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How much did you spend in 2017?

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  • How much did you spend in 2017?

    We have the net worth thread, so how about a total spending thread?  I haven't posted in the net worth thread because I am skeptical that posting your own net worth is helpful to anyone, but I think discussing spending could be interesting.

    In the numbers below, I include total mortgage payments (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance), charitable donations, etc.  Really any cash outflows that are not savings (i.e. the stuff that goes into taxable or 529 accounts) or taxes is below.

    I have three kids under 10 and live in a high cost of living area.

    So here it is for me:

    • 2017 - $128,673

    • 2016 - $128,939

    • 2015 - $125,677


    I don't budget (maybe that's obvious!) or track spending on a regular basis, but at the end of the year, I tally everything up to see how we did.  Was kind of hoping it would go down a bit this year, but hey, at least we're consistent :P . Had a 3 year 0.9% car loan that we paid off this year, so spending had better go down in 2018!

    It's funny, as a kid I used to think you had it made if you were making $100k.  Living where I live with a family would be nearly impossible at $100k.

    How about you guys?  Anyone keeping track?

  • #2
    Curious, how do you keep track (accurate but not too painful)?

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    • #3
      Sure, I have a single checking account.  I download all the transactions once a year (and that day is today).  I have a limited number of things that I pay out of the account (cell bill, cable, credit card, mortgage, utilities, atm, checks, car payments, etc.).  I put everything I can on the credit card, which greatly simplifies the process since it significantly reduces the number of different types of transactions.  I have an Excel file that can sort all the transactions into buckets by category and month for the whole year.  Since setting it up, it takes about 20 mins to update each year.

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      • #4
        I've been trying to do this manually as of 2 weeks ago.  I buy enough stuff with cash (haircuts, cash only bar, Craigslist) that it's probably the only way for it to be usefully accurate.

        Curious to hear how other people count their mortgages.  Do you consider it all "spending," just the interest portion, or just exclude it from the analysis?

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        • #5
          I am too embarrassed to say.

          I'll just say that it just a little over half of my gross income (the rest being split as 20% savings and around 25% taxes) - that sounds a little better

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          • #6
            I use mint and personal Capital.. Both have different numbers with all the same accounts, so not sure how accurate it is.

            Needless to say, my wife and I love to travel a lot, plus a wedding accounts for 40-50k of our 2 person and a new car, mcol - hcol city, 120k spending in 2017 ☹️

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            • #7
              Current PGY5 resident, wife works. Last year we spent $89,000. I feel like we spend way too much but it is less than half of our gross income and on top of that money spent we put $30k towards student loans and $10k into savings for an upcoming fellowship year. However, included in the $89k is:

              - $14,000 for mortgage
              - $12,000 for daycare for an infant/toddler
              - $3,500 for interview expenses for fellowship
              - $4,000 for malpractice insurance (wife) and medical licensing fees (me)
              - $4,000 for a vehicle down payment
              - $3,000 for a beach vacation

              We pay a lot in taxes, and the frustrating part is that if we took the $40k and put it into 401k’s instead of towards loans/etc we would pay about $1,000 less per month in taxes. Definitely one of the “hidden costs” of the student loans.

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              • #8
                Personal capital states $240k. Includes 100k of student loan payoff.

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                • #9




                  Current PGY5 resident, wife works. Last year we spent $89,000. I feel like we spend way too much but it is less than half of our gross income and on top of that money spent we put $30k towards student loans and $10k into savings for an upcoming fellowship year. However, included in the $89k is:

                  – $14,000 for mortgage
                  – $12,000 for daycare for an infant/toddler
                  – $3,500 for interview expenses for fellowship
                  – $4,000 for malpractice insurance (wife) and medical licensing fees (me)
                  – $4,000 for a vehicle down payment
                  – $3,000 for a beach vacation

                  We pay a lot in taxes, and the frustrating part is that if we took the $40k and put it into 401k’s instead of towards loans/etc we would pay about $1,000 less per month in taxes. Definitely one of the “hidden costs” of the student loans.
                  Click to expand...


                  What did you refinance your loans to?

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                  • #10
                    About $64k. Family of 4, 2 young kids.

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                    • #11
                      Haven’t refinanced yet. I have applied and got quotes from a few different companies, but the interest rate I’m given isn’t that great (5+%). My loans are currently in repaye, and when you factor in the government subsidy my current “effective” interest rate is about 5%.

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                      • #12
                        This is a good idea, to specifically track spending. I tried to add it up but the numbers aren't right. . . I think I'll add it to my spreadsheet and I'll track it each month. I think we spend around 100k but this year we got solar so I'm guessing it was more like 125k.

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                        • #13
                          I find that the easiest way to track spending is to have as much as possible automatically come out of the checking account (mortgage, loans, utilities, etc) as autopay and then put as much as possible on the credit card, so really that's about it, you just add it up.  Maybe an occasional check you write here and there...  And to track how much you spend in cash, I find it difficult to track what comes out of your wallet, so just have oh say 3k cash in your safe and see how long it lasts (for instance I know we go through 1k a month in cash - things like cleaners, haircuts, etc.)

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                          • #14
                            .
                            Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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                            • #15




                              I find that the easiest way to track spending is to have as much as possible automatically come out of the checking account (mortgage, loans, utilities, etc) as autopay and then put as much as possible on the credit card, so really that’s about it, you just add it up.  Maybe an occasional check you write here and there…  And to track how much you spend in cash, I find it difficult to track what comes out of your wallet, so just have oh say 3k cash in your safe and see how long it lasts (for instance I know we go through 1k a month in cash – things like cleaners, haircuts, etc.)
                              Click to expand...


                              That's what we do except sometimes we transfer money from savings into checking to cover random crap and I have to take that into account and then when we take trips with friends or for work we often get paid back later for flights, accommodations, etc. So that's why I think monthly tracking will be more accurate, I can remember things better.

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