Strong Money Household Spending Revealed!

For a while now, I’ve been talking a big game on frugality.

So I thought it’s only fair that you get to see me in my financial underwear and find out where our money really goes.

Admittedly, I never had a specific measure of how much we spent each year, only rough estimates.  But in the last year I’ve started tracking it to the dollar.

So now, it’s judgement day!  You get to see the juicy details, and decide for yourself whether we’re walking the talk.

Most of you will have an idea already because you know what our early retirement lifestyle looks like.  But before we start, let me backpeddle a little…

 

Different Perspectives

In the last post I summed up how our year was.

In short, there was part time work involved, which meant some commuting.  A full year of renting in a new location.  And a few local and interstate trips.

So, let me be honest… our spending was a little bit higher than I thought!

Now, for those who are more frugal than we are, you get to point out where we’re bleeding cash.  And for those who haven’t quite got their spending sorted yet, hopefully by reading this, you can nail down some areas to improve on in running your household.

We’ve mentioned before why small amounts matter, big time!

Obviously it’s not a competition.  But sometimes it’s useful to see how others are doing things, as it can spark ideas of where we can improve.

Some readers will think this spending is plenty, and some will feel like it’s bare bones living.  Well, I can tell you, it sure doesn’t feel like the second one!

But in all honesty, Mrs SMA and I do see it differently.  She sees our current spending as being about right or towards on the low end.  Whereas I feel it’s quite spendy with lots of fat that could be trimmed.

That’s a good point to remember!  These things are always a balancing act to keep each party happy.  And maybe, as usual, the best answer is somewhere in the middle.

Remember, it’s all about living a great life, and remembering how good we already have it, without being wasteful.

Anyway, let’s get into it…

 

Strong Money Household Spending for 2018

Category Amount Comments
Rent $20,800 First full year renting.
Groceries $4,263 Mostly an optimised vegetarian/vegan diet.  Related post: Frugality & Food post.
Travel – Interstate family visits x 3 (flights + spending) $2,923 An extra trip due to a wedding.
Travel – Country WA Trips $2,648 We splashed out and went on two trips this year instead of one!
Car (Rego, Maintenance, Repairs, Fines) $1,716 The old beast is still running – turns 19 this year.  Rego is now over $800 per year!  And sadly this includes 1 parking ticket and 1 speeding fine – dammit!  Related post: Frugal Car Ownership.
Pet Insurance $1500 A big expense, but we’re still ahead with this policy over 5 years.  Another surgery this year due to swallowing part of his toy (not the first time!).  No other insurance.  See why here.
Dental, Physio, Doctor, Glasses $1,455 Mrs SMA needed some dental work this year and a couple of physio appointments for a nagging hip issue.
Electricity $1,306 Seems high, partially due to this property running on 100% electricity (including hot water).  We are semi-careful with our power usage.
Garden $1,154 I’m told this is an investment, not a cost, but I’m not so sure lol.  Mrs SMA spends almost all of her free time in the garden and this year saw the creation of many garden beds.  So on a cost-per-hour basis, this is a cheap and healthy hobby!
Vet bills, bulk dog food, heartworm etc. $1,133 Had to pay some excess on insurance claim, plus vaccinations this year.
Café/Restaurants $895 Feels like we let loose in this area in 2018, maybe something to keep an eye on for a healthier 2019!
Gifts – Relatives and others $868 Is this high or low?  I have no idea!
Public Transport/Uber/Ola $810 Mrs SMA takes public transport to her part time job, so this is obviously offset by her income but wanted to include it anyway.
Petrol $729 We fill up once a month.  Seems like a lot for early retirees who spend a lot of time at home!  Probably higher due to the old Commodore being a gas guzzler and driving visitors around.
Gifts – Our household $689 We try and keep it simple these days with gifts, I mean, what do we really need?
Other (household items, bike repair, passport renewal, cash-out etc.) $589 Random stuff that doesn’t fit in a category!
Vitamins, Protein Powders $462 Regular fruits smoothies, along with some extra protein in our muesli.  Maybe this should be in Groceries?
Charity Donations $423 My goal is to increase this over time, hopefully every year for the rest of my life (while knowing it’s fully optional should we need to reduce costs for some reason).
Phone Credit $404 Got an awesome 2-for-1 pre-paid deal with Kogan this year.  No ridiculous smartphone plans!
Clothes & Accessories $367 Donated some older/unused clothes to upgrade, and some work clothes for Mrs SMA, many from the op-shop.
Personal/Beauty Products $335 I have no idea what this is, but I’m sure it’s important 🙂
Internet Credit $300 2 Telstra recharges at $150 each.  Mostly tax-deductible nowadays, but included here anyway.
Alcohol $272 We don’t drink that much.  Usually a couple drinks each per week – usually cider or beer.
Water Usage $141 Hopefully keep the plants alive through the dry Perth weather!

