On Monday, I recapped the changes in my net worth in 2008. Now it's time for a look at last year's income and expenses. This year I decided to compare 2008 vs. my budget and also against 2007 to see how my spending habits might have changed. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)
- Salary increase was just the usual annual raise. Wish I could continue to be so blasé about that, but I already know I won't get any raise in 2009!
- Bonus increased nicely in 2008, though this was by no means guaranteed so I budgeted quite conservatively for that after some debate about putting any budget number in at all.
- Tax refund increased nicely as that is based on my first full year of having mortgage interest to deduct.
- Investment income was way down, no surprise-- this includes dividends and capital gains from both retirement accounts and my other investments at E*Trade.
- This year's big increases were Charity, Travel, and Miscellaneous. I took an extremely expensive vacation which sucked up about 3 years' worth of vacation budget. Under miscellaneous, I bought a new laptop. As for charity, I keep feeling guilty that I don't give enough so I tried to up that this year.
- Gifts Given is a bit skewed as I returned a few hundred dollars' worth of stuff in '09.
- Medical is up because of the various shots and pills I needed for my vacation, as well as increases in my health insurance premiums and co-pays.
- Housing is also up a bit as I screwed up one of my mortgage payments which resulted in an entire month's payment going towards the principal. Nothing wrong with that, it was actually kind of a happy accident. (Here I am counting repayment of principal as an "expense" even though I still "have" that money in the form of home equity.)
- Big decreases were Telephone (no more long distance relationship), Clothing (for no particular reason, I guess I just managed to keep my weight stable enough), and both Household and New Home-related Expenses. Last year I was still buying more miscellaneous hardware and cleaning items, and I finished buying furniture. I still have more decorating I'd like to do eventually, but I really forced myself to put that on hold for a while.
The bottom line is that due to lower investment income and a few expensive splurges this year, my net savings were lower than in 2007. But I still managed to keep most lines of my budget well under control and sock away a pretty good percentage of my income. The Net Saved amount includes $15,500 deducted from paychecks that went into my 401k, and $12,735 in investment income/401k match that was automatically reinvested in those accounts. The remaining $14,975 is cash savings that I deposited in bank accounts and managed not to spend.
I was pleasantly surprised when I reviewed these numbers. Throughout the year, I was worried that I was losing my frugal habits and spending way too much, but I guess I managed to make up for it in other ways. I'd still like to be saving more, especially given the appalling hit my investments have taken. And 2009 will be a year where I really have to make ends meet on less, since I'm sure any bonus I may get will be much smaller than last year's.
I haven't begun to tackle my 2009 budgeting and goals, but I'll do that soon... and of course YOU, my dear readers, will be invited along for the ride!