It’s the last weekend of 2018 so I’m looking back at my year because I think these things are interesting.
The biggest financial thing we did this year was pay off some old debt of my husband’s. We started chipping away in March and made the final payment in September. In six months, we paid off $10,000 largely due to the help of our first married tax return.
Some of the figures going forward are skewed because I’m using Mint to tally up these totals and since A and I keep our finances separate, his numbers aren’t included.
Amount I spent on food & dining per Mint: $8,574. As you can see, January is way above my average. I had stopped budgeting for a while and threw caution to the wind. Spending a thousand bucks on food was the result. Most of the spending was from groceries which was $5,240 or about $436 per month. My restaurant total was only $1,271 so we only spent about $100 per month eating out. I wish I could look back at three years ago to compare. We used to eat out 4-5 times per week. Now it’s 2-3 times per month.
Pet stuff! I spent $1,229 or about $100 per month again. This just includes food, treats, cat litter, and occasionally toys. I only spent $382 at the vet this year which means that Monster dog had no major incidents for once, *knock on wood*.
I spent $875 on shopping. This is another one that I would love to look back at three years ago. My insanely full closet leads me to believe that this number was a lot higher. I still love shopping, but I found a really easy way to stop spending all my money on clothes… I just stopped going to the mall every weekend. I also stopped clicking on those “Huge Deals!” emails every time I got one. The most I spent in one go was in January when I bought several things to make my half marathon training easier. Related note: having the right underwear for running 13+ miles is VERY important.
I spent $17,318 on the mortgage. I say mortgage loosely. I pay $1,434 per month but this includes the mortgage, escrow and MIP. Mortgage plus interest is only $850. MIP is $112. The rest is taxes. So that means about $5,600 in taxes. That’s why people move to the country or like, North Dakota, when they retire. On the other side, Texas doesn’t have an income tax so it’s probably really a wash.
Ending on a high note, I spent $1,440 on alcohol this year. This is one that’s it’s important to note that my husband and I keep our finances separate. We probably easily spent $2,000 combined. The other thing that is important to note is that my husband and I don’t drink much when we are out. Occasionally I will get a margarita at a restaurant but for the most part I drink water and he drinks soda or tea. Drinking in public is expensive and we like good tequila. If we had consumed the same amount of alcohol at a bar, it would probably be a much higher number. Also, word of advice, if you like good tequila, don’t try Correlejo. We tried a lot of tequila this year and it was the only miss.
I didn’t have any real financial goals going into 2018 so I’m not disappointed. If I had spent less money shopping and drinking could I have made a bigger dent in the outstanding balance of my ring? Yes. Would I be happier because of it? Probably not. My ‘gazelle intensity’ towards paying off debt ended when I made my last payment on my student loans. I still want to become debt free and retire early, but as my dad said, I still have to live in the meantime.
As far as 2019 goes, things are moving and shaking. Originally, my goal was to be debt free by June/July. However, A recently hit me with some (good) news that may move that deadline. Also, our forty year old oven may or may not be trying to explode so it may have to be repaired/replaced next year. But these are all things for a new year!