Do You Know What You Spent In 2017?

I Spent

Hi everybody how are you? Before I dive into my 2017 expenses I would like to thank  Alyssa from MixedUpMoney. I would like to thank Alyssa because last year I read her post titled What Did You Spend Last Year and that inspired me to start tracking my expenses. Thanks to Alyssa I feel like I have a better grasp on my finances. Before reading that post I had never thought about tracking my expenses before. I always thought that since I never spent more than I earned that everything was good and there was no need to track my expenses.

After reading the blog post I decided it was time to track all of my expenses and see where I spend all of my money down to the last nickel (no more pennies in Canada). So I went into Microsoft Excel and created a spreadsheet and started tracking. I found myself at the very beginning watching what I would spend my money on, if I went into a store I would stick to what was on my list then I would hurry out of the store as I didn’t want to see a big number in my spreadsheet lol.

Well let’s get to my 2017 expenses. Last year I spent a total of $17,951.65.

Top 5 Category Expenses

1. Debt ($7,579)

Wow what a big number $7,579 in debt paid off such a huge number. That represents 53% of expenses last year. For the debt category I have two items car loan and bank loan.

Car loan

I currently own a 2015 Hyundai Elantra and I make bi-weekly payments on it. In 2017 I spent $3,711.25 on those payments.

Bank Loan

In 2016 I took out a $10,000 loan on my line of credit at the end of that year I had a balance of $3,867.75. I was able to pay the remaining amount of by April.

2. Electronics ($2,015.49)

I had two expenses in this category during 2017. Hopefully this year the category won’t exist on my spreadsheet. The two purchases were very expensive. The first is:

Laptop

In May my old laptop stopped working after 7 years it finally had enough. After doing a search I purchased a brand new Dell laptop after taxes the cost came to $1,642.45.

The second purchase was:

iPod

In December my old iPod that I had for about 5 to 6 years stopped working. I shopped around and found a sale and purchased the 128GB iPod Touch 6 Generation. The cost after tax was $373.04. Yes you read that right very expensive for an iPod but since I use it everyday I thought it was worth it.

3. Vehicle ($1,778.72)

For vehicle I have only a couple of expenses which are fuel and maintenance on the car.

Fuel

Fuel for the year cost me $1,103.16.

Maintenance

Maintenance for the year was $675.56. This is mostly oil changes and there was a break issue.

4. Entertainment ($1,484.21)

For the entertainment category I have several items which are books & newspapers, movies & tv shows, magazines, music, video games and movies(theater).  Before I share the numbers I will say that my numbers would have been larger but a good way for me to save money is by asking my relatives to buy me gift cards for iTunes where I can buy my books, magazines and music.

Books & Newspapers

Books and newspapers came in at $680.07. Out of this amount $300 was for the newspaper I read The Globe and Mail. This amount would have been higher without the gift cards. Also in 2018 I may look into Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited which is a monthly costs of $9.99 I think? Which would lower my costs in this area.

Movies & TV Shows

I spent $435.59 on blu-ray movies and tv show dvds in 2017. I’m the guy in August and September that buys their favourite tv show dvd when the season that was on tv last winter becomes available. Last year I was able to cut back on my spending in this area. Let’s see how I do this year.

Video Games

I am not as big a gamer as I use to be. My spending on games was $246.95 in 2017. I normally only buy 1 or 2 games per year for my PS4. I expect my spending to be lower in 2018 in this area.

Magazines

I have three subscriptions for magazines. All three are aviation magazines. My costs for these was $73.97 with the help of gift cards.

Music

My music buying was $37.63. I now tend to only buy single songs, years ago I use to buy the complete album.

Movies (Theater)

One of my favourite things to do is go to the movie theater. I only had to pay $10 in 2017, I received gift cards as well to help out with the expenses.

5. Rent ($1,420)

My fifth and final highest category is rent. My rent is quite low I admit my parents like having me around and don’t charge me too much.

Let’s go and see some of the other things I spent my money on in 2017.

Food and Restaurants

I spent $1,116.82 on food in 2017.

