PoP 2016 Spending Summary

If 2015 was the year of major home renovations – which saw us installing solar panels and spending the bulk of the total that we’ll spend on our major home renovations, then 2016 was the year of travel. I used every single one of my 25 PTO days before Thanksgiving this year, and Mr PoP used almost as much as I did!

2016 Spending Goals


First was Hawaii!

We started the year with a plan to spend:

  • $45.5K on “personal spending, excluding
  • another $3.6K on finishing our remodel,
  • and set aside/spend another $18K on a “fun car” for Mr PoP.

But when a couple of weeks into January we found out we were going to go to Hawaii, and that I could attend the Chautauqua in Ecuador, we ended up nearly doubling the planned travel spend for the year by extending the Hawaii trip by nearly two weeks, getting me to Ecuador, and Mr PoP to Burning Man, with a few other getaways along the way.

2016 Actual Spending

  • $47,959 on “personal spending”, excluding the
  • $3.3K on the remodel (so $51,302 total),
  • and we set aside $18,000 in a savings account for Mr PoP’s fun car, but have yet to spend it.

Travel’s really the biggest outlier here, and we ended up being able to dial back in a couple other areas to partially offset the extra ~$4K we spent there.

Where Did The Money Go?

  • Then Omaha!

    Then Omaha!

    Groceries: $4,513

  • Eating Out: $2,696
  • Total Food – $7,209 – 14% of the total. We had actually increased our food budget to $650/month for the year, but found as the kitchen became more usable it wasn’t needed as much as thought!

  • Mortgage: $13,801 – of which ~$6.7K is principal reduction
  • Home Maintenance and Repairs: $2,650
  • Renovations – $3,343: I wish we were done, but we’re not quite there. Getting closer all the time, though -and due for an update pretty soon!
  • Bills for Primary Residence: $1,952 – this is my cell phone, water, sewer, internet, and the fixed fee for keeping us connected to the electric grid while our solar panels provided 100% of our electricity use!
  • Total Home: $21,746 – 42% of our total spending this year
  • Gas: $1,996 – lower than last year, mostly due to gas prices being lower
  • Auto Repairs: $1,162 – not bad for a car that now has almost 140K miles on it!
  • Car Insurance – $661
  • Registration & Tickets: $305 – lest we relive the unluckiest Friday, here Mr PoP’s illegal U-turn ticket makes an appearance
  • Rental Transport: $11 – an uber for a morning when the car wouldn’t start and we had urgent transportation needs!
  • Total Automotive Transportation: 4135, 8% of our total spending
  • Mr PoP went to Burning Man!

    Mr PoP went to Burning Man!

    General Shopping: $4,744, which amazingly contains more than $1,000 spent on shoes for the two of us for the year. That’s a tad more than what we normally spend on shoes. =P

  • Pet Care: $259 – an inexpensive year for Kitty PoP, as he remained healthy and happy with very little
  • Total Shopping: $5,003 – 9.8%
  • Medical Treatments and Rx: $1,732 – Mr PoP was quite healthy, so most of this was me, as my foot gave me major problems the whole year (hence much of the shoe spending) and I ended up having foot surgery in the fall, and was ~3.4% of our spending
  • Gym/Fitness: $952 – lower than past years as my foot kept me from signing up for more races that I would have liked to have done
  • Media Sub: $96 – Good ole’ Hulu
  • Media Non-Sub: $53
  • Total Fitness/Entertainment: $1,101 – about 2.1% of total spending
  • Travel: $8,984 – 17.5% of the total! After 2.5 weeks in Hawaii, a long weekend in Omaha, 2 trips to where Mr PoP grew up, 1 journey to San Francisco and Burning Man, and a week in Ecuador, it’s nice to be home. =)

  • Charity: $862 – more than past years, which was nice
  • Tax Guy: $530 – a slight increase over past years, but still worth it, IMHO
  • Total Miscellaneous: $10,376 – 20% of the total
  • Total Personal Spending: $51,302

There isn’t too much of a surprise with these numbers, as by the end of the year, it felt like we had been trying to fit too much travel into our work schedules.

Looking Forward To 2017

Neither Mr PoP nor I have any desire to fit in the same number of days on the road, so we expect travel spending to be down. That said, I’ve got a fairly expensive week-long trip that I’m trying to plan for the both of us for late in the year that we won’t be able to travel hack our way out of the costs for.

We still anticipate having some “remodel” costs this year, some of which will go into the kitchen to finish it off (we really are close – I will update soon, I promise!), but will also be used to finish tiling most of the rest of the house. We have the tile, but we’ll need to buy the mortar, new baseboards, etc to install it all.

The other big item for 2017 is some sort of “fun car” for Mr PoP. He (and I, to a lesser extent) has done quite a lot of thinking about this plan over the past year and we think we *finally* have a game plan we’re going to stick with. But, we can’t do anything until we get our wood-pile out of the garage – which means a little more work on the kitchen before we can act!

Here’s wishing for the best in 2017!

How was your 2016 spending? Do you have any major spending plans for 2017?

9 comments to PoP 2016 Spending Summary

  • Are you thinking about doing Omaha again? I’m considering going this year.
    Matt Warnert recently posted..A Bright IdeaMy Profile

    • Not this year, sadly. Since they started streaming the meeting last year we decided to host a little viewing/pool party at our home in Florida. Last year it was just too cold and rainy in Omaha! =)

  • Wow, $1000 on shoes! I guess runners usually have to buy more replacement shoes than the average person, though.

    I wish I’d been tracking expenses all year so I could lay them all out like this, but I’ve only been tracking the past few months. We’re hoping to both get new jobs in 2017 to up our income, and hopefully that won’t tempt us to spend any more than usual!
    Ellie @ The Chedda recently posted..Net Worth and Income – December 2016My Profile

    • Ha, runners do go through a lot of shoes, but this year was particularly bad since I was having so much foot trouble I kept trying out tons of different shoes to see if they’d help. That, combined with an expensive pair of shoes for Mr PoP put the shoe total at over $1K. =)

      Good luck on the job front to you both in 2017. Just knowing that you don’t want to succumb to lifestyle inflation goes a long way – that’s where we started and then we managed to triple our income from when we got married. That, with spending staying roughly the same was a huge boon for us!

  • Julia

    Keep Sunny!! I know I only say it for the history on the car…and when the kitchen is done I’m sure you don’t want another big project which means you should sell Sunny and the Acura/sporty car for Mr POP

    But I love the Sunny story and it’s ADORABLE!

    • Sunny is a wonderful car, but you’re absolutely right that it’s going to be a huge project for someone to restore… is that someone us? As the magic 8 ball would say, “Outlook not so good”

  • Looking forward to kitchen updates!

    I don’t really know what our 2016 spending was. We don’t have anything in particular planned for 2017. Though contingency plans… when the government starts going full fascist we’ll start funneling some money overseas.
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted..Thoughts on the children’s Xmas haul this yearMy Profile

    • Hopefully next week for some kitchen updates. There’s a couple things I want to finish up first and then put it all in one post. =)

  • Embarrassed to admit I have’t looked at my 2016 spending yet to see how I did starting from August 1, when the XFP and I separated our finances. (Before, that who care? That phase of my life is done.) 2017 is definitely going to be a rebuilding year for me. New divorce, looking for a new job, dating again–not really sure where the new year will take me.
    Frugal Paragon recently posted..Domestic Hits and Misses, or That’s Why You Make a MuslinMy Profile