How I spent $152,000 this year

// Published January 3, 2015 by Swati

2014 was certainly an interesting financial year for us. I had a major car accident in February which costed us about some $4000 overall after our deductible and the cost to replace the car (insurance covered a bulk of it, but we bought a slightly newer model). Jonathan was laid off in March which while gave us a good boost due to the severance, plenty of the severance was used up because he stayed unemployed for some 2.5 months. He also splurged a little with a riding lawn mower and a laptop. I also purchased a desktop computer.

Frankly, if we didn’t have the severance we would have to tap into our emergency savings. We spent the whole year fixing up major parts of the house (the bathroom, the air exchanger, the driveway. Cars gave us more expenses with a minor repair on one of them, a new set of wheels, as well as purchase of snow tires for both vehicles.

I had anticipated around $142,000 in spending but we went slightly over with $152,000.

People are shocked when I tell them that’s how much we spend per year. What could we possibly be spending our money on?!

Housing, which includes mortgage, property taxes, home maintenance, home insurance, and utilities made up the biggest portion of our budget – a whooping 43% of our money is spent there. Mortgage alone takes up over 20% of our total spending! Renovation expenses were unexpected this year – did not expect to do the driveway or replace the air exchange.

Kids are the next biggest expense. Not including the increased cost of car, housing, etc. just their care, clothing, activities, toys, etc. make up 20% of our spending. Yep, we are spending as much on kids as we are on our mortgage. The kids go to a pre-school for 7.5 hours per week (3x, 2.5 each time), and the rest is nanny time at home. Needless to say, nanny is the big chunk of the cost (over 90%).

Groceries are the next big expense, 12% of our spending– which is about $18,000 annually. This is a fairly large budget, but it includes everything we would buy at a store that doesn’t quality as something for the car or furniture. Absolutely anything we pick up from Costco or Superstore. It feeds 4 adults (2 males who might as well as be horses), 2 females, and 2 kids. Fresh produce is probably the biggest chunk of this expense, followed by dairy. We are big on dairy – we spend close to $60 a week on dairy alone.

Auto was the next big expense this year, 11% of our spending. It wasn’t suppose to be, but it was due to unforeseen circumstances (the car accident). My husband and I work in two different part of the cities (my work, his work, and our home literally are points on  an isosceles triangle), and the minivan that he drives is quite the gas hog. Sadly, it makes many round trips when we pick up and drop the kids off from school. We spend nearly $6000 a year on fuel – yep, I wish public transportation was available to us — I would use it!

Charity is also a good part of our budget, but not as big as we like (a goal for 2015!). It makes up about 3% of our spending.

That’s about 90% of our spending. The other 10% – 15k or so is discretionary spending on hobbies, entertainment, vacations, furniture, gifts, etc. Considering it even includes dentists, I think that’s a fair amount.