Meager Income

Pay Off Debt, Retire Comfortably on Meager Income, Win the Lottery, Not Necessarily in that Order

A look back at my spending in 2014

Posted on | March 17, 2015 | No Comments

I am listing my spending here for two main reasons. First, I’ll be able to compare my spending this year to last.  I’ve already captured the data but if I save it to a spreadsheet on my computer I’ll rarely reference it again.  Instead, I’ll display it on this site where I can access it more easily.

As the year progresses, I can see what areas I’m improving in and what areas need improvement on a monthly or quarterly basis. Secondly, I hope that readers can compare my totals with their spending. I’m sure there are people that spend more and some people who spend less or a lot less than I do. I wonder if my spending in certain categories is in-line with the averages of other people’s. By listing mine maybe someone else will benefit.

My goal is to not have to work as soon as possible. Although I’m watching my spending, I haven’t cut out all my fun spending from my budget either. I want to strike a balance such that I’m able to enjoy myself now and still save money every month to buy equities to grow my meager income.

Here is my spending for 2014:

Expense Amount
Rent $19445
Mortgages $12392
Frivolous Spending $6156
Restaurants $4935
Automotive $3272
Home Maintenance $3084
Travel $3034
Gasoline/Fuel $2936
Groceries $2514
Loans $2365
General Merchandise $1879
Clothing $1805
Utilities $1401
Telephone $1348
Checks $1145
Uncategorized $998
Cable/Satellite Insurance $849
Electronics $735
Online Services $610
Healthcare/Medical $355
Gifts $273
Entertainment $258
Personal Care $248
Charitable Giving $110
Business Miscellaneous $257
Home Improvement $95
Other Expenses $52
Postage & Shipping $10
Total $72561


Rent is by far my largest expense.  When my lease runs out later this year, I may look into changing apartments.  In order for me to find a cheaper place to live though I’d have to make some compromises.  I would have to consider moving to a less desirable neighborhood and potentially have a longer commute.  I’m not sure I would want either of those options at this time.  Another possibility would be to purchase a place but I don’t have the down payment for a reasonable mortgage yet.

The Mortgage and HOA fees are also higher than I’d like them to be.  The HOA fees are out of my control unless I sell the place.  I did refinance the mortgage so I’ll be saving some money there this year compared to last year.

The next line-item that stands out is the the Frivolous Spending category.  This category contains all of my cash withdrawals and from the looks of it I made a lot of visits to ATM machines last year.

I also spent quite a bit on Food.  Between Restaurants, Groceries and a portion of General Merchandise I easily spent about $8,000 last year.  I’ll try to reign in the spending in these categories as well moving forward.

I definitely have multiple spending categories that I need to reduce my spending in.  I’ll use 2014 as my baseline for comparing future spending.  Let’s see how much progress I can make.


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