Home > Dido's Year End Recap of Income, Expenses, and Changes in Net Worth

Dido's Year End Recap of Income, Expenses, and Changes in Net Worth

December 26th, 2007 at 08:19 pm

Income after deductions for taxes, health insurance contribution, & retirement contribution: $44,473 (38,210 from my full-time job, 3718 from part-time work, 1244 income tax return, 1000 gifts from Mom, 301 in survey income and rebates. I need to do better planning to get less of an income tax return; I’m a relatively new home owner, so I’m still having to adjust my tax planning for the extra deduction I get for mortgage interest payments.


Mortgage & PITI (property insurance & property taxes):
$9240. This includes $575 in mortgage prepayments.

Food (Groceries & Eating Out): The books say 7616 (5963+1653), but it’s surely less—as much as 1500 less (2006 food expenses were 6152). The problem in my record-keeping this year is that my detailed records were lost when my last computer died in mid-July. I had to reconstruct my file from bank statements rather than receipts, and since I did a lot of buying at a warehouse store, toiletries, household supplies, clothing and even books got lumped in here—since I had no way to estimate actual expenses, I just categorized everything as groceries, the biggest expense at the warehouse store. Also, when I do ATM withdrawals, I also tend to list those as dining out expenses initially and go back and recategorize as I spend money, but all of those recategorizations got listed as food for January through July. All of that said, my food expenses are way too high.

Pets: $4032, most of that on Henry the Pricey & Priceless Hound, who suffers from several chronic illnesses and is on prescription food and several prescription meds for life, plus who requires about half a dozen vet visits per year. The two cats, Phoebe and Teddy, cost little in comparison—one vet visit per year, and food, kitty litter, and the occasional toy or treat. Between the two of them, there’s only ever been one vet visit for illness—knock on wood, as I hope it remains so. I also include money for bird food in here—I maintain two feeders by the windows for the amusement of myself and the kitties, and that costs about $5/week during the months when the plants are dormant.

Utilities: 3915 (gas heat 1841, electricity 462, phone, internet service, (basic) cable TV (package deal at 76/month for the three), water/sewer 315, trash 385)

Car: 2684 (about 600 on insurance and a thousand each on gasoline and maintenance & repairs, plus my first moving violation ticket ever, for running a stop sign I didn’t see.)

Business Expenses: 2616 (a new laptop computer and software for it (Office 2007, etc), lots of money trying to repair the last laptop, plus the usual array of books and videotapes I use in teaching, and some office supplies and postage.

Personal Care Expenses:2270 (clothing 1304, gym 445, toiletries, vitamins & supplements,521). I spent more than usual on clothing this year, as the only clothing I bought last year was a single pair of athletic shoes, and clothes were beginning to look raggedy and shoes to wear out, plus I gained 15 pounds (which I hope soon to lose) and some items did not fit.

Household: 1691. This includes handyman repairs, items for DIY repairs (that the boyfriend handles), small home appliances, furniture, gardening items, and supplies such as paper towels, light bulbs, and salt for the walks.

Entertainment (385), Gifts (266) & Charity (296): 947.

Health co-pays and disability insurance: 919 (there’s also 104/month health insurance contribution that gets taken out of my pay each month that I haven’t included here.)

Total Spending: $36,430 (compared to $38,653 in 2006. Biggest changes compared to last year are more in savings, less in taxes, more on food, less on pets (no major veterinary emergencies this year, thank god!), a bit more on utilities, clothing, and household; and this year, I didn’t have education expenses because those were picked up by the college.

Change in Net Worth in 2007: +8261 in short-term savings, +8739 in retirement accounts, -1796 decrease in home mortgage principal balance, -1000 loan from mom settled = +19,796 (plus the estimate of my home valuation on is up about 15,912, which I know is not a great estimate, but it’s what I have.)

My goal for next year is to cut down food expenses down to 5800. This is always a “spendy” category for me, as I buy a lot of food that is either pre-made or has a high labor margin—e.g., I buy a lot of pre-chopped veggies, and this past year, I bought a lot of pre-cooked chicken breasts—since that seems to make the difference between my cooking at home or not. Working a full-time job, a part-time job, AND going to school part-time, I do not have the time, energy, or inclination to cook, but I’m going to try to do a bit more so in 2008. I also expect business expenses to be lower, since the big one was buying a new computer this year. Ideally these two cuts will give me an additional 5% to put towards savings.

6 Responses to “Dido's Year End Recap of Income, Expenses, and Changes in Net Worth”

  1. Amber Says:

    You did pretty well in the survey department. You also did great in the total spending department a little over $2k less than last year that is great

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, look at all the fancy reports you guys have. It even comes with a pie chart! It's amazing how much taxes can be when you look at it.

    Boy, my report is going to look pitiful next to you guys.

  3. sagegirl Says:

    Dido-- your record keeping is inspiring. I am working on getting all my 2007 stuff in my Microsoft Money, everything from April on has been downloaded, but I may have to manually enter Jan-March. This all helps greatly for tax purposes.
    I, too, work a full time job and a prat-time job. I agree about the cooking, although I LOVE to cook and bake, I am usually too tired to do it everyday. I try to prepare ahead on Sundays by baking chicken breasts or Crockpotting a big roast that we can get two meals out of.

  4. fern Says:

    Wow, dido, you're the 1st person i've seen (besides myself) who does such detailed expense tracking.

    It's great you're doing the mortgage prepayments, i think, especially being a relatively new homeowner. That's when prepayments count the most, in the earlier years of the mortgage, when you're paying mostly interest.

    Yeah, i see what you mean about your groceries tab. It seems like one of your problems is ongoing tracking of expenses. I've gotten into the habit of making sure i have a receipt for everything i spend. If i buy gas for the car, i use a credit card and then push the button to print out the (optional) receipt. If i eat out with a friend, when we split the bill, i mentally remind myself what my share was so i'll remember it when i get home. Or i jot down the price on a slip of paper and transfer it later to my monthly expense sheet.

    I was going to mention what sage girl said, that another way to save time in the kitchen is to use a crock pot. It still requires a little time either the night before or in the a.m. to chop up veggies or prepare whatever ingredients there are, but then you dump it all in the crock pot, it cooks all day while you're away at work, and then you have a nice, home-cooked hot meal waiting for you when you get home, plus leftovers for several days.

  5. Dido Says:

    Well, with advice from sagegirl and fern in mind, I broke out the crock pot and bought ingredients for beef stew. I do enjoy cooking, but only when I have the time. I'm going to have to look for very easy recipes for the crockpot, since with my current work schedule, I'm simply too tired most of the time to do anything more than open a couple of cans or packages and dump them in the pot.

    Hopefully this year my record-keeping won't get all blown to bits--I actually DO keep all the receipts, transfer the information to my software--and THEN toss the receipts. The program I was using to keep track last year was a nice "envelopes" program, but it was proprietary software that I didn't pay to replace, so I couldn't open my saved datafiles when the old computer suddenly died. Now I'm using an Excel-based program (YNAB) so that I'll always be able to open the files if I have another computere snafu.

  6. terri77 Says:

    You've done a great job with your personal expense report!

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