My expenses in 2015 were over $1000 higher than in 2014. My expenses for 2015 went up to $16,999.41 compared to $15,775.65 in 2014. The increased expenses was due to a significant increase in medical and dental bills. I also bought a car in 2015. The purchase price isn’t included in these expenses, but all the related expenses are. When I sell or otherwise dispose of the car the amount of the capital loss will be recorded as an expense. I also paid several thousand dollars extra towards my student loan which I am not including in these expenses. These expenses do include the amount of student loan payments I was required to make. I’ve decided to leave out the extra payments since they distort what my spending looks like.
My biggest expense for the year was medical and dental bills for a total of $5976.44. This included about $1000 in health insurance premiums, about $2700 in dental bills, and a little over $2000 for medical bills and medicine. In addition to that I spent quite a bit on medical bills due to my accident. That spending isn’t included since I was reimbursed by the driver’s insurance company. I think I spent more on medical bills and had more doctor appointments this year than I had in the last 10 years combined. I’m hoping this year will be much better. I do have to get my dental implants finished. Most of that expense has already been paid for so I’m hoping what is left isn’t too expensive.
My second biggest expense for the year was housing at $4800. This is a pretty good deal for housing and I expect it to stay about the same this year.
The rest of my expenses are $401.03 for my cell phone, $1972.03 for my student loan, $44.67 for car maintenance, $51.52 for gifts, $400.21 for household expenses, $710.34 for groceries, $738.90 for dining out, $827.13 on gasoline, $525.80 for entertainment, $392.34 for travel, and $159 for the city bus.
Out of all those expenses I got the most value from the money spent on travel. The $392.34 covered round trip airfare for 2 from KC to Buffalo, round trip airfare for 2 from KC to Las Vegas, and round trip airfare for 2 from KC to Portland. It also covered at least seven hotel nights, a rental car, and more. A combination of credit card sign up bonuses, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and the Southwest Companion Pass allowed us to get exceptional value for our travel dollars. There was also a second Las Vegas trip where I tagged along on my GF’s work trip resulting in an almost free trip. My only expense for that trip was my airfare (paid for with points, I only had to pay the $5.60 security fee) and a bus from the airport to the hotel.
The car maintenance bill will definitely go up this year since I just bought 4 new tires. The student loan expense will go down since my required payment will be going down in a couple of months when my IBR resets. I’ll still be paying extra on the loan though. I probably won’t have a city bus expense this year since I have a car. The other expenses will likely remain about the same. If I’m correct about my medical and dental bills going down this year than 2016 should be less expensive than 2015. I’m sure there will be some surprises this year, but I’m going to be optimistic and guess that they will all be happy surprises or at least not expensive surprises.