How I Lived on $15,486.61 in 2021

My annual expenses for 2021 were about $2000 more than the $13,526.69 I spent in 2020. That was an abnormally low expense level. My annual expenses for the past few years were $16,826.37 in 2019, $17,433 in 2018, $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 2022 will be a little higher than in 2021 due to a possible car purchase and one other thing I’ll discuss at a later time.

My expenses won’t be broken down to the same level of detail as in previous years since I don’t see an easy way to get annual figures from Everydollar which is what I currently use to track my expenses. If you know a way to get the annual figures from Everydollar or know a free budget program I can use to get annual figures please let me know.

Mortgage$4260
Household$688.19
Rent$162.58
Student Loan$5.84
Transportation$1339.95
Food$2075.92
Phone$351.90
Travel$3767.94
Entertainment$626.46
Health$1901.82
Gifts/Charity$306.01
Total$15486.61

The above table provides my annual expenses broken down into 11 different categories. Further explanation for each category is included below.

Mortgage is my monthly mortgage payment. This will stay the same every month. 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. Rent is what I paid for one month in an apartment in Thailand. I’ll have more rent expense this year.

The household category is basically any expense that doesn’t fit in one of the other categories. The biggest expense in this category was a new mattress.

Transportation expense includes all of the cost associated with my car and any public transportation costs that aren’t travel related. This will probably stay about the same unless I buy a new car.

Food includes both grocery and restaurant spending with restaurant spending being about 2/3 of the total. This expense will probably be about the same this year. Perhaps, a little higher since food is getting more expensive and when I’m in Thailand I’ll be buying food for my girlfriend as well.

My phone is with Google Fi and it should cost me about the same this year. I might switch to a different carrier to save some money.

Travel was my second highest expense. I went on two multi-week hiking trips, a trip to Vegas, spent a month in Spain and a month in Thailand. Considering all I did this level of expense was quite reasonable. Covid testing and other requirements related to Covid raised this expense total about $500. I’ve also got travel vouchers with three different airlines due to changed travel plans due to Covid. If this pandemic ever ends my travel expense should go down. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use my travel vouchers this year and reduce my travel expenses a little.

Entertainment included paying for streaming services, a digital newspaper subscription, going to the movies, and miscellaneous other entertainment. I’m guessing I’ll spend about the same this year.

Health was a little bit higher than normal since I paid for a gym membership all year and had ear surgery. I don’t expect to have either of these expenses this year so this expense amount should go down.

I wasn’t required to make any student loan payments last year. I’m not sure why I made the random $5,84 payment.

Some months I included gifts in the household expense category rather than tracking them separately so this total was actually a little higher. This expense will go up this year since I’m going to help support my girlfriend while I’m back in the US.

That is how I spent $15,486.61 to live in 2021. 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?

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