Total Spending:  $46,182

 

For those who like pictures instead…

 

Strong Money Household Spending

 

 

Since rent is such a large chunk of our spending, it may skew the picture a bit and make everything else seem small.

So here’s how it looks for everything excluding rent.  You can click each image to enlarge.

 

Strong Money Household Spending

 

 

Notes

I could probably condense a few of those categories to be fair.  But at least we can see exactly where it goes.  Maybe next year I’ll do that!

Now that we’ve let it all hang out, here’s what is obvious to me.

Firstly, since moving in 2017, rent accounts for almost half of our spending.  Now imagine if we had a paid-off house!

What else?

Well, for retirees who don’t go very far, we sure spent quite a bit on travel related stuff.  Well over $5,000 in fact!

And the car costs us quite a bit, even though we’re not driving to jobs anymore.  Not to mention that our dog cost us almost $3,000 this year!  But that’s okay, he’s worth it 🙂

Overall, we live a good life and although it may seem frugal to some, our spending even feels a bit bloated.  Because honestly, so much of this spending is entirely optional.

For any reason, if we decided to, or needed to spend less, that’s definitely possible.

For example, we could travel less often.  Or we could try going car-free.  And we could easily spend less on eating out, random things, charity, or moving to a cheaper rental house.

And some costs are a result of some part time work, like public transport and some additional social eating, which obviously aren’t needed in a regular FI lifestyle.

As it turns out, I do expect spending this year to come in lower.  But we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.  Sometimes life surprises you and things don’t go according to plan!

Either way, we’ve designed a pretty damn enjoyable life for under 50 grand a year.

 

Final Thoughts

As each year passes, I’ll post our annual spending for you to see.

Hopefully you found this interesting.  And if nothing else, you now know more about the Strong Money household than you did before!

If you’re living like much of the population, there’s an almost unlimited amount of ways to improve your household spending.  Just start looking and you’ll find little increments everywhere!

Even looking at ours, there’s some cushion in there, but it’s still relatively frugal.

Sure, we could find ways to spend lots more.  But I just don’t see the point in jacking up consumption to chase new short-term highs.  Because we’ll just end up where we started in terms of life satisfaction.

We already live a happy and simple life.  So dialling up the luxury would not bring us greater happiness.  There’s far more important things in life than striving for the new, the nicer, the better.

Don’t get infected with The Disease of More. 

As I’ve said before, we used to spend a lot more when we met, almost double.  But we’re actually happier now than we were back then!

So don’t believe the scaremongers.  One of the most important and unexpected lessons I’ve learned over the last 10 years is, if you’re doing it right, your happiness does not decline with your spending!

How was your spending for 2018?  Did you run a tight ship or were you letting loose!?  Let me know in the comments.

Also, there’s a ton of great content in the works, so make sure you subscribe below 🙂

44 comments

  1. Woo I love this! I had to get my spreadsheet out to compare numbers of course. I was quite surprised that we are pretty on par with a lot of things (taking into account 1 person vs 2 for some things).
    Rent and groceries were about on par once you doubled mine. Though I seem to eat out more than 4 times as much as you 😂
    Car costs were relatively similar for both categories (I also don’t drive to work as I moved to be close enough to walk). But that’s one car each so makes sense.
    Charity and gifts we spent about the same without doubling mine though.
    Two thing that stood out though were electricity prices and internet. Your electricity is more than double ours here. Though on the flip side, internet costs more than twice as much on the east coast it seems.

    Looks like with totals as a couple you spend 30% more than just me. It sounds about right to me, not everything doubles exactly when you live together. I’m hoping one day my family spending looks a bit like yours. Though I’m also a bit more spendy than you guys too it seems…so I’ll probably have to reign that in a little 😉

    Anyway nothing is ever going to be exactly the same but I’m always interested to compare, especially in other parts of Aus. Thanks for being so open and sharing your numbers 😊

    1. Thanks Miss B. I knew if nobody else was interested, at least you would be! Spending does sound pretty similar overall, hopefully that means we’ve both got it nailed down well 🙂

      Our electricity is roughly double what it was before. But we had gas at our last property too. So now with only electricity it’s roughly the same as what we paid for both utilities before. Did you account for that?

