2007 was a weird year for expenses. Not as weird as last year, when I went from being a renter to a homeowner (with a phase of quasi-homelessness in between). But this year, I still had some adjusting to do, and it will probably come as no surprise to anyone that I went well over budget!
Here's the data:
|Gym & Fitness||$1,199||$1,200||-$1||0%|
A few notes:
- Taxes: My income went up slightly, and I got a bigger bonus than expected, so taxes were higher.
- Housing: As I've mentioned before, my property taxes were out of whack as a 421a abatement hadn't kicked in yet. Also, this figure does not include the portion of my housing costs that goes towards my mortgage principal, as at least by some reckonings, that is money that I still have in my net worth in the form of home equity. I do include this part of my housing cost when I am looking at monthly spending budgets, though, since I do have to make sure I have the cash to pay it!
- Dining: Always my bête noire, dining continued to be a big expense this year. I am happy to report that I do not weigh 14% more than last year, though.
- Household: As you can see, I was still buying furniture and various items for my new home. The biggies were a bed and mattress, a bookcase, and DIY custom closet shelving. This category also tracks little things like laundry.
- Travel: My big New Zealand trip was actually not that expensive, since I used frequent flyer miles for my ticket.
- Clothing: I really needed some new ones, considering I didn't spend much on clothes last year. Also, I became single again and needed to start thinking about more colorful feathers with which to attract a mate.
- Miscellaneous: This was mainly thrown off by my purchase of a new Treo and some related accessories.
- Gifts Given: This includes a $1,000 savings bond purchased for my nephew, which won't be an annual occurrence.
- Entertainment: Funny, I didn't spend much but I haven't felt the least bit bored this year! I think I budgeted higher after buying theater tickets last year, but this year I didn't do anything that expensive and mainly entertained myself by reading free books!
- Subscriptions: I subscribed to a couple new magazines in order to get some decorating ideas, but I've let them expire without renewing, as I didn't find them that valuable. One of them was Martha Stewart's Blueprint magazine, which I just heard has folded anyway-- good thing I didn't renew! The person who told me this said they would have substituted another Martha Stewart magazine for the rest of the subscription. I had to laugh at the idea of getting a forced subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings! What would my mother say if she came to visit again!?!?
- Charity: I had wanted to increase my giving a bit, and did so. (This doesn't include the donations I do with all the proceeds from this website.) I still don't feel like I'm giving a huge amount, but I think I'll be in a position to prioritize that more later in life.
- Home Repair: You're probably thinking "huh? She lives in a brand-new home, what could possibly need to be repaired already?" This category might overlap somewhat with Household, but I had intended to use it to track things that would go towards the cost basis of my home if I were to sell it. These are supposed to be things that permanently increase the value of your home, that can't be taken with you when you move. The IRS doesn't seem to give any more specific guidelines, but I may have to go back over my receipts from Lowe's and Home Depot, etc. to see what really counts and maybe recategorize some things.
- Bank charge: I thought that seemed high until I remembered that I pay an annual fee for my credit card, which is now $60. That seems kind of annoying but I do earn a ton of frequent flyer miles on that card, and use them for things like tickets to New Zealand which cost way more than $60.
Stay tuned for some further analysis on how my spending changed from 2006 to 2007, and how I'll finalize my budget and goals for 2008.