Home > 2020 Spending

2020 Spending

February 17th, 2021 at 09:56 pm

I'm embarrassed by our spending, but there is nothing to do but admit it.  We spend a lot of money.  I knew this after 2019.  It was bad then and it's still pretty ugly.  Our baseline budget is terrible because we have a large mortgage.  There is no way we can be that family or couple.  I guess I might as well write this today since DH is starting a new job today.  New job = new salary.  Lucky for us we're on savingadvice and can swing not getting paid.  But still our spending is ugly.  How ugly?  Let's go for a ride.

Personal Capital which is having problems with our credit card updates says we spent $22,847 on travel last year.  Totally possibly more. I wish they could tailor credit cards better and update it using algorithyms to learn how you classify things.  We spent $22804 on home improvement.  Probably more because a there was a big chunk of miscellanous general purchases.  We spent $15727 on Groceries, $6965 on pets, and $6021 on eating out.   We also spent $1773 on Fuel, $2927 gifts, $3986 on utilities, and $13048 on crap with $4000 on amazon.  A lot of amazon was for the shed building.  Either which way we spent a lot. 

This year our overall spending is down probably because I'm trying to be better.  But this month alone I've spent $863 on groceries and the month is only half done.  UGH.  But we've also spent $30 on hot dogs and drinks at costco for our only meal out.  So I guess it evens out.  More cooking = less eating out.  But I'm sitting here going how much more am i going to blow the rest of the month on groceries?  This year alone we've spent $3724 on our dog for 2 surgeries (joint flush and stitching up lesions).  What can I say?  It's not pretty.  Technically we've spent more on him than anything else.  Hopefully it'll ease up soon.

Right now with the new job and less money coming in we need to contemplate everything. 

5 Responses to “2020 Spending”

  1. mumof2 Says:

    do you menu plan? We usually do but haven't lately due to getting ready to move, but we would write out our monthly plan/snacks and go and buy the majority in a monthly shop and then just get fresh fruit/vegies/milk/bread each week, when the kids were younger we would take a day on the weekend to make snacks and meals and freeze what we saved a lot of money and less trips to the store as well...although groceries have gone up a lot in the last 12 months at least they have over here

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    No I don't menu plan. I mean I say what I'm going to make and I make it and am trying to use what is in my pantry and freezer. My freezer is pretty empty. I think the biggest savings for us is that we're really not eating out. So that makes a huge difference. The not eating out is saving us a lot of money.

    My gut from shopping so much and looking is the price of food has gone up a lot. In 1 year. You can see it in the meats, but especially the veggies and fruits. I made a comment last night to DH that we only fresh fruits and veggies and nothing canned and rarely frozen. I went to the store and bought fresh veggies, milk, and a package of ground beef and spent $145 at costco.

  3. disneysteve Says:

    I don't think "groceries" is the problem area in what you listed.

    How the heck did you spend $23,000 on travel in a year when everything was closed and travel was grounded everywhere due to a global pandemic? Personally, we did a weekend away at the beginning of February 2020 and then nothing since because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. We cancelled any other travel plans we had. So instead of the usual 8-10K on travel, we spent less than 1K.

    Kind of the same question about the $6,000 on eating out. I don't know about where you are but here restaurants were closed entirely for 3 months or so (or take out only), then some reopened for outdoor dining. We did eat out maybe 8 times late summer and early fall until the weather got too cold for that. We haven't had a meal inside a restaurant since March 6, 2020. Instead of the usual $600/month, it's probably been under $200.

    And most importantly, you really need to dig into the $13,000 you spent on "crap". That's a big number. I'd much rather see you knock that down than worry about your grocery bill.

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I live in the same cost of living area as you and we spent $10,400 on groceries last years to feed me, DH, and our 2 adult children. We buy gluten free flours, pastas, and breads (pretty pricey) and organic produce, but not meat. We buy very little convenience items and I cook from scratch almost always. I'm not really sure how you are spending so much on you, your husband, and 3 little kids. Are you buying expensive cuts of meat? Are you buying a lot of junk food? Are you trying to buy your produce in season as much as possible (i.e. no watermelon and strawberries in the winter)? Are you using the grocery ads to plan your shopping trips or do you just buy whatever you want, whenever you want? Are you shopping with a list and sticking to it? How much food waste do you have going on? I really suggest you start meal planning and buy according to the meal plan, and base your meal plan around the sales if you want to cut that. We do get takeout, but we spend around $200 a month on it in a normal month. Maybe you need to put a limit on how many restaurant meals you can have in a month. We limit ours to two.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Since you have looked at what you've spent last year, maybe this is the time to focus on your priorities for this year. Our state really hasn't opened up a lot, so the idea of travel for us is still a big "if." I can't remember if your travel was for pleasure or something else, but perhaps cutting back on travel would be one way to stop the bleeding.

    Meal planning and grocery shopping is a great way to cut down on your spending. You said your freezer is about empty. Instead of working on filling it so it is full, perhaps looking for when things go on sale, and then buying some to start to restock your freezer. One thing that has helped us is we eat a lot less meat. There are two of us and instead of using two chicken breasts for a meal, I may buy a package of two, slice them horizontally, and then have two meals out of what used to be one meal. We have at least one meatless major meal a week, and often more than that. I look for sales and then stock up. My husband teases me "that no leftover goes uneaten." and I really try to do that. Sometimes I just clean out the fridge for supper and call it the smorgasbord. I do not buy a lot of premade stuff because it is expensive and often I do not know what is in it. If I can get a whole chicken on sale, I will use it for 3 meals at least; I cook it in the Crockpot with vegetables to get broth which I freeze the extra broth. I also look for coupons to save money. I have emailed companies and some have been good about providing coupons. Chobani is amazing; they will send out ones about every month if you email them once a month. Johnsonville sent me some great coupons too. I figure it is worth the time to message them since these are things I purchase for our meals.

    You mentioned how much you spent on gift giving. Is this for the whole year, or primary for Christmas? One thing I do each year is open a Christmas Club account and put in a set amount each month. If we have extra, I include that. I do the same for vacation spending. Right now our vacation account looks nice and healthy because we did not travel last year. Our Christmas Club grows and we use that to buy each other gifts as well as other gift giving. It keeps us from charging stuff.

    Although I do order some things online, I really try not to because it is way too convenient. Most of our stores are still open here in Illinois with limited capacity, so I make it a challenge if I need something, I have to go look for it at a brick and mortar store first. It helps we are retired and can go at times when the stores are not busy. But, not having the temptation to buying stuff online saves us money because sometimes after looking for something, I realize I probably didn't really need it.

    Instead of waiting for your credit card to break everything down for you, maybe you could make yourself a spreadsheet and do it yourself so you can keep track of it instead of waiting for an annual statement. I think with the Pandemic it has been easy to overspend this year and advertisers have really played that up with saying "you deserve it." Don't be too hard on yourself; just try to figure out ways to do better.

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