Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Financial Summary - how did we spend our money?

I did a year end financial summary last year, and found it to be very helpful.

Here's a quick visual look at where our money is going:

Not all of the categories are visually captured, so here are the details (errors due to rounding)

  • Rent in San Francisco was 25% of our spending. GASP!!!! INSANITY!!!
  • Our Seattle mortgage is 24%, not counting our income on the rental, which I'll include under income.
  • Our vacation house mortgage was the next highest, at 9.5%
  • Our additional taxes (which included a sizable backpay due to an error in 2011) was 8.6%
  • Travel - 7%. We, apparently, really enjoyed 2014. ;-) 
  • Childcare - 5%
  • Groceries - 3%
  • Utilities - 2%
  • Car - 2%
  • Boys lessons - 1.7% (this shot up substantially, with both boys making it into a select soccer league. Yikes!)
  • Dining out - 1.6%
  • Gas - 1.1%
  • Insurance - 1%
  • All other categories - 7%
So, how does that compare with our spending in 2013?

  • The rent is up, as we moved partway through 2013.
  • The Seattle mortgage is now higher as well (up 3%), as we're aggressively paying it off.
  • Our vacation house mortgage dropped from 14%, so down 4.5%.
  • Our taxes went up .6%.
  • Childcare dropped by 1%
  • Other is now 2% higher (any category under $2,000 gets lumped in. We do track all of the categories separately throughout the year). It includes: Christmas, clothing, entertainment, gifts, and a variety of other small categories.
  • Travel climbed 3%, as we had a major vacation (Hawaii) this year, as well as the last-minute trip to Napa. It's also just generally more expensive to visit family, now that we've moved.
  • Groceries are down 1%.
  • Our house category isn't even on the radar, and last year represented 4% of the total sum. 
  • Auto (not including gas) is down 1%
  • Insurance dropped by 1%
  • Dining out dropped by .4%
  • And, the boys lessons went up .7%
  • Gas went down .9%
  • Utilities were down 1%
Net/net, some of our smaller categories are down this year, but our biggest categories are up, which makes all of the difference, and not in a good way.

All told, our spending between 2014 & 2013 is up $29,000. Our mortgage on our Seattle house is not entirely covered by the rent (we hope to break even in the next few years) & our rent is astronomically more than our mortgage was. As noted, most of our other categories have gone down, as we try to cut back.

In good news, our income also went up - pretty drastically. Our income was up $93,000, which is an enormous jump, without including our rental income. The bonuses I mentioned a few posts ago won't be paid out until January, so we'll have that, as well as a 12% raise (for me). All good news, but I am worried about the absolutely staggering cost of living here, and the complete cost (meaning, time, my sanity, etc) of this area, and what it takes to generate this kind of income. It's definitely not sustainable for me in the long-term, which I think about every day.

Next up is how we plan to handle the additional money in 2015, and how we will continue to drive certain spending categories down. What about you? How did you do with your spending/income in 2014? 

(And, a few caveats. The numbers above don't include: retirement savings, charitable contributions, or health care, as those are deducted automatically from our checks, so we don't even think of them. ;-))

UPDATE: Based on the comment about splitting about the actual expenses for our rental property & adding in the income, I updated the pie chart. Here is the update:


  1. I think this is very interesting. Good job on paying more down on the Seattle house. I think you should include only the difference of the Seattle rent and mortgage though as that is your real output. This is a distorted view because of that in my opinion.

    1. Agreed on the Seattle rent/mortgage, so added that detail to the last chart. It makes our San Francisco rent even more astronomical! :-)

    2. I'm sure it feels astronomical but its actually still in the recommended range :)

  2. I really appreciate how honest you are. That's an awesome increase in income but I never think about the cost of living side of things (not to mention the stresses): keeps things in perspective for me.

    1. I like to keep myself honest, as much as for anyone else. ;-) My blog give me a lot of accountability, and is my financial journal as well. I love looking back, thinking about goals, etc. ;-)

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  4. One of the things that we purchased last year that made a huge different was Quickbooks. Now we put everything into the program and it just holds it and keeps calculating until we need all the numbers in April. It was the best money we ever spent because I save at least a weeks worth of headaches now each year.

    Wanda Hanson @ Tax Tiger