Total spending for December 2018 was $2,853. This is everything I spent as a single physician living in Portland, Oregon. Pretty good. I’ll break the details down and come up with some bullshit excuses as to why I spent so much on entertainment.
December 2018 spending – $2,853
I retired in 2016 and my goal is to maintain a monthly spending of around $1,500 – in 2016 dollars and going forward. That comes out to $18,00/year. I’m a minimalist, mostly eat fruits and veggies, and don’t have any expensive hobbies. If it wasn’t for the fuckfest with the medical boards, my spending would be far lower.
I always say that housing + food + transportation makes up the majority of a household’s income. Show me a household who has these 3 categories down to 30% of their gross spending and that’s going to be one wealthy fucking household.
I’m at 34% – not bad. But it doesn’t matter in my case, I’m already retired. If I have earned income coming in, it doesn’t matter if I spend it on food, a lawyer, or if I wipe my ass with it. When I was hustling to become financially independent, my housing/food/transportation expenses were far lower than 25% of my overall spending.
Entertainment – $781
December was the first month that I threw a house party. Got like 10 people together in my tiny ass condo and I spent way too much money on food. Out of all the shit I bought and prepared, people only like the pizza and the hummus and pita bread. Oh, and beer.
I spent some money ubering around as well – not something I normally do but I was out and about with friends getting drinks and didn’t want to walk or bike home drunk.
Housing – $577
HOA dues and $285 for my whole year’s property insurance.
The condo is paid off. I had no repairs. Other than utilities, my condo didn’t cost me too much.
Work/Business – $463
I am running 3 different businesses right now – this blog, my healthcare consulting work, and my newest business, my medical health coach business.
Most of the money I spent went to registering new domain names, paying for hosting, and purchasing design products for my website.
The rest of the money went to medical board investigation stuff. I had to send multiple certified letters and each costs me $8. I use a service called Certified Mail Online – I fucking love them. It’s the easiest way to send a letter to anyone without ever going to a post office, licking a stamp, or having to print anything out.
Groceries – $392
My blood pressure has been creeping back up – in the 150/95 range. It’s been mostly due to stress dealing with my medical license stuff and also eating poorly. When I eat poorly but I’m not stressed, my blood pressure is okay. If I start eating a lot of high glycemic index foods and salt, AND when I’m stressed… my BP shoots up.
Ironically, my grocery bill is lowest in the months I eat well. I figure that’s because I buy more processed shit when I’m eating shitty and stressed. December was a good month. Got my BP down to 130/80, without any high readings.
December 2018 Core Spending
I always calculate my core spending on top of my total spending. Total spending is what you see above, every penny that left my bank account and which I tracked using YNAB.
My core spending is what I need to spend to maintain my current quality of life. For example, I need:
- housing expenses
For December this was in the $1,250 range.
For the entire year, my average core spending is about $1,100/month. You can see my summary report printed from my YNAB budgeting software below. It shows how much I spent each month on what category in 2018. And it list my total spending for the year on all core spending categories – $12,736.
Of course, these numbers are fudged. The lowest I’ve actually lived on in a month was $1,500. Who knows, maybe I’ll never be able to bring my spending down as low as $1,100/month. But that doesn’t matter too much. My net worth is high enough that I should be able to easily support twice that amount.