Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 14, 2013
My family for a while now has used the concept of spending cash. It’s basically a monthly allowance for adults to spend on what ever we want (with the exception of we fully expect to buy the odd jug of milk or fruit for the house out of it). Yet I’ve been curious on where exactly does that money go in a given year? I had never actually tracked it before.
So for 2012 I tracked just about every penny of spending cash I used. The yearly budget is for $2400 per adult per year or $200/month. While my total was a little out at $2350, it does show where all those little decisions added up to. The missing $50 was likely just saved and moved into 2013. I tend to shift my spending around a bit.
I produced the following image of where that money went (click to make bigger) came from the app I used called Toshl Finance.
What I found interesting about this exercise was the fact I apparently like to spend money on food. Almost 40% of my spending came from food related items (snacks, lunches out, fast food suppers). This isn’t surprising since a majority of my socialization happens around food. So I would do a lunch out with a friend or have a snack while visiting with co-workers during a coffee break.
Meanwhile my vices in life (booze, movies and electronics) make up 30% of my spending. To be honest I was a bit surprised that booze out ranked movies. I would have guessed it was the other way around, but perhaps that indicates how good I’ve gotten at keeping my movie habit costs down (thank you public library). Or perhaps I bought more beer than I thought when finishing the backyard patio last summer?
Overall I have to say I’m content with where the money went, it generally reflected my wants and a few needs. I also managed to keep the spending on ‘stuff’ relatively low. Perhaps the only thing I would question was how happy was I with all the money going to booze? Would I prefer the money to go elsewhere? After all that booze money doesn’t include what I spent on wine kits.
Any questions? Or how does this compare to your own spending cash?