      For internet, we just use Telstra prepaid $150 recharge which has 365 day expiry and we used 2 of those for a year (which I pretty much only use for blogging/writing). For everything else we use our phones.

      Every household is different for sure, kids, pets, hobbies etc come in lots of combinations, but you’re very welcome, hope it was useful to compare!

        1. Oh wow, that’s incredible then! Now I’m feeling a little depressed about our power consumption lol.

      1. Check out Aldi’s $99 365d sim only plans. This is for one spouse. For the other we use a Telstra SIM ($49 for 60GB) which includes unlimited (shaped) data. Our family tethers to my phone (3 kids). We cancelled our home broadband more than a year ago with no downside. Even watching Netflix at 1.5Mbps is surprisingly good!

  2. Great work! And I definitely think sharing increases the street cred.

    I think the big question is; Does passive income flow cover the expenses? Is the part time work more for interest than need at the moment?

    And do you actually budget? Or just save whenever you can and let it play out?

    1. Haha thanks SJ – at least it’s not just all talk now, there’s some numbers to back it up.

      No our passive income doesn’t cover expenses. Though we’ve still hit the number we need for Financial Independence. Remember we’re still slowly selling off our property portfolio, keeping cash for expenses and buying shares monthly to build the income stream. I’ll probably do a post on our portfolio/passive income soon. At the moment it’s roughly half our expenses, so it’s getting there, and growing each month. Hope that makes sense.

      The part time work is optional. Mrs SMA enjoys the social aspect of hers, and I enjoy the writing and following a few stocks for mine. But if it stops being enjoyable then we’ll stop doing it!

      As for budget, no there’s no actual budget. It’s probably our habits, values, hobbies and lifestyle in general that allows for mostly effortless low-ish spending.

  3. Thanks for sharing your 2018 Household Spending Dave. Excellent achievement in keeping your total expenses to around the $45k mark for a couple. I am using the Track My Spend App from ASIC-MoneySmart since 1 Jan 2019 and frankly I am shocked at how much I have spent in just 5 lousy days! Must try harder… I will use your yearly totals to inspire me! Can’t wait to read more of your posts this year 👍

    1. Thanks Jeff! The main thing is that you’re tracking it, so now you’re aware of when things get a bit out of hand. That’s definitely half the battle! By doing this and making adjustments you’ll be way ahead of the rest of the population. Good luck with the progress 🙂

  4. Very interesting Dave, thanks for sharing. Plenty of stuff that stood out to me here.

    First and foremost, rent is a huge expense. Not as much as mortgage repayments would likely be, but you really need to factor it into your plans for how much income you would need in early retirement.

    Next up, the lack of insurance really makes a big difference. We have personal insurance (https://aussiehifire.com/fire-and-personal-insurance/) and health insurance mostly because of having two young kids. We’re not at five figures for the combined total yet, but give it a couple more years and we might be.

    It also looks like you grocery strategy is paying off, in particular being mostly vegetarian. I love eating meat so no plans to give it up but you really notice the extra cost when you buy it vs when you don’t. It would appear that we also eat out a fair bit more than you do.

    Also (and I really hope this isn’t a sensitive subject) the absence of kids really shows up here too, no kinder, no swimming lessons, no sport and all your bills for the other stuff are reduced a fair bit as well. I love our kids and they’re a lot of fun but they definitely cost a bit.

    Oh and lastly good on your for the charitydonations!

    1. Cheers mate!

      Yep rent is a big one, but most of the time it’s far cheaper than owning when all costs are included, and we’re quite happy with it so far. Let’s see if that changes over the years!

      I used to love eating meat too, but reading more about nutrition, emissions, land clearing and animal treatment (mostly this one), it just really got to me. The saving was a surprising side benefit.

      Yeah there’s no kids here which is obviously an advantage. But for most people I think it’s just a convenient excuse. Sure they cost a bit, but they don’t have to cost anywhere near as much as people make it. I can’t speak to it so I’d just point people to MMM as a good example. Don’t forget our dog costs a fortune and is completely optional lol.

      And thanks, charity is a big lifetime goal of mine. But I really struggle deciding on whether to donate more now or invest the money to donate far more later. My latest idea is to try to increase this amount every year forever…not sure if I’ll stick with that approach though, I do change my mind a bit!