Gifts

I normally only have two people to buy for my parents. So my gift total for the year came in at $920.

Cell Phone

I spent $681.41 on my monthly phone plan. In 2018 this should be lower as I was able to drop my monthly payments to $28.15 from $70.06 beginning in Sept 2017.

Lottery

Every so often I get the feeling like I’m going to win the lottery so I race to the nearest store and buy a ticket. I spent $234 on tickets in 2017.

giphy (1)

What did I spend the least on you maybe wondering? Well if your interested I will tell you. In 2017 I spent $2 on bank fees. I spent 2 bucks in order to get a couple of cheques made out for when I was opening a new account with an online bank.

After tracking my expenses for a year I would recommend everyone give it a try. I think it will help you to see where all your money is going and you can adjust your spending accordingly or it can allow you to cut back in areas and you could put the money into savings.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I enjoyed sharing this with you. So let me ask you do you track your expenses? If not will you try it after reading this post? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading

Matthew

16 thoughts on “Do You Know What You Spent In 2017?

  1. What about food and restaurants?

    Thanks for sharing your spending down the the last nickel!

    Does your local library have access to the newspaper online? My husband can read the globe and Mail on the computer with the library card and it’s free!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops I forgot food lol. How could I have missed that. Food and restaurants was $1,116.82. Good question about the library I’m not sure I will have to go and check that out.

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    1. Thanks Penny I’m thinking I should be able to cut close to $2,000 from spending this year as I shouldn’t need a computer ($1,642) and cell phone plan should drop to under $400 this year.

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    1. Thanks I just created a spreadsheet and usually once I came home after spending something I forced myself to turn on the computer and enter the numbers. If I didn’t do that I probably would have forgotten.

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  2. Wow nice Matt. Your expenses are really low. 300 on the newspaper? Why not read it online? Thats probably cheaper if you wanted it. And why a ipod when you have a cellphone? Dont they work the same?

    Ahhh well awesome work tracking man. I wish my expenses could be that low. Im gonna start budgeting again this yr, will be nice to see where we are at!
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man. I should look into seeing what it would cost to read the paper online. I currently subscribe to the digital version that I download on iPad which was perfect with my old job I could take it to work and read. As for iPod and cellphone I have no idea how to listen on my phone and have always used iPods so I stayed with what I know and felt comfortable with.

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  3. Good work keeping track of your expenses for 2017! Once you get into the habit I don’t think you’ll every stop! I’ve been doing this monthly for a few years now and just love the insights it provides. Knowing what you spend on everything starts to become second nature.

    Looks like a good result for 2017 to me – my family’s spending was much, much higher than this….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks like we have pretty much the same cost of living, although the money is spread out differently! I don’t have a car, but my rent is a lot higher. Living at home is a great way to save money! I lived with my parents for a year in 2009/2010 and they only charged me $300 a month for rent + food.

    I used to track my spending back in my university days, and it was a big help. I keep meaning to start doing it again, but I usually forget to log things after the first few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Matthew, my name is Mark Caudill and I met you on Twitter the other day.

    Tracking my spending is something I do but have never posted it nowhere.

    I just came across the FIRE movement a few months ago and have been doing some research on it and find it ever fascinating. From what I am reading, one of the main parts of this movement is building wealth using the stock market.

    I have 2 retirement plans right now that I save money in, one is a 401k from my job, the second one is an IRA from when I was self employed. They both have around 11,000.00 dollars in them.

    I have been reading some about ETF’s and wonder what your opinion of them is, I would be wanting to get into one that pays dividend’s

    I am thinking of using one of those app’s like Robinhood or Stash to invest in ETF’s that pay a dividend.

    I would like to get your advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark, thanks for your comment. I think ETFs are a great investment as they provide excellent diversification to anyone’s portfolio. I currently have one ETF for exposure to the world beyond North America. I live in Canada so I don’t know too much about US ETFs but I imagine they all would pay a dividend. Also I don’t know much about the apps you mentioned, although I think Robinhood has no trading fees or charge little trading fees? I hope this helps! Please feel free to reach out on Twitter or here on the blog.

      Matthew

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