Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014 Spending Recap

Previous Years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013


2014 2013 Percent change
alcohol $0.00 $20.00 100%
baby $0.00 $1,034.70 100%
blog $37.62 $40.13 6%
business $64.48 $72.55 11%
car jeep $662.58 $1,975.94 66%
car mazda $3,065.02 $2,289.22 -34%
cat $344.20 $483.94 28%
Cell phones $1,345.62 $1,229.93 -9%
charity $150.00 $167.00 10%
clothing $1,137.07 $387.92 -193%
dental $1,188.15 $1,892.95 37%
electric $1,392.48 $966.52 -44%
electronics $468.37 $297.73 -57%
Entertainment $929.21 $509.33 -82%
food - groceries $5,273.68 $3,413.48 -54%
food - other $2,719.13 $2,881.59 5%
gardening $21.95 $50.91 57%
gas $913.73 $787.37 -16%
gifts $527.63 $580.99 9%
Helicopter/Robot $189.35 $473.36 60%
house $16,761.92 $23,248.78 28%
household $2,893.55 $1,235.06 -134%
Hygiene $380.30 $367.02 -4%
insurance $560.00 $560.00 0%
internet $906.84 $797.50 -14%
medical $254.20 $178.94 -42%
sewing/quilting $6.99 $107.73 93%
therapy $0.00 $204.80 100%
transportation $350.00 $350.00 0%
travel $1,627.26 $0.00 -100%
Water & Trash $1,047.04 $812.34 -29%
yoga $40.00 $160.00 75%
Grand Total $45,258.37 $47,577.73


We had around 1,100 transactions in 2014. This is not exactly accurate - in order to correctly categorize purchases, we have to break up some transactions into separate line items. So a single trip to Costco for toilet paper, food items, and socks winds up getting three lines in the spreadsheet: one for household, one for groceries and one for clothing. Nonetheless, it's interesting thing to think about how often we make decisions that involve money coming in or coming out. 

It's interesting to see where the biggest spending differences are - we spent less on hobbies but a lot more on clothes (thanks, pregnancy), exactly the same on bus fare and insurance, more on groceries and nothing on therapy or alcohol. Now that we've paid off all debt but the mortgage, we're focused on putting away money for retirement and saving money on everyday spending where we can. We live a comfortable life as a family of four on one income, thanks to the groundwork we set years ago. For the first time, though, it seems like our financial picture isn't going to change dramatically for a long time. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 New Year's Resolutions

Each year, I make the same number of resolutions as the last number of the year. So this year, I am making five resolutions.

1. Less yelling. I would like to make this one "no yelling" but I also want to have a chance to succeed. :) The truth is, staying home with a toddler was challenging enough and now I'm adding a newborn to the mix. I don't want to be a yelling mom, especially given that Pickle is so not a bad kid - she's just a normal two year old and while that can be annoying at times, she doesn't deserve to be yelled at for it. I tend to yell when frustrated, and I want to curb this tendency while my kids are young enough to not remember that it ever happened.

2. Get stronger. Spending nine months taking it easy was tough on my body, as if pregnancy and a c-section weren't enough. I couldn't even push Pickle in a stroller two blocks to the park (doctor's orders!) so now everything feels like a challenge. When I'm cleared to resume exercise, I'd like to actually make a point to do it - I don't care so much about weight loss or appearance, but I want to feel strong again and I want to lose some of the pain I'm feeling from compensating for weaker abdominal muscles. I think something like a short daily yoga routine, plus 100 push-ups or 200 sit-ups, or even just dropping down and doing something active when I have a few minutes while both kids are napping or occupied. 

3. Treasure the moment.  At the end of 2015, I will have a preschooler and a toddler - no babies. And since Baby Bear is probably our last child, I'd like to really appreciate the moments that I have home with them. Being a stay at home mom (or any parent, really) is full of frustration and boredom, but there are such beautiful moments as well. I want to try to pay attention to those and treasure them instead of rushing through to the next thing on my to-do list.

4. Max out retirement. Peanut and I have been trying really hard to max out Roth IRAs for  both of us each year, even though I'm not working, to minimize the long-term effect my unemployment will have for our family. This means making some sacrifices and doing some planning, and I am committed to doing it for 2015 again.

5. Bring in some side income. I contribute to our family in lots of ways, but I like to bring in some cash, too - especially for "extras" like trips. Last year I did some freelancing, which might not be possible this year, but I'll be on the lookout for survey and focus group opportunities, chances to sell baby items, and other ways to bring home some bacon.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 New Year's Resolutions Recap

2014 was such a quiet year for me compared to 2013 and 2012. I would say that it's one of my very favorite years to date - I hope that 2015 is as lovely!

1. Transition Pickle to a fully homemade diet. Success! Medical protocol for tube-fed people is generally commercial formula, and we weren't having a lot of luck with that. A homemade blended diet is becoming more popular, and we successfully transitioned to that in January of 2014. The difference it made was immense - Pickle's multiple-times-a-day vomiting stopped entirely, her weight gain picked up, her color looks great, her hair started growing in, and her bloodwork improved. It's a little more work, and a little more expensive, but totally worth it!

2. Be here now. Success! One weird thing about pregnancy is that as much as it is about looking forward to the birth of the child, it really does keep you in the moment as well. Whether you're thinking about what is happening with the fetus or with your changing body, pregnancy is kind of a day-by-day experience. In addition, expecting a second child made me appreciate the small moments with Pickle more than ever - I knew that my time to rock her all the way to sleep for naps would be limited, and I took advantage of every moment to snuggle her. 

3. Contribute to retirement savings again. A planned success. We maxed out two Roth IRAs for 2013, despite being on one income, and we are set to do so again for 2014. We have until the tax filing deadline of April 15 to do it, but we're on track. 

4. Give back. Success! I joined a family volunteer organization at the hospital where Pickle spent the first four and a half months of her life, and I organized a meal at the Ronald McDonald House where we ate daily for that time. My involvement in both is rather limited with the new baby, but I plan to stay involved. 

How did you do with your 2014 resolutions?