2018 Annual Expenses – $17,443

My annual expenses in 2018 were almost $4000 higher than my annual expenses of $13,697 in 2017. My annual expenses for the past few years were $16,431 in 2016, $16,999 in 2015 and $15,775 in 2014. That makes 2018 my highest spending year of the past few years. I’m hoping I will be able to reduce my expenses this year a bit. I do have some travel and dental expenses planned that will make it difficult to reduce my expenses much this year.

My total expenses for 2018 do not include the $4105 I paid on my student loan. Since those were voluntary payments that I was not required I consider them to be more in the nature of savings then an expenditure. This year I am required to make $132 monthly payments on my student loan. Those required payments will be included in my expenses for 2019 which will make it tougher to keep my 2019 expenses lower than my 2018 expenses.

My biggest expense for the year was $4655 for rent. That was a fair bit lower than the $5490 I paid for rent in 2017. This year I expect my rent to be even lower. I’m paying a very low rent while staying at my mom’s house. When I’m in Thailand I’ll have a very low rent there as well.

My second biggest expense was $4861 for medical, dental, and medicine. This was way more than I paid in 2017 and is the main reason my total 2018 expenses were quite a bit than my 2017 expenses. I’m hoping to lower this expense in 2019. However, I have a $130 monthly health insurance premium this year compared to a $0 monthly premium for most of 2018. I also need to get my dental bridge redone and probably get a dental implant. With all of that my 2019 expenses probably won’t be much lower than in 2018.

My household expense for 2018 was $477. This category includes things like clothing, utilities, gifts, and anything I buy that doesn’t fit in one of the other categories. I expect this category to be about the same in 2019. I rarely buy clothes, I don’t currently have a utility expense, and I don’t buy much random stuff so this expense doesn’t add up to much.

I spent $317 for the year for phone service. That works out to about $26.41 a month. I expect this expense to stay about the same this year unless I have to buy a new phone. The battery in my current phone seems to be losing power quickly so I might go ahead and replace my phone this year. Even if I get a new phone I don’t expect this expense to go up much.

I spent $2352 on transportation expenses for 2018. That included $770 for maintenance, $831 for gas, and $750 for insurance, registration, a speeding ticket, and other miscellaneous car expenses. Barring a major repair this expense should come down quite a bit this year. Since I’m working from home I’ll be spending very little on gas and when I’m in Thailand I won’t be spending anything on gas.

I spent $2084 on food in 2018 compared to $1957 in 2017. Many people would consider this a low total already, but I think I can reduce this quite a bit. I spent $547 on groceries and $1537 on dining out in 2018. If I can reduce the dining out and eat at home more often this expense will go down. Also, since I’m still about 45 pounds overweight I need to eat less food in general. Less food eaten should equal less money spent.

I spent $1707 on travel last year compared to $1057 in 2017. My travel consisted of a two-week hiking trip and a two and a half month trip to Thailand which included three-day stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well. The trips included numerous hotel nights, a train ride from KC to Massachusetts, a one-way car rental from NY to KC, round trip airfare from Los Angeles to Asia, round trip airfare from KC to LA, a business class ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, travel visas and other miscellaneous travel expenses. For that amount of travel I think this expense was pretty low. Just the round-trip ticket from the U.S. to Asia could have cost $1700 if I didn’t plan ahead and use credit card rewards.

This year I will probably spend about the same on travel. I’ve already purchased a round-trip ticket from the U.S. to Shanghai, China and a round-trip ticket from Shanghai to Bangkok. I’ll be in Thailand for about 2 1/2 months. If it is financially viable I will take a second trip to Thailand later in the year.

Other expenses were $91.36 for fitness, $584 for movies, and $308 for entertainment. The total of those expenses should be about the same this year. I plan to spend less on movies which will probably be offset by spending more on entertainment.

That covers all of my expenses for 2018. If you have any questions about what I spent on certain categories of expenses or are wondering where some expenses are feel free to ask questions in the comments.

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