Where did our money go?

by Erika Torres

This year was the first year I attempted to track where all our money went. I tried to track every penny, but some months were harder than others.

We had some highs and lows in our budget–saving $8,000 was  a big feat for us and helped us survive as a one-income family for four months and we finally paid off my car.

This is the breakdown of where our dollar was spent this year (as of November 30):


Where did our money go?

For every $100 we spent…

$26 for Rent and Utilities

Rent, Cell phones, Internet, Netflix

$17.40 for Transportation

Car payment, Insurance, Registration, Gas, Repairs and oil changes

$13 for Food

Groceries, Dining Out, and Eric’s fast food addiction
Fun Fact: Eric spent only $300 less than our cumulative dining out total–that is A LOT of fast food!

$9.50 for Eric

School fees, Fire Academy fees, travel for job interviews

$8 for Savings

$5 for Travel

$2 for Clothes

$2 for Entertainment

$17.10 for Everything Else

Gifts, Pet costs, Fitness and Gym fees, etc.

Out of our entire budget…

42% of our budget went toward FIXED Costs
50% of our income went toward VARIABLE costs
8% of our income went toward SAVINGS

How does your budget compare?


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The Happy Homeowner December 21, 2011 - 2:15 pm

Oooh..I love data-filled posts like this! You’ve certainly had a good year; you’re going to crush it in 2012!

Kiw girl December 21, 2011 - 9:12 am

Congratulations, you and Eric did really well. I know how satisfying it will be to go into 2012 without your car repayments hanging over you. Also with total commitment and full time jobs for the both of you for the whole year imagine what you can achieve next year. Merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2012.

Neo December 20, 2011 - 4:02 pm

Looks like the savings rate need to increase a bit. Does that include any 401k plans or pensions? Best bet is to increase that to at least 12%, 20% if you really want to break on through. I personally have a huge “everything else budget”, but I pay myself first so my savings rate is always well north of 20%.
Something to consider…

SB @ One Cent At A Time December 20, 2011 - 12:24 pm

Very interesting analysis. I have to do mine now. Waiting for the year to come to an end. Yodlee would do that for me (or Mint, if you use that one). $100,000 income for single earner is good but 8% saving is way too low. Do look to cut back on somethings. That ‘other’ category needs a scrutiny

justrealhappy December 19, 2011 - 9:01 pm

I definitely have no clue, but living with CB, I’m starting to see that we’re gonna have to be a little more careful with our money. So your will definitely be inspiration to me as I do that.

Pam at MoneyTrail December 19, 2011 - 6:36 pm

$8000 for Savings!! That is awesome. I love your breakdown of expenses.

Niki December 19, 2011 - 4:22 pm

Great breakdown! Looks like you had a pretty good year.

Teacher Girl December 19, 2011 - 3:54 pm

Wow! I am so impressed that you know this. I wish I did, although I can pretty well say that most of my income goes towards living as my mortgage is a huge chunk. Wish I knew where the rest of it went though.

Aloysa December 19, 2011 - 10:02 am

$2 for clothes! You are doing so great. Mine is probably (a rough estimate) $10. One of my NY resolutions will be less spending, less clutter, less clothes! 8% on savings is not too good but it is soo much better than nothing. Like in our case. Especially in the last four months it was pretty much 0%. Overall, I think you are on a right track.

Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter December 19, 2011 - 6:05 am

Interesting breakdown. We haven’t done a yearly review yet. We will soon though and I am really keen to see the results.


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