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Thread: Credit card annual summary of spending

  1. #1
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Credit card annual summary of spending

    I do 90% of my spending on one credit card. So, that credit card companies annual summary of categories where I spend is useful.


    In the year 2020 I spent half of the money as I normally do on gasoline. My spend on gas was $485.
    This is not our household spending on gas this is just my auto gasoline spend.

    I had thought, without paying attention, that I spent a whole lot more on restaurants in the Covid Year 2020 than I did in previous years. But thatís not true! I spent about the same amount. I did shift spending to dumping a fair amount of money at the restaurant around the corner from me because I want them to succeed. That reminds me I need to go up the block and spend some money there.


    The year 2021 will be wacko with the merchandise category because Iím buying major appliances and major things for our condo and our Herman house, although I think real spending for furnishings for Herman house wonít take place until the year 2022.


    Iím writing this post because my credit cardís summary was a useful tool for me. Iím sure for most of you who do much finer financial tracking, it is not useful because itís big and broad. But hey, it is one tool of many and is painless to access.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Yes--I don't like those broad strokes. Not useful to me at all, but I guess its better than nothing. I have 51 categories of expenditures. It helps me with my talking points to DH.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Maybe I should do this, IL. I am like the opposite of Catherine and horrible at recording my spending. I try, then I stop, I try, then I get freaked out and I stop.

    I do track my net worth very closely, however.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Maybe I should do this, IL. I am like the opposite of Catherine and horrible at recording my spending. I try, then I stop, I try, then I get freaked out and I stop.

    I do track my net worth very closely, however.
    I don’t track spending but I understand the concept because it is only when I track calories that I lose weight. I just shoot for one annual figure to compare year to year.

    I track annual spending of our household which is easy to do since all expenditures go through our single checkbook (this year is an exception—we have a separate account for Hermann house renovation.)

    I track assets only with a once a year snapshot as of December 31 of each year. Coincidently, DH handed me that document this morning. Why does it take until April you may ask. Sigh, there are a couple of financial instruments that are impossible to value without jumping thru hoops, so this year, because we are so busy, I told him to just use last year’s valuation and be done with the report.

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    Being an anal-retentive CPA, I have tracked expenses (and revenues) over many years, first with a product called Quicken, and later with an open source application called gnuCash. What I have found is that about 60% of our spending falls into a mainly fixed-cost category that changes only marginally from one period to the next. Maybe another 15-20% are infrequent but relatively predictable items such as repair and replacement related to the house, cars and our medical conditions that we can set up a reserve for based on reasonable estimates.
    The rest falls into the really volatile discretionary areas like entertainment, dining-out, etc. These get the most attention because they are most controllable in the short term.

    Major changes such as moves, retirement, Medicare eligibility, etc. change the overall pattern, but it eventually settles into something fairly predictable.

    Since retiring, I track net worth modified for morbidity. To the traditional net worth factor, I add life insurance amounts and pension guaranteed payouts to have a reasonable idea of the current value of our estate. I think of it as a sort of posthumous net worth.

    After doing this for some years, I feel I can get a pretty good sense of trouble on the horizon, and whether we can afford a bit of indulgence. Seeing the actual numbers is also valuable in minimizing disputes as a couple over a lot of different decisions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I think tracking life insurance payouts and pension payouts is reasonable when you are looking at supporting family members left behind.

    I dont have the first one, and the second one is there only for a few more years for me so I dont bother to capture it.

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    I was in the ďDie BrokeĒ school of thought before acquiring a family. Now my perspective extends beyond my own rapidly diminishing planning horizon.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    My uncle and aunt were also in the "die broke" school and never graduated. Fortunately they were no longer in the stage of life where anyone else was dependent on them by the time they retired because uncle ended up living well into his 90's but the money ran out about 10 years earlier. He didn't wind up on the street or anything, but he also didn't have money for even minor splurges of any sort.

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