      1. I agree renting is probably cheaper over the long term, if it weren’t for the kids I might be more comfortable with this. But with children I really prioritise stability and knowing that there’s not going to be any issues with having to move every couple of years, potentially change schools for them etc. I know others like Go Curry Cracker do it differently and good luck to them, but it’s not for me. And for you it absolutely makes sense to be renting!

        I’d absolutely agree that kids don’t have to be as expensive as people make out, we try and keep things inexpensive and so far they don’t seem to be suffering at all!

        Personally I go with the donate money now approach. Most of the charities need the money now, that extra $50 might mean the difference between a meal and clothes now for a kid or an important step towards curing cancer or leukemia or whatever the cause is. So whenever one of my friends posts on Facebook or sends around an email etc I just chip in $50 generally. If times get tough after I’ve hit FIRE then I’ll be less generous or cut it out entirely but in the meantime I think it’s great to be able to help out those who are less fortunate.

        1. Thanks for sharing that mate. Makes complete sense. I think you’re right about the charity stuff and a more balanced approach of now + later is probably the right way to go. Appreciate your input on that!

          1. A quick thought on the donation side of things, I donate money now but if we were FIRING I would trade donating money for time, maybe just something to consider, charities don’t just need money, sometimes they need skills or just another pair of hands. It might allow you to achive two goals, donate and save:)

          2. Well pointed out Cindy! Each person/household will choose the option that suits them. At the moment, we’re happy with a bit of both – having recently joined a community volunteer group doing environmental work. Whatever people choose it’s all a win 🙂

  5. Hi SMA,

    Thanks for another enjoyable post. It’s great to compare spending habit’s with others. You may have covered this in the past? I was just curious what your plans were around kids and then home ownership and how this will effect your current Financial Independence situation. My wife and I currently have two young one’s and have decided to purchase a home outright and have no house debt, which will mean we lose our income from investments, which could provide us with about about 70% of our current total living expenses, which includes $22,000 rent p.a similar to yourself. We have decided that having a long-term family home to raise our boys in is probably just a little more important. We will then pump as much as possible into investments again and hopefully build up a significant portfolio to live off in around ten years.

    I really struggled with this, as I currently have so much freedom and choice with my life, but this was very important to my wife, as she wants a forever home for our family.

    Fergy

    1. Thanks Fergy!

      No kids and no plans. Mrs SMA is quite a bit older than me and I have no interest in kids regardless. We may buy a house much further down the track once we’ve liquidated our entire property portfolio, but right now, it’s just not on the cards. We would only buy if it had no effect on our Financial Independence.

      I hear you on the stability part of home ownership, I guess that’s up to each household to decide what feels right for them. But I don’t think there’s an issue with kids and long term renting (but I can’t talk obviously).

      Sometimes the emotions are more important and it’s better for the sake of a peaceful household to buy. And it’s probably fine as long as it’s not drastically more expensive than renting the same property – otherwise I’d have real trouble swallowing that as it’s directly taking away from our freedom in the short term. All the best with it 🙂

  6. Hi Dave,
    Thank you for sharing such personal area!
    Don’t feel too bad about the $20k rent, we own our own home but it isn’t all free. Rates ($2600), water bills ($370 on top of use per qtr) and insurance ($900) come to around $5k. Then there are repairs, maintenance and of course insurance excess when things go wrong (burst water pipe in ensuite & solar water heater as recent examples). You would want to budget in a conservative $10k a year to be safe there.

    We feel fortunate to have a paid off house but it did come at a cost (interest over 8yrs) and missed opportunities (no investing). In hindsight continuing to rent and smash the money into shares the past 10years would have worked out better but we can ways sell, downsize or get a line of credit to speed up our journey to FI.

    Loving your blog, your grocery budget makes ours look excessive and definately an area I have been trying to negotiate some reductions in with my wife. This might help give a reference point that breaks the mental barriers that have been built up over the years.

    1. No problem Adam, hoping people find it useful/interesting!

      Glad you like the blog, and thanks for sharing your own situation. Paid off housing is great in the sense that it means much lower ongoing expenses, but it’s still a pretty costly mission to get there as you said. We’re quite happy renting right now and won’t be buying anytime soon. If starting now I’d go for low cost owning or simply rent the whole journey.

      In case you (or others) missed it, I went into detail about saving on groceries here.

      Good luck with the changes 🙂

  7. I noticed the grocery spend too!
    Going vego definitely makes a difference. Our household is currently 3 meat-eaters and I spent 12K on food last year. (That also includes restaurants, cafés and takeaways as well.)
    When those kidults eventually move out my cost of living will take a huge dive!

