And now, the accounting

This is gonna hurt.

Last year’s accounting: 2014. The year before: 2013. The year before that: 2012. I do like some forced honesty. Motherfucker.

(Why do I want to type that word so much? I DON’T KNOW. But I love it. It feels good in my metaphorical mouth.)

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So we didn’t hit what I expected on income because I wasn’t at home monitoring Mint this year. I always eyeball it a little bit at the beginning of the year and guess our monthly income because what we receive varies slightly through the year. Things like 401k contributions mean that we start out getting much smaller checks than we get at the end of the year. And I didn’t sit on Mint this year cause I was kinda busy. I barely entered transaction data. So this doesn’t line up perfectly. Whatever. Congratulations Noah. This year you made about $173,000ish. Well done! I can’t do that. Fantastic. The $20k from your parents you didn’t earn. But it is… awkward and uncomfortable and yet still nice that your parents send it.

Book sales were $6,440 last year and $8,388 this year. Well done Noah. I’m so proud of you.

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Once again: I didn’t really look at Mint for 5 months. Things are out of whack because sliders got put in somewhat random places and I forgot to check back. So ignore the fact that I underspend in Public Transportation. Uhm, whatever.

For all of auto/transport we spent $10,065. That’s a lot of forking money. $4,308 was on car repair. I needed new tires. I had to fix the trailer. I think this includes the transmission repair on the Prius? This was quite a year on cars needing help. $835 on public transit is partially because of tolls and tolls and tolls. Those bastards are expensive. I also put some of Noah’s to/from airports in here because by December I noticed that I totally over budgeted in this area. Oh well. $111 on parking. I ain’t kidding.

$3,372 on gas is actually low seeming to me. Given that I drove around the perimeter of the country and Noah stayed here and did our normal driving. For comparison, last year we spent $2,345 on gas. I wouldn’t think that such an extensive trip merely increased our spending by $1,000. This tells you that I drive too much most of the time! Ridiculous!

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Last year bills were over $4,000. I wonder why that went down given that our phone bill went up. Hm.

Ok, maybe Noah making $8k on the book isn’t as awesome since $6,799 turned around and went right back out on book related stuff. Let me tell y’all. Selling shit is hard and expensive. I had no idea.

$4,221 was spent on entertainment. Most of that on museums. I have no regrets.

Noah and I spent money on ourselves. I think we did it in cash and didn’t account for it. Whoops.

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$22,630 on food. $10,177 on restaurants. $12,446. My grocery bill was lower than normal. My eating out bill was almost twice what it normally is. Yup. That’s what happens when you travel like that.

$11,754 on health. That’s lower than normal too. I wasn’t home for my norma round of lovely massages.

$64,202 towards my house. $54,000 of that was mortgage. Oh that feels lovely. That’s not accounting for the $5,000 that arrives today at the mortgage company. (Scheduled but not accounted for. Geez, banks.) So I got $59,000 out the door on my mortgage this calendar year.

Let’s not give me too much credit. $30,000 of that was Noah’s signing bonus for this job. Otherwise I only made like two months of extra payments.

(Where the heck is the rest of the money going then, eh? We paid some for the bathroom remodel that failed. Gardener. Home supplies, and property taxes. Pretty valid shit.)

For gifts: $8,837 was spent on Christmas. Given the high number of people I sent presents to who didn’t acknowledge me in the slightest this will be the highest spending year of my life. I’m completely uninterested in ever doing this again. $687 on “other gifts” and $5342 was donated to various charitable causes. I think that in the future Christmas should be under $2,000 (let’s be realistic–we often give electronics. It does have to be kinda high) and charitable giving should be closer to $10,000. That is my stated goal for next year.

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$11,419 on kids. That’s a fairly big jump from last year. We did *so many things* this year.

$3,701 on clothes. That’s almost double what we normally spend on clothes in a year. I don’t fee bad. It includes some pretty darn awesome stuff I may wear for the rest of my life.

$554 in undocumented cash spending. That’s not too bad.

$15,859 on taxes. Yup. That’s what it is.

Now we get into the part I feel…. squiggly about.

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Holy tomato.

Fee’s and charges. I’ll try not to have those next year.

We got a slight refund from last year’s lawyer. I didn’t spend all of the retainer. Then Dad needed money.

I feel a little weird that we spend this much money on hair but she’s a fantastically good hair dresser that can make a whole crew of funny looking people look good. Maybe she’s worth it? I certainly keep paying for her.

So the spa money… manicures and pedicures and facials and stuff like that. Because other than sitting around or shopping… there isn’t that much to do during the limited windows of child care offered by Disney other than go to the spa that is always conveniently near child care.

$2,693 on books. What a glorious year. Next year: reading. Not buying.

$4,442 on electronics. Well, Noah bought his old laptop from a company. That includes a projector. I’m not entirely sure what else. Good golly we use electronics. (I could look it up. If you couldn’t tell, this is the fast and dirty end of year review.)

$6,720 to 529s. That’s excellent.

$1200 to the mutual fund. Not a lot but every bit helps.

$5,400 to IRA. Better, still not that high though.

$23,279 on the cross country trip. That’s every other bit of paying for anything we did. Really, because stuff kinda got pushed into Christmas, kids, food, auto… we spent more than that. Probably closer to $40,000. Ew.

But it was absolutely amazing and I don’t regret it even a little. I’m just not going to blow money like that any year soon.

$5,654 is deposits on next year’s vow renewal. That cruise will be expensive and awesome. Next year we are probably going to spend ~$20,000 on travel which is way down from this year but still ridiculous.

Ok, we need some frugal years here. Other than the cruise 2016 is going to need to be locked down. 2017 will have to be more frugal still. If I want my old age to be safe and secure that’s the cost.

Have fun while you are young, yes. But make sure you are providing for your old age too.

Short term, medium term, and long-term goals. I expected to hemorrhage money this year. I saved up for it. I planned around it. I wanted to. Now I want to stem the flow and build up my reserves again.

Here, here is the only screenshot that really matters.

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This right here? This makes me very unhappy. I let our buffer get really low. I dipped into savings to preserve the integrity of my checking account. That’s bad. It was the only way to hand money to Dad right now, so I’m ok with it. But that’s bad. My buffer should not get this low.

We go through too much money.

My joint checking account shouldn’t get below $30,000. We have months where $30,000 goes out the door. It has to be my floor. That has to be the same as zero.

And I failed on that. I’m not happy with myself at all. I have to build that up again fast. It’s going to take most of this year if I can get there this year. $17,000 extra is a lot. Even for me. Then I really really really want my savings account back at $40k.

I want $100,000 in cash. That’s what I want. That’s what makes me feel safe. I had it at the beginning of this year and I blew it and now I have to fix it.

Isn’t it completely and totally insane that I’m upset with myself for getting down to having $63,255 in petty cash?

Oh how things change. I used to pray for a $3,000 buffer. That was what I maintained for years. That was my safety for a very long time.

But now there are months where we spend $30,000 so I just have to be able to cover it. Period. Things change.

2015 has been quite a year. I’m grateful for all the lessons learned. I’m grateful that I had these experiences. I’m grateful I got to be where I got to be. I’m grateful I got to do all I got to do.

My life is truly extraordinary.

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