The final total of all of our expenses in 2016 was $ 39,457.76. Yikes! We had a very spendy year. This is out of our net income.
I am almost embarrassed to say that we spent about $5467.00 for groceries during the year considering there are only two of us. That is about $ 455.58 a month. It really doesn't sound so bad but then you realize that there were no non-food items in that total such as toilet paper, shampoo, bug spray, bandaids, etc.
We spent another $ 3836. on those items. So the total of just these two categories was $ 9303. That is a bit over 23% of our net income. Just ridiculous, in my estimation.
Our expense total does not include any Federal or State Income taxes. However it does include school and property taxes for the home we live in and for our property in Texas which totaled $ 7809.51. That is another large chunk of our net income. So after these taxes we spent about $ 31,648. on everything else.
We spent a few hundred dollars during the year from our net income on charity. But then we spent another $XXXX.XX from our dividend income(which we don't usually include in our every day income because the majority of it gets reinvested) in a lump sum at the end of the year which we did not show because we want to keep those donations private.
If you want to see what we spent in the other categories, just look at our monthly expense reports. They are all out there for the year.
Did you guys track your income, expenses, and savings last year? I hope so. If not you should be tracking every dime since January 1st this year. If you do nothing else, track those expenses because they are an eye opener as to where you need to cut. You can't get a handle on a budget without doing this.
We need to cut our grocery and non food bills this year. So I am making as much from scratch as I can. We are eating from our stockpile as much as possible. We are monitoring our portions. I am learning how to make bread and all kinds of other bakery products from scratch. I have had a bread maker for years. Even though we still will use it in a pinch, I want to learn to do it from scratch. So that is a major project for me this year that I will enjoy. Another major project is to always make sure that I am getting the best price on the non food items that I can by researching the prices again. I always kept a price book but prices are going up again so I need to update that.
We would also like to cut our medical expenses. Our supplemental medical insurance( for the 20% that Medicare doesn't pay) went up another $ 354. this year. Our Medicare also went up and wiped out our miniscule Social Security increase. We know that there isn't much we can do about some of them but others we can. So we will be working on those.
We spent little over a years time on personal care so there isn't much to cut there.
We also can't cut household maintenance. It could be lower if Hubby could still do most things himself. But we pay for lawn care, and garden and tree maintenance. We also pay for car maintenance. All of these things Hubby did for years but he no longer can or wants to do them. Of course, we could always move to a condo where everything would be taken care of. However, we love our home and the privacy it affords us so this is an expense we are willing to pay for.
Netflix,our alarm system, cable TV and internet we enjoy so we will not cut them but we could in a pinch.
There isn't much we can do to cut our water and sewer bills. We do not waste water and the sewer bills are set.
We have pretty much done every thing we can to keep our electric and natural gas bills as low as possible. We will continue to do that.
Gift expenses are being reduced this year not only to save money but to make sure that our grandchildren aren't spoiled too much. I wrote in a prior post about that.
We have done everything that we can to reduce our auto and homeowners insurance premiums. It is expensive to insure these items in NYS.
We do what we can to reduce our gasoline costs especially by not driving. We will continue to do those things.
Clothing will again be minimal. There isn't much we need. We continue to watch sales when we do.
We cut cut our wine and liquor bill and will work on that.
The gift card deals we got at the end of last year will defray the cost of restaurant and take out this year. We will be going to other restaurants though too.
So come along this year as we continue to cut costs and show you how we do that. We will be spending as little as possible this year because every dollar counts.