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November 2018 Spending

I list how much I spend every month on this blog. As a physician, spending is often our biggest problem.

Every month I write a post highlighting my household spending. I usually break it down into total spending and core spending. 

My spending is doing well, rather happy with it. I started budgeting again 2 years ago after taking a year off. Getting back into budgeting was good just so I know where my money is going. YNAB is my favorite budgeting method but I only know 1 other person who uses it. 

My total November 2018 spending was $3,350 and I’ll break it down a little below. 

The core spending was under $1,000 for the month. This number excludes:

  • entertainment
  • travel
  • coffee
  • work/business expenses
  • donations/gifts
  • dining out

I care more about my core spending because the rest is discretionary. And I only consider it discretionary because I have lived very comfortably without those expenses in the past.

I won’t break down my discretionary November 2018 spending in this post – I don’t think anyone cares that I paid $8 for a shot of tequila or $12 for a vegan bbq sammy. 


Housing – $309

I don’t have much else besides my condo HOA dues ($292). And though HOA dues suck, maintaining a single family home would likely cost more. 

Property taxes are another $175/month but I pay those once a year. 

On occasion I’ll fix something around the house but the labor is free so it’s often only parts which I can often source from a thrift store. 

For many physicians this category would have another zero. I’m saving a ton of money by living in a studio apartment in an affordable part of the Portland. 


Transportation – $5

I don’t own a car. My bike has solid tires so I don’t even spend money on inner tubes. 

The only thing I spend money on occasionally is public transportation at $2.50 per trip or $5 for a day pass. 

I won’t use Uber for regular transportation though it’s a wonderful alternative to owning a car. The few times I use it is for entertainment, such as when friends want to meet somewhere far-flung. 


Groceries – $626

I entertained a gang of people at my condo the other night and all of us walked over to the Holiday Ale Fest which was an amazing night. 

I’m not really good at entertaining so I bought way too much food and pretty much bought all the wrong shit. I had pizza, rolls, dips, chips, flat bread, and tamales. 

The only things people really wanted were chips & dip and pizza. Noted. 


Work/Business – $257

Obviously, this amount is rather insignificant compared to what I earn every month but it’s an important category for me. It’s what I spend every month in order to pursue my business projects. 

For now, medical licensing and blog hosting also fall into this category. I can’t really consider it an expense, just as I don’t consider buying an index fund an expense – it’s an investment. 

My business spending includes:

  • website hosting
  • online courses
  • book purchases
  • website subscriptions
  • licensing fees


Spending and income

I use this graph from my Google Spreadsheets data to show what my passive income is from my investments and what my core spending is. 

You can see a gradual but wild decline in my core spending over time and a steady increase of my passive income. 

I retired in 2016 and on average it takes about 2 years for spending to normalize for most retirees. So this graph seems to fit in nicely with that theory. 

Another interesting observation from this graph is that we have a lot more control over our spending than our income. Though I would say most are worried about and focus their energy on increasing their income – whether earned or passive. 

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