Jar of CoinsAs with December of 2010, I once again finished off the year with a load of expenses.

What do they have in common besides Christmas? Well, the culprit is at the top of the list.

$2324.17 : Property Taxes
$922.22 : Day Care
$722.57 : Christmas Presents
$498.72 : Mortgage
$350.99 : Gasoline
$310.00 : Cash
$225.39 : Auto Insurance
$201.86 : Electricity
$138.11 : Cable/Internet
$134.68 : Natural Gas
$71.74 : Business Expenses
$68.29 : Finance Charges
$40.08 : Life Insurance
$21.27 : Cell Phone
$13.02 : Wicked Cool T-Shirt
$12.00 : Hockey Tickets

That totals $6055.11.

For those that haven’t read super closely in the past — and I would never expect you to — the lines in red are infrequent or unusual expenses.

When you omit them, my spending starts to look a lot more reasonable. Sadly, though, it takes real money to pay for those infrequent or unusual expenses.

Anyway, property taxes come along twice per year. Most folks have the property taxes on their home (along with the insurance) built in to their mortgage so that they never have to worry about them.

When we re-financed back in 2010, though, I opted to take care of those myself so as to ensure a *much* lower monthly mortgage payment.

The downside is that twice a year, I get hit with a HUGE tax bill. It’s okay though — I budget for it.

The only other line worth nothing in this month’s report is the $68.29 in finance charges.

In November, I paid $129.14 in finance charges.

In October, I paid $135.14 in finance charges.

In September, it was $196.20 and prior to that it was over $200. Ouch.

In today’s report, it was just $68.29.

What does this signify?

Well, first, I think it shows that I’m doing an awesome job of achieving my goal for 2012 but also that I’m utilizing all of the options available to me when it comes to credit cards.

Someone is *always* offering an outstanding promo rate.

You just have to have a zero balance (and a high credit limit) on the card that has that rate. I’ve been fortunate to have this occur repeatedly allowing me to make some pretty large purchases (like a $40k renovation) at a difficult-to-believe rate.

Fine — I won’t tap dance around it anymore. I was offered a balance transfer offer that I couldn’t turn down and it’s already saving me money.

Lots of it.

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