Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tracking our yearly expenses

I changed up my budget for 2015, and created both a  monthly budget, as well as our less consistent yearly budget. I had hoped to fully fund the yearly budget in January, but then realized that we had an enormous tax bill. So, I continue to pay for most of our yearly expenses, as well as trying to get ahead before things like our 10th anniversary trip in Hawaii. (Sidenote: can't wait! :-)) I really need to start beefing up our savings account over the next few months.

Anyway, 2015 is approximately 38% over, and here's how we're tracking for our yearly spending:


  • Taxes. Wow. Goal was $5K, ended up paying $40K. What a nice surprise that was.
  • Charitable contributions (above & beyond our standard monthly deductions). Up about $500 more than planned, as we donated to the boys schools, to help them meet their fundraising goal.
  • Clothing - we've spent 68% of our yearly budget. I'm an offender, and the boys cannot stop growing out of shoes. I have a bunch of stuff that I've yet to have time to return, so that should put us closer to on track I also don't plan to do much shopping for the remainder of the year. Hopefully the boys won't need much else.
  • Gifts - at 55% of our budget. Need to carefully track for the remaining months.
  • Health - at 64%. I was going to a gym class for a while there. I canceled when I noticed that I could only go every other or time or so due to work conflicts.


  • House - at 28%. We are going to have to either replace our dining room chairs, or have them re-upholstered. Two of the four have holes in the fabric. They are 15+ years old, so to be expected, I suppose.
  • Christmas - have't spent anything yet. :-)
  • Personal - at 32%. I need to figure out what I'm going to do with my hair. I typically have it cut 2x/year, but the gray is really starting to show through, & I'm thinking I might start coloring it, which will change this budget dramatically.
  • Auto. We've spent 30%, including an $800 service we had to have done last week.
  • Travel - at 32%. I've purchased most of the flights for the year, but still my parents flights in October (to watch the boys while we're in Hawaii), as well as our Christmas flights. In addition to the actual trips we have coming up. 

On track:

  • Boys college savings. We earmarked $5K for the year, and put it all in a few months ago. 
  • Boys activities. We're at 35%. This includes soccer fees, etc.
  • Boys (all) - at 39%. This is the placeholder bucket for all of the other random expenses that come up & don't fit into any other logical group. Class fees, etc.
All told, it was a bit of an experiment to move to a yearly budget, but I love it! It works out extremely well, and has given me a way to track uneven expenses without blowing our monthly budget. I feel like our monthly budget is more on track, because I can understand if we're actually over on things that we should be paying more attention to (dining out, groceries, etc). In the past, if I paid for a vacation, my entire monthly budget was blown out of the water. 

What about you? Do you track your yearly expenses? Do you have a similar system? How is it working for you?


  1. No, we track monthly, but not in depth. We just set a budget for LOTS of categories and if we have money in there great, if not, we readjust. Do we need to allot more or do we need to spend less? The yearly thing I am not sure would work for my brain or my husband's flight of fancy - much too much detail.

    However, it is fascinating to read everyone's elses. I want to try for that reason alone!

    BTW - I can never judge the clothing allowance. It seems some years, we have too much money because noone needed much, then the next year - everyone seems to need a new wardrobe! This year was one of those. The kids all grew a ton and both my husband and I had all clothes with holes and worn through marks. It was time for us to a get a new set.

    1. Agreed on the clothing! The boys just wear athletic shorts & shirts, but their shoes! The shoes! The soccer cleats & indoor soccer cleats, and regular shoes. We actually only buy one pair of (every day) shoes for the kids & they wear them until they wear out our grow out of them. But, the random shoes really add up.

      I'm loving the yearly budget. I thought it was going to be a ton of extra work,but with my current process, it's just an extra tab on my spreadsheet. Pretty straightforward, and allows me much better visibility into our actual monthly spend

  2. We are in the same boat as Jennifer, where we track monthly but we also have an ongoing yearly breakdown as well. It'll be cool to reference years of data so see how it changes (or doesn't change).

    1. I'm pretty excited to see how things stack up yearly once we have year over year data. :-) I'm a nerd like that. I know that next year is our 10th anniversary & my 40th birthday, so I expect the travel budget to soar! :-)