It’s time for one final look at our expenses for the past year, and the past five years. But first, one more excerpt from old Quicken!
In keeping with the theme of evil corporations, if you bought CDs in the 1990s and early 2000s, you hopefully were part of a class action anti-trust lawsuit against the record companies who had been jacking up the prices on CDs for years. I was, and I got this check back for the money I was bilked by buying Presidents of the United States of America, R.E.M. and Nine Inch Nails albums.
And what did I immediately do with that money?
I’m not going to say what those CD-Rs were used for.
|New car payments||–||–||–||6,735||6,642|
|Avg. Monthly Disc.||3,088||3,309||3,074||2,901||2,740|
Here are our total expenses, the total out-of-pocket, the whole nut for the year, less what I am calling “mandatory” expenses right now, to get us down to some comparable numbers. Looking purely at the Total numbers, we spent much more during 2014 than 2011 and 2012. But we have to subtract all the loans, and the extra payments to the loans, along with income taxes, which have increased as our income as increased. I also subtracted property taxes because, truthfully, what can you do about those? Arguably, our home insurance could probably be reduced a little, but I’m not losing sleep over it.
And those contractor and DIY expenses may not exactly be mandatory, but it wouldn’t be smart to go without them in most of our instances. Someone had to repair that roof and replace the boilers after all.
After subtracting all that stuff, we drill down to get what I’m probably incorrectly labeling as “Discretionary.” At any rate, with the mandatory expenses, taxes, and noise (read: contractor work, since it’s both aberrational and loud) removed, we have a set of more comparable numbers.
Surprisingly, 2011 was the year when we wasted the most money, even though its total total is the lowest out of the five years. There were no contractor expenses that year, but we blew more on food and gas for our cars during that year than the others. Not surprisingly, 2014 was our most frugal year, as I could have predicted from Part 1 and Part 2.
I don’t think I’ll be doing a monthly expense wrap up going forward. Since our expenses get put on an array of different credit cards for travel rewards, I book them as they get paid and the payment dates are unpredictable. With different due dates and that, there is too much noise. Expenses are usually trailing by a month or something after they were charged. But I think quarterly expense reports will work. Look forward to the Ridinkulous 2015 Q1 Report.