Q1 2015 Spending


Screenshot 2015-04-15 at 10.18.31 PM

Ok, this post is something I have been planning for some time. I was unemployed for a 6 week period last year and for 3 of those months I received unemployment. I was waiting for my checks but later realized that the money had been deposited into an old unemployment debit card account. When I found that card, there was $3000 there. I wondered: how long would $3000 last me (in food only)? My guess at the time was 6 months and I started tracking my spend in January 2015.

What shows above is the breakdown of my food costs. Here is the breakdown of costs per major food consumption category (activity) per month (in dollars):

1Q2015 January February March
coffee 11 21 17
eating out 69 72 92
groceries 292 206 181
socializing 231 137 151
total 603 436 441

On average, I spend right around $500 per month on food– thankfully the majority of it on groceries and the 2nd largest category is socializing (any meal where I spend time with others). Eating out is when I grab prepared food. Coffee is when I buy coffee or some other casual drink (boba included).

Here is the breakdown in percentage by category:

1Q2015 January February March
coffee 2% 5% 4%
eating out 11% 17% 21%
groceries 48% 47% 41%
socializing 38% 31% 34%

So I do think $3000 would go about 6 months given how I am pacing. With this tracking, I should also be able to figure out how much I am spending on needs versus wants. Here is some rough math about my likely spend rate for this year:

Food: 12*500 = 6000

Rent: 12*1600= 19,000 (yeesh!)

Needs (power, phone, internet, Netflix): 12*(10+40+40+10)=1200

My needs are around $30,000

My retirement contributions will likely be $10,000

So approximately $40,000 of my paycheck is already accounted for. Let’s see what I can save this year…

To be continued at the end of Q2!