At the start of 2013, I decided to categorise my spending throughout this year, so I could see exactly where all the money goes.
This included all payments made directly from the bank or on debit cards, those made on the credit cards (always paid off in full every month) and also any cash payments, as far as was possible. Cash payments were particularly difficult to track since they tended to be rather small and easily forgettable - at the end of each month, I could never fully reconcile the cash left in my wallet against the ATM withdrawals I'd made !
So, with today being the penultimate day of the year, and I'm confident that I won't spend any more money in 2013, here's a breakdown by percentage of my total annual expenditure. Click on the chart for a larger image.
A few points regarding the chart :-
- the 'Savings & Investments' category also includes the repayments of capital I made against the mortgage on our other house (the interest payments are treated as expenses and are covered within 'House No 2 Bills'), and the relatively small monthly contributions to my SIPP.
- 'Groceries and Alcohol' doesn't reflect the total household spending, only my own. My wife usually picks up the tab at the supermarkets when we do our major food shops every other week or so. I pay all the other household bills except for the broadband internet.
- Spending in the 'Garden' category was unusually high this year, with new fencing & hedging, landscaping works and construction of the new greenhouse etc. These were all associated with the 2012 purchase of additional land to extend our garden, and so this level of expenditure can be regarded as a one-off, applicable to 2013 only.
- the 'Gambling' category is my regular bets on televised horse racing - I never play the lotteries etc, and I only ever back horses when I can see them run. The 2013 expenditure is probably lower than can be expected going forward, because I had quite a few decent wins this year (very unusual !) and I generally just leave the proceeds in the account, to cover future bets.
- The chart excludes any upfront outlay I made on capital equipment and business travel etc on behalf of my company, all of which was reconciled and reclaimed from the company.
Overall, an interesting exercise, and one I intend to repeat during 2014. Let's see how next year compares to this....
A Happy New Year to all !