December 26, 2010

Examining our Spending Trends By Category 2009 to 2010

The changes in spending from 2009 to 2010 are as follows sorted from most expensive category to least :


Home mortgage 0.0%
Grocery / drugstore -0.5%
Eat out -24.6%
Auto insurance 20.9%
Electricity -23.3%
Gasoline 23.3%
Cable 13.9%
Phone / internet 20.4%
Clothes 23.4%
Cell phones 3.7%
Car other 189.7%
Water 3.1%
ADT 25.2%
Garbage 0.5%
Netflix 23.2%

Sorted by the amount of change from last year to this :
Eat out -24.6%
Electricity -23.3%
Grocery / drugstore -0.5%
Home mortgage 0.0%
Garbage 0.5%
Water 3.1%
Cell phones 3.7%
Cable 13.9%
Phone / internet 20.4%
Auto insurance 20.9%
Netflix 23.2%
Gasoline 23.3%
Clothes 23.4%
ADT 25.2%
Car other 189.7%



Large reductions :  Eating out and electricity were both down over 20% this year compared to last.   I'm happy with these two reductions.  Eating out and electricity are major expenses.  

Little changed:   Our mortgage, grocery / drug store spending, garbage bill, water utility and cell phones were changed by less than 4%.   Thats not bad and I can figure it as inflation kind of changes.

Largest increases:   car other, ADT, gasoline, Netflix, Auto Insurance and phone/internet were all up over 20% and cable was up over 10%.  

Car Other : There were charges of about $190 for the DMV.   We also had a $315 charge to work on the brakes on my wife's car.   Those two expenses accounted for the huge increase.   Reason for increase : high annual variability
ADT:   Our rates were not much changed.  I looked back through the 2009 and 2010 records and I realized I didn't accurately record all the ADT charges for 2009.   Reason for increase : clerical error.
Gasoline :  Gas prices averaged around $2.40 a gallon in 2009 and $2.80 in 2010.   Thats about 16.6% increase which accounts for most of the cost increase.  Reason for increase : inflation & increased usage
Clothes:  I bought a suit and a sport jacket.   That purchase swung the category into an increase.   If I hadn't bought those then the category would have been down about -20%.  Reason for increase : one time purchase
Netflix:  We decided to increase the number of DVDs we get late this year.   Reason for increase : Chose to spend more
Auto insurance :  Like the ADT category I missed at least one month of cost for 2009.  Otherwise I'm not sure why this cost changed from year to year.   Our monthly rates are not much changed.
Phone / internet:   Our old rate expired and the rates went up.   I thought about switching to a bundle deal with either Comcast or Verizon but never acted.   Reason for increase : Rate increase
Cable :  Its cable TV so I'm not surprised it went up.   Our rates keep going up all the time.  Unless I call them and complain.   I've said before that we're OK paying for our cable expense even though its not cheap.  Reason for increase : Rate increase.

Most of these categories I don't have a problem with the increases given the details.   Our car expenses will fluctuate based on when DMV licensing bills are due and given the random nature of car repair needs.   ADT and auto insurance really aren't much changed but I didn't do a good job tracking those bills in 2009.   Gasoline costs will fluctuate and we don't drive significantly more in 2010 than on 2009.   The clothing costs for my suit and the Netflix charge were deliberate.


Problem areas:   Phone/internet and cable both went up over 20%.    That accounts for around $400 increased spending.   Thats not a good trend at all.   We do value these services and use them enough to justify spending money on them, but at the same time I don't like seeing bills go up 20% year over year.  These are the two main areas that I want to watch and see if I can reduce further.

1 comment:

  1. i switched my cable rate to digital starter at $29.99 a month and i switched my internet to ATT for $19.99 a month. For home phone I use tmobile at home at $9.99 a month. Ooma is also good at flat rate of $200 forever!

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