My wife has been tracking our spending diligently the last few months as we’ve been going through a personal finance class. It’s part of a commitment to our classmates and more importantly, a foundational step in getting on top of your finances. Many think they spend a certain amount each month but are usually surprised that it’s substantially more. Personal Capital does a lot of the work for us and puts most of our transactions in one place. Let’s dig in and see what we can learn from my first spending report.
June Spending Chart
A quick glance at this chart quickly shows three categories that account for 60% of our household spending: Housing, Tithing and Groceries. Housing should hopefully go down as we recently purchased a property and the monthly bill may be $250-450 less, providing there are no issues in a given month. We still need to paint, get some rugs, and potentially get some carpet, and these expenses will show up in July.
Our family pays a full tithe to our church, or 10% of our “increase” or income. In addition, we pay a fast offering. Once a month we fast and go 2 meals without food and drink (about 24 hour fast), and donate a little more than the cost of those 2 meals to those in need. This money goes to help local people who are struggling. There are many blessings accompanied with this practice, and we actually want to increase our donations.
Finally, our grocery bill, which was actually about $150 under our budgeted amount, so we’re pretty pumped on that. It’s usually pretty modest so I’m not worried about that category. The only line item we went over on this month was healthcare, due to a doctor’s visit for the wife and a kid.
Truthfully, I don’t have a lot more to say about this, as I don’t really want to break down to dollar amounts for privacy reasons. That said, tithing is a monthly bill that doesn’t fluctuate (unless I make a lot on the side). In future months my housing and hopefully some other bills will decrease. Because of this I want to see my tithing percentage increase in comparison. I think comparing spend month over month might be more interesting as trends develop and we find ways to optimize more. Let me know what you think and I’ll dig deeper into the details next month. I hope you found my first spending report interesting!