Saturday, January 07, 2006

More on Net Worth and 2005 income and expenses

When I posted my year-end net worth the other day, I didn't really go into much detail about how I got there. So here it is!

On 1/1/05, my net worth was $205,461, so during 2005 it increased by $50,887, or almost 25%.

My total income in 2005 was $108,433. This includes $80,671 salary, $8,176 bonus, $475 cash gifts, $2,486 tax refund, and $1,857 interest. The rest is dividends, capital gains and 401k matching contributions by my employer.

My total expenses for the year were $61,109. Some of the major categories are broken out below:
Taxes $26,067
Rent $10,200
Food/dining $8,056
Clothing $1,863
Telephone $1,518
Travel (including commuting, family visits and actual vacation trips) $3,535
Education $714
Entertainment $588
Gifts given $1,509
Home-buying expenses $1,350
Medical (insurance, co-pays, medicine, etc) $1,255
Household $829
Subscriptions (AOL, newspapers, mags) $792
Miscellaneous (haircuts, and other odds & ends) $1,323

If you look at just my salary and bonus income, subtracting taxes and 401k contributions, that comes to $48,780. My non-tax expenses were $35,042. So aside from the retirement savings and investment-related gains in my net worth, a lot of my increase was due to my saving 28% of my after-tax income, which I think is pretty good, if I do say so myself! If you count the 401k contributions of $14,000, I saved 44% of my income.
One of the reasons I can save so much is that my rent is quite low, at least compared to most people who live alone in New York City. But when I look at the rest of my expenses, it just seems like I didn't spend that much on non-necessities. $588 on entertainment sort of makes me feel like I barely scratched the surface of all the entertaining things you can do in NYC. But it's not like I didn't have fun this year! I took my sailing lessons & French classes, travelled to London and California and went hiking in Massachusetts (which compared to other recent years seems like I barely traveled at all!), bought some music and books and clothes, and generally managed to feel like I was living pretty well.
In the last few months, I've been trying to do a little more penny-pinching, and I want to stay on this budget until after I'm settled in my new home and can see what's left of my bank accounts! I won't be taking any big trips until probably the end of 2006 at best, and I'll be continuing to try to trim my food expenses a bit. But this isn't bothering me so much, as the payoff will be living in a nicer place and building equity as a homeowner. Onwards and upwards!

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