We spent $3,448 in December which was a nice way to round out the year. December was a pretty hectic month for me at work (January is shaping up the same) and I’m reminded of why I track this stuff in the first place – so I don’t have to work forever! While work kept me busy most days, we were still fortunate enough to take some time off around the holidays. We traveled to see my family for Christmas and went on a short New Year’s road trip with some friends.
Let’s take a closer look at expenses
Merchandise – $1,143: More than double our typical month! The uptick is entirely owed to Christmas shopping. In principle I don’t enjoy obligatory gift exchanges, but in practice I love watching our neflings (google it) open presents Christmas morning. Kids love everything.
Food – $633: A slightly lower than usual month for food spending. I would attribute it to eating free at my parent’s house plus not needing groceries in the early part of December thanks to Thanksgiving feast leftovers.
Travel – $632: A fraction (1/3 to be specific) of a “normal” month. Usually our monthly travel spending involves more funding future excursions; I guess a perk of being a workaholic is not having time to spend your money on future vacations… The trips we did take in December were very inexpensive. We used miles to fly to my parents for free, then we ate and slept free while there (thanks mom and dad!) Our friend trip was pretty cheap as it was only a one night stay.
Home – $347: Not having a mortgage is the best!!! The $242 in maintenance is a semi-annual HOA fee, what a racket.
Other Services – $292: Cable has got to stop…
Entertainment – $269: fun times.
Vehicle – $132: small cars rule!
Waiting To Be Zapped – $0: I did not spend any money on advertising this month and consequently no one came to the site.
Done. It’s annualized. I like to update this every month to see how our projected annual spending changes. It came out less than last month because our Christmas spending was lower than anticipated. I’m not really aiming for any specific number, but if I had to put one out there I’d say $48k/year is a nice target; I just like the roundness of $4k/month. This little chart is the closest thing to a “budget” that I have. Check out my post on why I don’t budget.
Our net worth crept up $9,489 in December, a tidy little gain. : )
For me, the value of our investments is a lot more useful information than net worth. Net worth includes our home value as well as our checking account balance – things we don’t really want to spend down. Investments on the other hand represent the money we’ll rely on in the future to fund our lifestyle.
Our portfolio saw a steady $5,218 increase in December. It certainly doesn’t match the blistering pace of prior months, but it’s always nice to see it trending up. (Or is it? Would it maybe be better if the markets were going down since I’m currently a buyer not a seller…)
If you would like to track your net worth, investment balances, and spending then I HIGHLY recommend Personal Capital. And my recommendation means a lot, seriously, I’m really important. Personal Capital automatically updates your accounts and is completely free. If you sign up through this link I may receive a small commission, but it remains free to you.
We ended 2017 with a very solid month financially. I’ll put together a few posts to cover our 2017 annual results, but in the mean time, live in a small house and drive small used cars.