Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Of Spending and Such

When it comes to money, I've always been more of a saver than a spender, but it's hard to know precisely what's happening with your money if you don't track it. As Galileo said:
"Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so"
So starting in the summer of 2008 I began tracking our spending on a great website, yodlee.com (similar to mint.com). We have linked all of our bank accounts, credit cards, investments, loans (back when we still had loans, abooyah!), and other assets all in one place. And whenever we would make a purchase or a deposit, it would be automatically picked up by the application and categorized based on where it came from. Then every month or couple weeks we do some maintenance - we just have to go in there and make sure everything is being put into the right categories. So after almost 3 years, we pretty much have this down to a system, and we've got some pretty sweet (and accurate) data to show for it.

Here's some interesting data on what we spent in 2010.

After seeing this chart for the first time, I took the opportunity to point out to my wife that she was our 6th largest expense in 2010...

The "Other" category is made up of things like: Cable Services (Internet), Cell Phones, Utilities, Health & Hygeine, etc that were much smaller slices on their own. So we know exactly what this slice represents, but it just didn't make sense to leave them broken out in the chart.

Necessities (Red) - 45%
Luxuries (Blue) - 31%
Travel (Green) - 24%

This chart provokes the question: would we rather have that big, green slice back in our savings accounts or have the experiences we've had this year on our vacations? Hmm...

Some other great finance resources:
Interesting Census data
Money Strands

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I cannot wait for the day when 1/4 of my spending is travel. For now, however, the focus is on keeping the menu a step above mac and cheese 7 nights a week :)

    P.S.--Wives are expensive.


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