|water & trash||$919.73||$1,047.04||-12%|
We are really consistent in some categories - hygiene, for example, clothing, entertainment, groceries. Like, weirdly so. A difference of $0.13 in hygiene? (which includes toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products, hair cuts). That's almost creepy. :)
The increases were the purchase of our Toyota, a big dental expense (root canal/crown, yay), a big uptick in gifts (lots of babies born in our lives in 2015!), and a major change from the last three years is that Pickle's medical assistance from the state ran out and we are now responsible for our out-of-pocket medical expenses. Previously, due to her special needs, state medical assistance covered all of her medical expenses that our primary insurance didn't cover - like the deductible, which we usually met very early in the year (and we have a high interest deductible plan). So we didn't have many out-of-pocket medical expenses for Peanut or I in 2013 or 2014, even though I had a baby! But Pickle has now aged out of her original approval for state assistance, and her remaining diagnoses do not qualify for her to continue to receive it. This is not even a mixed blessing - I am happy to pay for our medical care, because it means that Pickle is overcoming all the side effects of prematurity! After all of the excellent care we have received, paying our max out of pocket of $6,300 a year still seems like a bargain. We cycle our medical expenses through an HSA so we don't have to pay income tax on those dollars, too.
Despite the increase in our spending, we were able to save a little bit as well and also maxed out both of our Roth IRAs for the year as well as contributing to Peanut's 401(k) up to the match.