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Wednesday, July 31

2012 Spending in Review: Year Over Year Comparison

I spent Monday filtering through the posts-in-progress I had intended for My Frugal Miser.  Turns out I never posted a year over year spending comparison.  I consider this a critical tool in keeping my expenses in check.  Better late than never, right?

This is the second year (see last year's post) I've looked at how my spending by category compares from one year to another.  How insightful to look back and see where the money went, but also to see how my spending patterns changed over time.

In 2012 my total spending was $26,208.  This was 22% less than my 2011 spending.  This incredible reduction of personal expenses came with virtually no sacrifice:

  • Driving my 2007 Toyota Corolla (and mystery shopping for free gas and service whenever possible) reduced Auto Expenses by 45%.
  • I reduced Entertainment Expenses by $1,249, or 1/3, by gambling less.
  • I cut my Housing Expenses by moving to a smaller home in Florida.  Housing still represented 33% of my annual expenses.
  • Searching for a house took the place of traditional vacations, which helped reduce this category.  We would have spent even less had I been able to refund the cruise we had to cancel.

Spending by Category:  2012 Vs. 2011

Spending by Category:  2012 Vs. 2011

In 2013 it will be easy to further reduce my spending:

  • In Housing Expenses, we will see the full effect of our move to Florida.
  • We will continue the theme of "spend on experiences, not things".  When you wake up in paradise every morning, the need to "get away" is mitigated, but a vacation or two is overdue.
  • Spending on utilities will be lower this year.  We no longer have a gas bill and my partner is about to start paying the water bill.
These numbers have been manipulated (I reported 2011 spending of $42,468 in my post last year).  I removed the Mortgage Interest and Interest Expense categories since they included both personal and business expenses.  I created a Housing category and manually added my mortgage from the house I call home.  I decided to keep reporting Interest Expense even though virtually all of this expense is directly attributed to my real estate business.  

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