Yikes! I just ran our year-end expense report on Quicken. No, we don’t run a business, and yes, we track our personal account like a cat-4 hurricane.
Anywhoozit, at the end of every year, I use Quicken to run an expense report by category to see where we spent our money. It’s also pretty neat-o (or terrifying) to compare it to the previous year.
You think you don’t spend much on groceries or eating out each week or month, but add that up over a year my friend! Yoowzer! Maybe it’s because we started 2010 with a pay raise when my honey was promoted to First Class? Whatever the reason, it is definitely a hard pill to swallow to admit to spending more in 2010 on groceries than we did in 2009. But the upside is that we spent nearly 10% less on dining out.
My husband’s response to the information that we spent more on groceries? “Whoa, maybe you’re not as cheap as you think you are.” Ouch. To get a better idea as to how much more was spent…it’s roughly 40% more…and I know that the price of food didn’t go up that much. Some of it is to blame on sales tax; yes, I’m going there. OR has no sales tax, and LA carries nearly 8%. So I’m blaming a very small portion of that increase on sales tax.
The rest of that though? Who knows…
To really figure out how much less we will need to spend in the dining out and grocery categories, I had to figure out our monthly average. After the nausea resides, and I am able to stomach looking at the numbers again, I can figure out some realistic cutbacks. Dining out is simple. But I’ll get back to you once I figure out how to realistically cut back on groceries for this family. I swear my two oldest have hollow legs that they are currently filling with food…
Grocery cutbacks (without cutting back on food quality and having enough) will take some trial and error. I know for sure that I will be fishing more local sale ads to ensure my local store will honor the competitor prices.
Now that the year of wild food spending is coming to a close, I am excited to try new ways to save a buck. Our vacation savings goal has almost been met, which means it is about time to focus our efforts on saving for a down payment on a car for my husband. Thankfully, his champagne taste works well with my tap water budget.
So the lesson/reminder here? Just because we make more, does not mean it’s time to spend more. So laugh on husband…laugh on…I’ll show you who’s wallet can be clamped shut tighter than a bad clam!
Until next year…