PoP 2017 Spending Summary

2017 was a year of highs and lows, and very much felt defined by two items:

  1. Mr PoP finally buying his dream car – a 25 year old Honda, and living that joy daily, and
  2. Experiencing our first ever hurricane and dealing with the stress and the aftermath in our own ways.

Looking at our spending, it’s pretty clear that both of these items had a pretty significant impact.

2017 Spending Goals

Chock full again - of the car of Mr PoP's dreams...

That 25 year old Honda Mr PoP dreamed about…

We started the year with a plan to spend:

  • $46.7K on “personal spending, excluding
  • another $3.6K on finishing our remodel – which has now expanded to almost every room in the house,
  • and spend the $18K already set aside for Mr PoP’s dream car, plus probably another $18-20K in current cash.

Even with a couple week-long trip to California in the spring, and the car spending running a bit high as we headed into the fall, we weren’t shooting too far off the mark for that spending goal. But Hurricane Irma put a significant crimp in our plans. Hurricane related spending added up pretty quickly…
$4,011 in hurricane prep/repairs after the fact
+ $1,830 in hurricane evacuation spending (plane tickets, rental cars, gas, etc…)
+ $1,000 in hurricane related charity spending
—————
$6,841 in total “hurricane related” spending

Now, some of that I’m sure we would have spent anyhow – for example, we probably would have still donated a similar amount to charity, but would have likely chosen a different charity. And some of the “evacuation” spending would have been regular “travel” spending since we were already traveling that weekend, it just ended up being a longer and very different trip than we thought!

So with that nearly $7K in “hurricane spending” in mind, I don’t feel like we did too badly with our actual spending:

2017 Actual Spending

  • $51,407 on “personal spending”, excluding the
  • $3.0K on the remodel (so $51,302 total),
  • and $20K spent on acquiring Mr PoP’s car (the rest still financed), though this doesn’t include the ~$5K he spent in assorted parts to play with work on the car since he got it (that money is included in our “personal spending”).

We’re off by ~$5K, which I’m pretty comfortable writing off completely to Hurricane Irma.

Where Did The Money Go?

  • Reminder for future evacuations... being fed a constant supply of amazing food helps.

    I didn’t make this, but I have now had cooking lessons from the person who did that are paying off… =)

    Groceries: $5,409 – a bit on the high side, but we’ve been hosting more (including hosting Christmas at our place this year)

  • Eating Out: $2,464
  • Total Food – $7,868 – 10.5% of the total 

  • Mortgage: $13,503 – of which ~$7.0K is principal reduction
  • (Regular) Home Maintenance and Repairs: $2,805
  • (Hurricane) Home Prep & Repairs: $4,011We came home to a mess - one that we could deal with, but a mess nonetheless
  • Renovations – $3,062: We finished up the rest of the house, but still need to finish the backsplash and a few other small items in the kitchen that we got lazy on.  Hope to get those done in Q1!
  • Bills for Primary Residence: $1,887 – 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 90% of our electricity use!  (We lost out on using the solar panels for a couple of months after the hurricane, but they are back online again now!)
  • Total Home: $25,268 – 33.8% of our total spending this year
  • Gas: $2,479 – higher than last year, Mr PoP still has a decently long commute for now
  • Mr PoP’s Dream Car: $20,255 – this is basically the purchase amount, with fees and a couple of immediately needed repairs built in, less the amount that is still financed at an insanely low rate (that balance sits ~$19K today).
  • Auto Repairs: $5,213 – most of this was on the NSX, which Mr PoP is having an absolute blast fiddling with
  • Car Insurance – $937 – we paid for 2 cars for a few months, and then had to increase coverage slightly as well since we added an umbrella policy to our car insurance for the first time.
  • Registration: $124 – fees for owning the car this year, should drop to $36 next year
  • Total Automotive Transportation: $29,008, 38.8% of our total spending
  • Lots of shopping budget in this pic! The rug, restoring the piano to good condition so I can learn to play, and supplies to build (well, except for the wood which was a gift) and upholster the couch!

    Lots of shopping budget in this pic of our updated living room! The rug, the piano, and most of the supplies to build and upholster the couch!

    General Shopping: $4,653 – the big items this year were all spent changing the space in our home to make it more usable long term, from restoring an antique family piano and putting it in our living room so I could learn how to play, to re-doing the guest room to turn it into a media area so we can watch more movies together

  • Pet Care: $170 – an all-time low spend year for Kitty PoP.  Keep being healthy buddy, we love you!
  • Total Shopping: $4,823 – 6.5% of the total
  • Medical Treatments and Rx: $586 – After all the health issues I had in 2016 (culminating in foot surgery), I was pretty darned happy to see this number end up as low as it did.  We both were actually very health all year – even as family and colleagues ended up with pretty bad colds, we managed to not get too sick.
  • Gym/Fitness: $918 – still not paying for road races again, yet.  So this might trend up in 2018 if I can get a few races in.
  • Media Sub: $104 – Good ole’ Hulu
  • Media Non-Sub: $78
  • Total Fitness/Entertainment: $1,100 – about 1.5% of total spending
  • A seal just hanging out sunning himself in Santa Barbara a couple minute walk from where we stayed with friends. =)

    A seal just hanging out sunning himself in Santa Barbara a couple minute walk from where we stayed with friends. =)

    Travel: $2,582 – Our big trip this year was to California, and I actually really enjoyed it.  We stayed with friends, hit up an AirBnB, had a mini road trip, and topped it off relaxing in a hot tub in Palm Springs.  Not bad, right?

  • Hurricane Evacuation Travel: $1,830 – again, some of this probably would have overlapped into regular travel, since we were already traveling for a wedding that weekend, but it wouldn’t have been nearly this much, I can guarantee it.
  • Charity: $1,110 – we really liked the giving we did this year, and hope to each pick a charity each year going forward now that we have the Donor Advised Fund set up.
  • Tax Guy: $550 – worth every penny
  • Total Miscellaneous: $6,072 – 8.1% of the total
  • Total Personal Spending: $74,724 

As you can see, we spent more on the car than we did on the house (not too much of a shock there since it was largely planned!), but the surprise was spending 9.2% of the total on hurricane related items.  As ever, we’re grateful that the storm didn’t cause a financial hardship for us like it (and other storms and natural disasters) did for many others this year.  But all things considered I’d rather if that month just hadn’t happened at all.

Looking Forward To 2018

2018 is looking like it will be a year of preparations and changes for Mr PoP and I, but nothing is quite set in stone yet.  We are playing with the idea of decreasing the frequency of these financial reports – quarterly is sounding like a good idea right now.

I really do want to finally finish off the kitchen, and I hope we can get that done in Q1.  Mr PoP and I have a bad habit of getting projects to the “good ’nuff” stage and then stalling on them, and the kitchen has been stalled for a while now.  We just need to push through and get this one finished for good!

Here’s wishing for the best in 2018!

How was your 2017 spending? Do you have any major spending plans for 2018?

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