  $     (23.34)  $     438.88  $      (4.65)  $    219.26
 $   1,025.82 GC spent  $   97.14  $   136.30  $      75.24  $     121.32  $     92.96  $      76.04
 $   2,951.29 Total Spent  $ 643.62  $   133.02  $      51.90  $     560.20  $     88.31  $    295.30
32,729.70 Value of Goods 4,322.47  $2,729.67  $ 2,534.65  $  3,856.14  $ 2,458.57  $ 3,212.34
$3,755.00 GC purchased 890.00 270.00 145.00 910.00 65.00 520.00
$803.71<---earnings 750 Gas 50 Gas 750 Gas 400 Gas








JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR AVG
 $     (42.62)  $      1.32  $     (5.04)  $   562.52  $      42.07  $   193.87  $   160.46
 $      83.84  $     33.57  $     55.93  $     32.98  $    108.04  $   112.46  $     85.49
 $      41.22  $     34.89  $     50.89  $   595.50  $    150.11  $   306.33  $   245.94
 $  2,366.35  $1,308.27  $2,529.04  $ 3,323.63  $ 1,860.68  $2,227.89  $2,727.48
10.00 0.00 0.00 705.00 0.00 240.00 $1,005.00 Pulbix CG
700 Gas 100 gas 2750 Gas CG







 
There were a lot of coupon policy changes in 2012 and a lot of the usual coupon offerings dried up - Publix booklets weren't as good, MQs are smaller value, and limits on usage make it tougher. I expect it to continue to be a challenge in the future. It does seem that empty shelves aren't a problem as much now and there are less opportunities for rainchecks. We have had to decrease the size of our orders and increase the number of transactions to take most advantage of the $/$$ coupons. My goal with every shop is to pay less than a dollar. I don't really like to have my orders go negative and have them pay me. It does happen occasionally, but I don't plan it that way. I spend my overage on non coupon items. One advantage of frequent transactions is that you are in the store almost every day and usually get the coupon booklets before they are gone, or you can ask CS each time you're in the store and get the amount you need.
 
My strategies for the upcoming year - continue multiple Sunday newspaper subscriptions, multiple computers to print coupons, frequent smaller transactions, review forums for deal ideas, use GroceryTracker app for planning each shop.
 
Hoping for good coupon karma in the upcoming year!
 
 

Yearly Totals 2010

This was my second year of couponing and it is finally coming together. When I first started saving with coupons, I bought lots of the processed foods and then subsequently gained weight. Then I stockpiled too much and stuff would expire before I could use it. Then I would under estimate how much we consume in our regular lifestyle and actually have to pay full price for something, while waiting for it to go on sale again. But in the final analysis, I did awesome and hope to do the same in 2011. My goals are to use rainchecks more to my advantage to even out the pantry stock and pick up more product after its been restocked in the stores.
 
I'm had a terrible time trying to find those Clorox wipes that were free after coupons because the stores were bare. I also can't seem to find the Centrum vitamins at any stores. Anyway, I've got my rainchecks. So, here's how I did this year. My DH has been an invaluable resource and coupon helper. It really helps to have support in doing this activity - from getting booklets, clipping coupons, counting items in the cart, doing the high math in the store aisle to make sure my overage is accounted for, and encouraging me to get stuff we don't need because it makes us money.
 
And we did make money on our grocery and household supplies shopping this year, about $263. That's right. We spent $1,496 on products and this included $1,760 in Publix and BP gas cards, and products valued at $14,278. We saved 89% ($12,782) on our products and food. I was kind of shocked to see these totals, but after summarizing our 253 trips to the store to get yearly totals, it was amazing to see. I would encourage everyone to keep a yearly savings log of all your receipts to help you manage your savings.
 
Prior to couponing, we used to spend $5000 a year on groceries - so that money goes to savings and travel now. I just hope after seeing shows like the Extreme Couponing episode on TLC, that our world of savings isn't revealed too much. I'm noticing more and more couponers and there's only so much product the stores have to sell.

Great News at Publix

Last night we went on our weekly grocery trip, and spent $4.04 to save $123.96 for a really great shop. There was the usual stacking of Publix coupons (PQ) with manufacturer (MQ) coupons with the buy one get one (BOGO) deals. But the icing on the cake is that Publix has decided to accept Walgreens issued MQ's called Register Rewards (RR). These coupons are indeed manufacturer coupons that state that on top, they have an expiration date, they have a scanable UPC code that begins with 5 (like all MQ's), and a redeem at address where they can send it to redeem for the cost plus 8 cents. I would recommend you bring your RR to Publix and confirm with the store manager that they now accept RR for purchases and you will notice the difference in your grocery bill.
 
So far this year we have spent $140 on groceries and household supplies to get $1073 in products.

My First Shop of 2010

Last night we went to Publix for our first grocery shop of the new year. We don't really need much since we're trying to use up our stockpile, as I talked about in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge but we do need to get a few produce and dairy items. You probably didn't notice that I didn't post new year resolutions, but I didn't. I don't really feel ready to do that yet. I have been thinking about goals though, and have decided my frugal shopping goal is to spend less than $1000 this year at the grocery store. This would work out to an average of $19.23 per week, or about $77 a month. This is a huge stretch goal because in the past our groceries were our second highest household expense at about $4000 a year. Basically, we are going to try to cut our grocery budget by 75% using coupons, stockpiling stuff on sale, and shopping the BOGO deals at Publix.
 
So back to our trip yesterday to Publix. I felt unprepared for the shop, and was printing and cutting out Target coupons to stack with the MQ's on Special K Cereal because I didn't remember that Target had some matches. I was relying too much on the blogs to outline the deals, and they missed some key coupons that I had (like BOGO MQ on the Special K cereal to match with the BOGO sale, so all boxes were free). I need to increase my awareness of what coupons are out there and what I have. I also didn't preplan the purchases on a spreadsheet (which I've never done) but this would have saved me more money. I had extra $5 off $50 coupons but only used one, when I could have thrown the other one in since our total was over $145 before coupons. I had two expired store coupons from last months flyer, and had to tear out two new ones from the Green Advantage Flyer. I also made the mistake of not splitting the order so that I used less than 50 coupons.  Also the last coupons (the stacking Target Q) confused the clerk and she called over the manager to approve. Then at the bottom of the pile finally, they start beeping because I have too many coupons. I also had more coupons than items in my cart which requires manager override too. I don't mind doing this but the store was "alive at five" and the line behind me was getting impatient. I told the girl that I'll use them next time. So these mistakes cost me about $7. At the end of the transaction the total was $27 and the savings were $135, for 84% savings. So, the $27 is more than the budgeted amount per week of $19. If I had planned my shop better I would have come in about $20, only $1 over budget.
 
I'm not really fond of having grocery shopping become a mathematical worksheet, but I suppose why not. After all, its one of our biggest expenses of the household. Its actually amazing how so many people just don't make the time or effort to use coupons to save hundreds of dollars every month. I can save more money using coupons than I could make in a part time job. Maybe I should just quit my day job and become a professional grocery shopper. I could just split the savings with the people. It would pay me and they would spend less on groceries. Think that would work? Who wants to sign up?