Inspired by posts from Fabulous Financials and Wide Open Wallet I decided to analyze where my money went last year. For simplicity, I’m only looking at my expenses here in the USA. I have investments incurring some expenses back in Australia, but I like to think of my Australian budget separate to my USA budget. I keep the majority of my money in Australia and have some of my pay sent to the USA for Hubby and I to live on while we are here.
Here’s what my USA expenses looked like for 2008:
- As you can see a massive 48% on our expenses went on travelling. The vast majority of our travels were made in conjunction with my work trips so I was in receipt of quite generous travelling allowances. Hubby and I usually travel together on far less than I receive. I’ll have to sit down and work out how much we actually spent once those allowances are taken into consideration.
- Food made up 12% of our expenses and that included grocery shopping and dining out. In reality ‘groceries’ also included household cleaning products, bathroom products and dog food.
- Hubby and I managed to spend 16% of our budget on ourselves. Hubby used most of his on hobbies and to be honest I don’t know exactly where I used most of mine. It’s terrible that I have thousands of dollars virtually unaccounted for.
- Bills made up 5% of expenditure and the car was a further 5%.
- The most shocking discovery in this exercise was that 5% of our expenses were categorized as miscellaneous, un-categorized or cash. What that really means is that 5% of our expenses have disappeared and I don’t know where they went.
I have been tracking my expenses like this for about 10 years. I always thought I was doing a reasonable job of tracking where our money went, but after doing this exercise I now realise that close to 10% of our expenses are not really accounted for. During the month of February, Hubby and I have set ourselves challenge of tracking every single cent that we spend. Hopefully this will get us back into the good habit of being accountable for all our expenses.