    1. Yeah absolutely, our food spending seemed to just melt away as we replaced things in our diet. Haha the infinite appetite of teenagers!!

  8. Thanks for the great post.
    Was wondering how you spend so little on internet. Do you watch any streaming services at home(netflix,stan etc)?
    Ours is $650 for the year (unlimited NBN), but wondering if we should downgrade to mobile data to save some money.

    1. Thanks Tegan!
      No streaming services. Our internet is simply a prepaid stick for the laptop – no home wifi/nbn/whatever it is 😉
      Watch a bit of normal TV at night, but I mostly read or sometimes listen to podcasts on my phone. Just not interested in getting home broadband so we can watch more content, even if it was free.

  9. Tracking household spending for the first time this year. It’s probably gonna be a challenge though, as the missus believes in financial independence in the sense that we have separate bank accounts. She contributes to combined savings, but not sure what percentage of her salary it is and where the rest of it goes.

    I know that $9k is disappearing on installing air conditioners in all the bedrooms thanks mainly to two hot days in December. I feel sick in the stomach over that, as I reckon we’ll use it no more than 5 times a year. In 20 years, 9k compounds to $36k or so and in that time we’ll have needed the air conditioners 100 times. That’s $360 each time we turn it on! No talking her out of it though, unfortunately.

    1. Oh sorry to hear that Chris, that’s a real shame. Things work heaps better when you work as a team! She’s just not interested in combining everything?
      Maybe not my place to say but that doesn’t sound very good. Then again, perhaps it’s more common than I assume.

      1. I agree about your ‘working as a team’ comment, and the truth is if I somehow lifted the lid I’d probably find she’s contributing as much as she can. Her desire to maintain her own bank account is something I knew about fairly early on, and I probably haven’t cared or complained too much because it seems like a minor thing.

        She’s definitely not on board with the RE part of FIRE though, as this is what “lazy people” do. I’d always been a saver and never really knew what to do with it all till I learned about FIRE 3 years ago. She’s more of an accumulator, and if she had $10m in the bank she’d work till she had $11m, and so on.

        I’m working on it, but it’ll need some sort of event to trigger a mind shift I suspect…

        1. That’s alright, as long as you’re basically on the same page. I guess that’s great as now you only need half as much to become FI, since your wife is happy to stay at her job for the foreseeable future. So once you hit that you can start living a self directed life and work as you please and maybe she’ll want a piece of the action (or not). Either way, it’s all good 🙂

    2. I feel your pain Chris… There are some excellent FI- and FIRE-related books out there that your wife might find enlightening. I’ve just read Meet The Frugalwoods by Elizabeth Willard Thames (aka Mrs Frugalwoods) and it’s a very good read.
      https://www.booktopia.com.au/meet-the-frugalwoods-elizabeth-willard-thames/prod9780062668134.html
      Although the book is quite America-focused, the basic principles are very good. It’s like a 2018 version of Your Money or Your Life.
      Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor is another good one of course. These books are good at making you stop and question what the ‘eff we are doing with our money. And Dave’s Blog is obviously very good too!!
      Good luck…

  10. Great breakdown Dave and I find it really helpful to compare our budget to yours.

    I have a bit of a strange question though. I know you like keeping fit and have some weights at home for workouts. When you cut meat from your diet, did you see any change in your muscle mass over time? I would like to cut some meat from my diet, but I am a bit worried it will be hard to get the required protein from a more plant based diet. I workout 3-4 times a week and I am pretty vain so don’t want to lose my hard earned muscle lol.

    1. Not a strange question at all! I think it’s a pretty common subtle worry that maybe isn’t mentioned much. No change in muscle mass, though I’m not carrying much anyway! But there’s plenty of vegan athletes nowadays, including weightlifters and UFC fighters.

      The truth is, yes you still need protein to be a healthy individual and more if you’re doing strenuous stuff, but you can get that from anywhere. Plant based proteins often come with more vitamins/minerals attached so it’s kind of a bonus. We eat muesli (protein from oats/seeds/milk/added protein powder) for breakfast, plenty of beans and tofu instead of meats in our dishes. And snacks can be nuts, or fruit smoothies with vegan protein powder (comes from pea or soy). Another option is the meat-like substitutes that are common now in the shops – some taste good, some don’t. We eat these sometimes but rarely because it’s processed and not as healthy as the whole food options. You probably saw our grocery post, but it’s here in case you missed it.

