Do I Spend too Much?

February 28th, 2009 | 9:38 am | Posted in 2009 Goals, Finance, Motivation, Spending Report | 11 Comments »

My brain hurts.A simple yes or no answer will suffice.

Over at the Happy Rock, Debt Destroyer lists out his monthly expenses and every month I think to myself, “Man, that guy spends a lot…”

I’ve even left a comment a few times saying almost exactly that.

But does he really spend a lot?

Obviously, his numbers always seem high to me so I’m pretty convinced that he spends a fortune each and every month but, honestly, I’ve never really kept great track of my own spending — just my plus/minus.

In short, I’m going to give it a try.

I think I had a pretty expensive February, so these numbers might be a little bit higher than usual, but maybe not…

  • $1350.00 : Mortgage
  • $897.20 : Auto Insurance
  • $498.00 : Hockey Jerseys
  • $327.08 : Natural Gas
  • $320.00 : American Cancer Society
  • $154.72 : Electricity
  • $123.62 : Business Expenses
  • $109.26 : Cable/Internet
  • $98.67 : Water/Sewer
  • $62.00 : Clothing
  • $60.00 : Valentine’s Day
  • $59.40 : Phone
  • $38.87 : Gas
  • $20.15 : E-Filing
  • $14.97 : Finance Charges (GRRRR!!!)

That adds up to $4133.94!

Holy crap.

DD’s tally for January was $4205.68 — just a tad more than me!!!

I’m actually quite surprised that I’m right there with him… and to think people gave him a hard time, myself included, over a $180 Pearl Jam box set and here I am dropping nearly $500 on hockey jerseys.

(In reality, I dropped over $800 on hockey jerseys as the American Cancer Society donation was in fact a charitable donation for, well, a jersey…)

It’s complete madness.

The only good thing I can take from this analysis is that, as I said, this was an expensive month for me.

It’s not like I drop $897.20 on auto insurance each month. And the $818 spent on hockey jerseys, as lame an excuse as it sounds, was a much needed splurge.

Subtract those two from the picture and my expenses for the month were only $2418.74.

I say that like it’s nothing… Crazy, I tell ya…

And, technically, I could even take it a few steps further and take out the water bill (it’s quarterly), Valentine’s Day, the e-filing fee, and the finance charges.

And really, with the weather warming up, the gas and electricity bills be be cut in half (or more) in a couple of months.

So I guess it’s all good news for the months ahead.

Either way, though, my short term goal for March will be to keep my expenses under $2500…

According to Microsoft Money, I haven’t accomplished this since April of 2001 — not even close. That blows my mind.

11 Responses to “Do I Spend too Much?”

  1. I’m happy to see someone spending more on utilities(Nat Gas & Electric) than me.

    I say blow your money on hockey jerseys while you still can. Because in about 80 days when Smurfling arrives, you’ll be surprised how much your priorities will change.

    Not to nit pick your list, but I’d remove the business expenses(People would freak if they knew how much we spent on that in a month).

    And you have to share your secret on how you went a whole month without spending anything for food :)

    -DD

  2. “And you have to share your secret on how you went a whole month without spending anything for food…”

    Smurfs don’t eat.

    No, actually, my wife buys 99.999995% of our food — that’s why it’s always absent from my expenses and budgets.

  3. Yowie. I see that a simple yes or no will do, so that’s all I’ll say.

    Auto insurance: Yes
    Cable/internet: Yes
    Finance charges: Yes

    If I may expand a little on my responses, I do think the spending is super high. But then again, I don’t know your income or whereabouts in the country you live, so maybe it’s on par.

    If you’re also maxing out your 401k and IRA and sending a bunch into savings each month, then I’d say your spending is a little better, but still high.

  4. Brainy Smurf Says:

    Hi Kacie!
    Yeah, the auto insurance is high, but that’s just the way it is in New England. Sucks. It’s also for two cars.

    The cable and internet could be cut down for sure — basically internet is about $42 per month and the television is the rip-off at $66. We don’t even get a single premium channel?!

    Don’t get me started on the finance charges. Ugh… Had I purchased the crib one day later back in January, it would’ve fallen on my February statement and it would have been paid in full before any charges accrued.

    As for the 401k, yep, I’m hitting the federal limit and my savings account has been swelling by over $1k per month for the past few so I’m right on track on that side of things. :0)

  5. [...] So I failed in my goal to spend less than $2500 this month. [...]

  6. [...] thought that once the credit cards were under control, I guess I thought I’d have, oh, say, a couple grand each month to spend on whatever I [...]

  7. [...] Last month I followed Debt Destroyer’s lead and listed out all of my monthly expenses. [...]

  8. [...] and established a fully funded emergency fund, we have earned the right not to budget.  With Pants in a Can and DD posting their expenses and taking flak for it, I figured I am not above that type of [...]

  9. Maybe I am confused, isn’t DD posting his entire household expenses? But, you say your wife pays for food so you don’t count that. So you are just comparing your personal expense to his household and coming up close?

  10. Brainy Smurf Says:

    @reader: I think you’re missing the point of the exercise

    It wasn’t to compare myself with directly with DD’s expenditures — I thought his spending was out of control — but to see and then realize how out of control my own spending was.

    From there, if you read a few of the other entries, you’ll see that I’ve make some adjustments to curb my spending pretty substantially…

    By following DD’s lead and really looking at what I spend my money on (rather than just how much I spend), I’ve improved my finances that much more.

  11. [...] started doing these reports, following frequent commentor DD’s lead over on Happy Rock, over a year ago now and I have never ever even come close to the five-figure sum I’m [...]

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