How I Lived on $13,526.69 in 2020

My annual expenses for 2020 were about $3000 less than the $16,826.37 I spent in 2019. I spent $17,433 in 2018. It is good to have a downward trend in spending. My annual expenses for the past few years were $13,697 in 2017, $16,431 in 2016, $16,999 in 2015 and $15,775 in 2014. My annual spending seems to stay in the area of $15k a year. I expect my spending in 2021 will be a little higher than in 2020 since the pandemic kept me from spending as much on travel and some other stuff as I usually would.

Car Maintenance$1451.93
Rideshare/Public Transportation$4.64
Car Insurance $454
Phone $374.72
Other Entertainment$233.31
Doctor Visits$533
Health Insurance$46.27
Student Loan$345

The above table provides my annual expenses broken down into 21 different categories. For 2021 I will tweak the categories so that Miscellaneous isn’t such a big category. Other than the too big Misc. category, I think the table provides a good detail of my annual expenses. Further explanation for each category is included below.

Rent and mortgage was what I paid for rent before I bought the house with my mom. Mortgage, is of course the mortgage I paid after buying the house. This will stay about the same unless I am able to travel to Thailand and rent an apartment there for a few months. Any extra mortgage payments I make I count as savings and won’t be included in my annual expenses since I don’t consider saving to be an expense.

Utilities was low because I mostly didn’t pay utilities. I won’t pay any utilities at all this year unless I rent an apartment in Thailand and pay utilities there.

The bulk of the Misc. category was for my annual bar fee and paying for siding on my mom’s former home. This year I hope to have some relevant business income to use the bar fee as a biz expense against. Business income and expenses aren’t included in my annual expenses. This category will be much smaller this year.

Laundry was for the laundromat when I lived in an apartment and for the month I stayed in Cancun. The amount I spend on this category this year depends on whether I’m able to travel.

There were some months I spent hardly anything on gasoline. I expect this category to go up this year. I’m hoping car maintenance will go down. I’m considering buying a new car this year which would create a new category and would of course result in quite an increase in my annual spending.

Rideshare and public transportation were low since I didn’t travel much.

Car insurance will probably stay about the same level.

This year I intend to increase the grocery spending and decrease the restaurant spending. My overall spending on food is pretty low, but I need to start eating healthier food.

I included the clothing category of $0 just for fun. I did buy a pair of shoes last year that I included in the miscellaneous category. Perhaps, I should have included them in clothing. I’ll probably spend something on clothing this year.

My phone is with Google Fi and it should cost me about the same this year.

Travel was actually kind of high considering I didn’t travel much. I spent a week hiking in Shenandoah and a month in Cancun. Although I suppose some people would spend more than $1163 just on a one month trip to Cancun. I have two international flights booked for this year that have already been paid for, but there is a good chance I won’t be able to use them. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get vaccinated and travel later this year, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens. If I’m able to travel this expense will go up.

Movies and other entertainment were not too expensive since I mostly stopped going to the movies after the pandemic started. This expense will probably be about the same.

I paid for 2 months gym membership at the beginning of the year. This expense will be much higher this year since I now have a new, more expensive gym membership. I really want to get in much better shape this year.

Doctor visits and health insurance will be much higher this year. My ACA subsidy doesn’t completely cover the cost of my insurance like it did last year. Also, I have a low deductible this year so I’m going to try to get several health issues addressed.

I wasn’t required to make any student loan payments last year. The amount I did pay was because I use any money made by this blog to pay the student loan.

I should probably be more generous with my giving. I’ll make it a goal to increase spending in this category this year.

That is how I spent $13,526.69 to live in 2020. I think I had a pretty good quality of life for the year and received great value for the money spent. If you have any questions about any of my spending, let me know. How was your year?

4 thoughts on “How I Lived on $13,526.69 in 2020”

    • The secret probably won’t help you. The first 4 months of 2020 I lived in an apartment that had utilities included in rent. After that I bought a house with my mother and our arrangement is that I make the mortgage payment and she pays the utilities. The utilities aren’t free, I’m just not directly paying them.

  1. Ahhhh, lol I’ve been a long time follower, I don’t have my blog anymore but used to do Marilynsmoney , glad you’re still blogging and I enjoy reading.


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