Annual expenses

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Annual expenses
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 4:31pm

Does anyone else here look back in December at their expenses for the whole year?  I've been doing this for a couple of years (aided by tags on my Amex online statements) and it's always eye-opening.

If you don't do this, why not?

If you were to do it, what do you think will give you the most discomfort from the exercise?  What do you think will be the most unwelcome thing you learn?


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 10:05am

I too care about the percentages.  Especially percentages relative to each other.  It's part of my management experience with compensation - "who makes what relative to each other" is a lot like "what category gets what relative to each other."

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 2:13pm

No, I do not and doubt I will.

But, I am a little more open minded to the idea of looking at annual savings, and not just monthly savings.  Annual savings still does not carry much weight in my mind, but a little more than it used to.

I am more interested in what percentage of my income am I spending on a, b, or c.   Just how my brain works.  Kiss


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 2:03pm

I'll admit that I was stunned by what we spent on food two years ago.  Not eating out, that's a separate thing, just food that we buy and cook at home.  I'm too embarrassed to say what our monthly total was for a family of 4-5 (DS is a college student so only home 4 months a year).  My immediate thought was, "We have to cut back!"  Over time, though, as I've thought about it, I've realized that cooking declicious, high-quality food is DH's main outlet for his creativity; it makes him feel good about being a SAHD (he's been for almost 17 years) and taking care of his family; and this is his "thing" to spend money on - food for others, not toys for himself.  So I let go of the idea that we have to cut back.

This year I already know I will be shocked on what I spent on my own appearance.  I've already resolved that next year will be VERY different.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 10:44am

I think I would be scared to see how much we actually spent on food in this house. We don't eat out a lot but we do eat a lot lol. Plus I tend to buy clothing at our grocery store(ya its one of those) that we probably don't need....I could add this up, I have kept every receipt this year pretty much. Just with the baby this year, it has been sooo expensive and I honstly don't want to . I will just think of all the better ways we could have used that money like paying down debt and saving. I just know we will do better next year. We have a completely different set of priorities for 2013.

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 8:41am

We did this the year we started our debt journey to get a comprehensive picture of where our money was going.  Then we did it the following year to compare our grocery habits once we switched to 90% organic to see how much of an increase it created.  We haven't done it since becasue we went to cash only.  Now I know where the cash goes, because it is budgeted.

If I were to look at yearly totals, I would be shocked to see how much we spend on eating out.  Growing up eating out was a treat.  In my mind when I feel I deserve a treat ( after a stressful day or to make my life easier) eating out is the answer.  I'm working on switching that mindset to our bodies deserve more nourishing and quality foods than what restaurants provide and cooking at home is treating ourselves. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 9:21pm

I don't do a yearly just because of the "work" involved. I have a yearly budget and then type in the actual amounts for comparison every month. I know where my money goes by doing this. Yes, you alluded to what would surprise you - but I do know my problem areas. Eating out has always been a big expense for me. But I sacrifice a lot of things and I have cut down.

I suppose I might set up a spreadsheet to start calcuating the actual amounts from each monthly spreadsheet. Then there will be no work involved next Dec :)

Thanks for the idea,


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 8:43pm


Good idea regarding an annual look back.

I don't do it annually because I do not use credit, but cash for most purchases, so that can only go where it is budgeted to go.  DH uses debit so he gives me a recap and I enter that monthly.  So where we don't do it annually, we do recap monthly and I add it up annually with our budget.

We are not really spendy people, and we save a heck of a lot.  I am at the point where we are embracing the present and spending a bit more.  We need to fix up the house and get some newer clothes.  Our kids are over half educated, so in two years, we will be in like Flynn!