My Spending For The Month Of February 2017
Okay, let’s face it, I’m not even trying anymore! It’s nice letting loose and spending without worrying too much about where my money is going. I had quite the impressive Entertainment expense for February 2017.
I have spared no expense in shooting pool with a buddy, taking the train up to Vancouver, Canada and eating out. I’ve bought expensive tequila and a tortilla press – yes folks, I’m ballin’.
Who knows, I might next buy a car or get a TV… MTV Cribs style.
Admittedly, I would like to be a little more discerning with my expenses. Not trying to be too hard on myself but I’m living quite a nice and luxurious lifestyle already, I would rather spend that $900 on a worthwhile cause rather than food and alcohol.
Isn’t it interesting? When you don’t have exact plans for your money, then it just leaves your pocket without you feeling it. Broken record here, but budgeting solves this.
I ended up owing a little on State income taxes, that’s most of the $368 you see above. I should be getting a refund on Federal taxes, somewhere in the $3,000 range.
2017 will be more interesting, being able to write off quite a bit against my business should help me lower my reported income and therefore save me money on taxes. Remember, there is a huge different between a tax credit and a tax deduction – I should write about this soon, actually.
Some of you won’t like this, but my goal is to pay zero taxes. Am I being unpatriotic? I hope so, I don’t believe in patriotism, I believe in genuine human interaction and not a concept that alienates one group from another.
I love the country I live in, it’s quite convenient and comfortable. I don’t like where the majority of my tax dollars are going but more importantly, I don’t like that I’m paying such a higher percentage compared to others. I won’t delve into this much more now, but I’ll definitely write about it later as I filter my thoughts better.
I got lazy, even though you see a large grocery expense there ($410), I also ate out a lot ($276). This is a little too lavish for me, not something I want to get used to. Hopefully, next month I can tame this a bit.
I generally make most of my own food. I also bought some fancy groceries, trying some new recipes. But I’ve been binge eating a little here and there, a habit that I’m always working on.
I binge mostly when I’m stressed. What do I have to be stressed about?! It goes to show you that regardless of a person’s situation, we can spin anything in our own minds to be something worse. I recall getting stressed over trying to figure out where I wanted to move to overseas (silly, yes). I also got stressed because of some HR drama which I wrote about. Oh yea, and I recently had some major relationship changes, another trigger for me to binge.
I am spending a few dollars a month hosting my 2 websites and for some other ancillary services. I don’t mind being spendy in this category, it’s going to be a good return on my investment. I am keeping detailed records because by the end of this year I want to know if my business ventures will have a worthwhile return.
I suspect that in 2017 I’ll spend a lot on business related endeavors. I am looking at a lot of different options and don’t want to be stingy in this category.
This is actually a really important lesson to learn in budgeting, figuring out the fine line between frugality and being cheap. If you’re cheap when it comes to spending on yourself or on your business then you won’t progress and possibly fail. If you aren’t frugal then you likely will spend generously but not on the categories which will get your closer to your goals.
I posted my housing expenses for all of 2016 (last year), and I was around $10k. I have ongoing expenses even though my condo is paid off, around $400/month for HOA dues and property taxes.
I anticipate some repairs, possibly plumbing, in 2017. Due to HOA regulations, I may not be able to carry these out myself. However, at least I am able to do the work myself, which means that I can make the best decision when hiring someone to do the job.
My windows need replacing. Since they are the cheap vinyl kind, I don’t expect this will be difficult. The frames are fine, the inserts need to get replaced. I can do this work myself, a good deal of savings there.
I have talked about disappearing for a while, traveling to another country and living abroad for a few months. In order to do so, I would want to rent out this condo which means I have to get it into a “rentable” condition. Tenant-proofing is a term real estate investors use when renting out a piece of property, making sure that all the things that can go wrong are anticipated and fixed ahead of time.
Finally, my electricity has gotten a bit out of hand the past 3 months. Now that I’m not working much and spending more time at home, I have spent around $55/month on electricity due to the cold weather, when my norm is $20/month. I have some ideas to insulate my space better.
This is what I spend to manage my finances. I don’t include the various fees that my 401k or brokerage accounts charge me. The reason I don’t is that I am already paying the least amount possible, spending extra time and energy to tease those numbers out would be of no help to me.
The majority of this $170 goes to my financial adviser. I will be meeting with him again in a month to make sure I’m on track.
The other portion goes to various podcasts which I am subscribed to, this helps me further my personal finance education.
I have a net worth of around $700k and I spend around $3k/month. The little bit of money I spend on this PF category represents 0.3% of my net worth, annually. And it represents 6% of my monthly spending.
Believe it or not, I actually worry that I’m spending too little for the purposes of my financial security, but that’s why I write these posts so that I can constantly re-evaluate and optimize my spending.
I keep forgetting about this. I will now have around $260/month in healthcare spending since I am purchasing my own health insurance. I got some routine lab work done which my doctor requested, costing me $72.
I’m not quite ready to artificially lower my income enough to qualify for the healthcare subsidies. However, this is definitely in my future plans along with that zero income tax, stay tuned.