Home > Comparing Expenses now vs 2000

Comparing Expenses now vs 2000

July 8th, 2008 at 03:17 am

I found an old file last night that contained a summary of my expenses that I created in August 2003, so almost exactly 5 years ago. I pulled out the current data and compared the two. Here's how my expenses have changed, and why:

First, there are two categories of expenses I have now that I didn't have in 2003: school books (fortunately work pays for tuition) and home maintenance, as I'm now an owner.

Biggest increase is eating out, up 193%, or 24%/year. Why? Call it either laziness or busyness. The past two years, I've been working a full-time job, a part-time job, and going to school part-time. Cooking is fairly low on the priority list at the moment. Going to work on this.

Next is work-related expenses (books and films I use in teaching, software that I use that's not paid for by work, and office supplies, up 145%, or 18%/year. That figure is somewhat distorted. Back in 2002 and 2003, I was at my poorest in my adult life, patching together a series of part-time jobs rather than having a full-time job (the full-time job I have now began in Sept. 2003). So the August 2003 figure is low; the current figure reflects more of what I tend to spend when I do have a full-time job.

Personal Expenses: up 103%, or 13%/year--mostly because I recently spent about $500 to buy a few professional wardrobe pieces in preparation for job interviews as I change careers.

Medical Expenses: up 71%, or 9%/year

Rent/Mortgage: up 67%, or 8%/year. But back then, I rented. Now I own. So I pay $300/month more, but that includes not just the mortage but homeowner's insurance, property taxes, and an extra 5% that I pay each month towards the principal.

Transportation: up 64%, or 8%/year. Inflation.

Household: up 58%, or 7%/year. Now that I own, I buy a few more things 'for the home' than I did when I rented.

Groceries: up 55%, or 7%/year.

Gifts & Donations: up 24%, or 3%/year.

Utilities: up 20%, or 3%/year. I expect these to soar in 2010 when the rate caps come off in the state (PA). Meanwhile, I've actually managed to cut my phone bill by savvy shopping.

Decreased expenditures:

Pets: Down 6%. Distorted comparison--my Simon was terminally ill June-Aug 2003, so the expenses for 2003 were quite high. He was less expensive to care for for most of his life, and generally Henry has been more so--Henry has more chronic problems.

Entertainment: down 33%. With the increased workload, I've pretty much given up any entertainment other than paying the minimal Netflix fee most months (although I actually have Netflix on hold for the summer), and paying the most basic cable TV bill ($15/month). (I didn't even have cable TV back in '03.)


Going through this has been educational. I had no idea that my eating out expenses had gone up so drastically, and actually, I thought my grocery expenses had gone up more, but on a per-annum basis, it's about 7%, which is what the inflation on food has been of late. (That doesn't mean there's no need to cut, though; I'm just routinely a fairly high spender in this area and really could stand to get these expenses down.)

The categories where my increased spending far outweighs inflation are the first three. I'm hoping the personal care expense is temporary because of the big clothing outlay. Two years ago, I managed to spend only about $200 for the year on clothes, for two new pair of athletic shoes, so I know it is possible to pull my expenses her way down.

I need to be more cautious on work-related expenses--it's way too easy to give myself work as an excuse for buying a book, and particularly on eating out. Eating out so much has just become a bad habit. And it's very rarely eating out at a sit-down restaurant--it's grabbing a sandwich and a cup of coffee at the convenience store more often than I should that adds up--not the kind of dining out that one gets special pleasure from, but just the convenience of having someone else prepare the food and not having to remember to take it with you.

0 Responses to “Comparing Expenses now vs 2000”

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]