Tracking my Spending for 2020
On the advice of all of the FIRE blogs and podcasts, I started tracking my spending about half-way through 2018. I posted about how much I spent in 2019 in this article. Considering Coronavirus, there must be some savings made right? Nope.
How did I end up spending MORE in 2020 than I spent in 2019?
Two main reasons, as far as I can see:
- I did lots of “home improvements” to keep myself busy.
- Shopping and groceries became a form of entertainment during lockdowns.
So, How Did I Spend My Money?
This is barely lower than last year because, even though I wasn’t driving a lot, when I was on the road, I was covering way more ground by going back and forth to Wicklow. I also have to remember that last year I was away for 3 months with no car so my 2019 figure is actually comparative for that reason.
Monthly average spend on fuel: €51
In 2019, I only spent €1,289 on groceries. This year, groceries became a source of entertainment. I found myself buying stuff during lockdown that would liven up my day. I also fell out of the habit of meal prepping because the gyms have been closed. I’m also fat now. FUCK.
Monthly average spend on groceries: €181
Bills + Utilities
I’ve been on level pay for a number of years and I recently got a notice from Bord Gáis to say that they were reviewing my flat monthly rate. This is because we (me and two housemates) are now home all day, everyday with the heating on and all devices plugged in. I may be able to claw some of this back from revenue through the work-from home allowance.
There is an overall reduction in utility bills when I factor in that my company is now paying a share of them – great! However, I am now paying utilities in two properties.
Monthly average spend on bills/utilities: €123
This one also went up in 2020 because I took on extra insurance costs due to buying my investment property.
Monthly average spend on insurance: €110
I didn’t start paying my second mortgage until December 2020. On top of that, the overpayments I have made on my Dublin property have made a real dent. So for 2020 at least, my mortgage costs were down compared to 2019.
Monthly average spend on mortgage: €472
Ok here’s the major spending. Nearly 6K on making home improvements, I renovated my kitchen and did several other jobs in Dublin. The kitchen renovation involved buying a few new toys like a pocket hole jig, a track saw, a router and new routing bits. I might post a picture of the outcome soon but it’s not my best work. *cough* …and I’m still not finished.
Another big chunk went on renovating the new investment property. I guess some people might classify this kind of spending as “investing” in some ways.
Monthly average spend on home improvements: €495
One weekend in Berlin before the pandemic and on weekend in Co. Meath after the 1st lockdown. Wow. Last year this figure was over €2,000 so I feel a little better about my home improvements budget above.
Monthly average spend on holidays: €51
This category is also down significantly, in 2019 it was over €2,000. Instead of coffee and cake in my favourite cafés, this was largely spice boxes and guilt during 2020.
Monthly average spend on eating out: €107
I am stuck on a fixed rate in Dublin and I have already maxed out the 10% overpayments. I started paying my mortgage for Wicklow in December so I made one overpayment there.
Not bad, considering I wiped out my emergency fund by using it as a deposit for an investment property in 2020. I have just got my savings back up to 10k now.
Peer-to-Peer & Stocks
I stopped investing in Peer-to-Peer very early on in 2020 and then got burned by Envestio and Grupeer. I put a very small amount into Degiro each month and I settled on a Clean Energy ETF that I will keep investing in until I reach my 10K target. Then I will reconsider everything.
You will get one email a month with a summary of posts from that month so you can keep up-to-date with my progress and failures. Grand job!