      To counteract the possibly higher carb intake we try to eat less rice, pasta etc and have more veggies instead which are more nutrient rich. Pretty easy to find replacements and just required a bit of thought and effort in getting started and making it work. Worth it though, I’d never go back now. Hope that helps!

  11. Great stuff, Dave! This was really insightful and a great way to see what others are doing. Biggest surprise for me was your spend on groceries. We try to eat quite healthy and spend around $1000/month on food (2 adults and an 8 year old) and another $400/month on eating out. I know you guys have gone vegetarian which would be a big saving but I feel like there must be more to it than that. We are pretty frugal but do like to cook nice food at home and stay away from processed food as much as possible. We also buy coles gift cards at 5% off and also shop at Aldi.

    Happy new year, and all the best for 2019!

    1. Thanks Len!

      Holy moly that’s a big grocery bill!? If you haven’t seen it, I wrote a pretty detailed ‘grocery strategy’ post here that shows how we optimise our food spend. We usually go for the lower cost fruit/veg which is in season and aim to get good nutrition at low cost. There’s almost always a less expensive yet still nutritious option for food items.

      Never bothered with the gift card approach myself, which is perhaps a bit lazy on our part! Happy new year to you too, and thanks for reading 🙂

  12. Nice post, always interesting to compare spending against other Aussie’s. Especially people who are also DINKS. We are in Adelaide which i would think is pretty similar to Perth for costs.

    We are on track to spend maybe just above 30K this year, with no mortgage interest. Can’t really call it a paid off house until we knock off the interest free credit cards that we chucked in the offset, but at least its only costing us rates etc.

    Funnily, we were much happier back when renting and will eventually sell it and travel once we hit our number.

    I’m pretty impressed with your grocery costs! Ours ran away a bit last year so we are trying to get them back down to around 5K, last year about 7K. Lots of meat though.

    Restaurants is super low also, we struggle to keep ours under $200 per month.

    I feel like we are kind of extravagant looking at your budget, especially considering we have no pet costs!

    1. Thanks Adam. Your spending sounds very reasonable, so well done for that, but maybe a little room for improvement 😉

      Interesting you’re planning to sell up and you were happier renting – don’t hear that too often!

      For me, eating at cafes and restaurants very quickly starts to feel lazy, less healthy and excessive, maybe more so than others experience – a hidden advantage perhaps?

  13. Good on you, SMA. I’ve been tracking every dollar we spend in a spreadsheet for the last 6 years. I’m the only person I know that does this (my friends don’t) so I’m really interested to read others’ results. Thanks to you all for the contributions. Here are a few of my key figures.

    $30K mortgage repayments, of which $6K were extra repayments.
    $19K on investing. Not sure that this counts as a ‘spend’, but it’s a hobby of mine and there’s no guarantee the value won’t go down!
    $9K on cars. Includes servicing, rego, petrol, and the most financially hedonistic thing I’ve ever done in buying (now maintaining) that sports car I always wanted!
    $7K on groceries, plus $400 on non-edible groceries (toilet paper, toothpaste, etc).
    $7K on bills. This is the one that really bugs me and I haven’t yet figured out a way to reduce it. In order – council rates, internet and 3 sim cards, home & contents insurance, water, electricity, gas.
    $4K on health. We prefer to spend money on keeping healthy and not getting sick, instead of health insurance.
    $1.5K on alcohol. Too much. Want to reduce down to $500 p.a..

    They’re the main ones. My ‘win’ is only $200 in the category I call ‘entertainment’. We’re good at finding low cost ways of enjoying life. Bushwalks and picnics only cost the petrol to get there. DVDs from the library, no netflix/Foxtel etc.

    Annual spend for couple with no kids, excl. business expenses and money spent on investing was approx. $72K. Live in Brisbane, 1 self-employed, 1 (commuting by car unfortunately) employee. I wouldn’t call us ‘FIREys’, just a couple that work hard and save hard for a better future. We’re both ‘savers’ by nature.

    1. Thanks for sharing Martin!

      Nice job with the tracking – I’ve only just started and it was simply out of curiosity and to have some type of proof 🙂

      Investing counts as saving not spending, so all good there. Your spending looks to be $47k per year, since the extra mortgage payments and investing are savings, so that’s actually very good!

      That health category is pretty hefty – what’s in there? Personal training, supplements, gym membership?

      I find no use for contents insurance. Sentimental items can’t be replaced and the rest can easily be bought again second hand for easily less than $10k. In my rant about insurance I noted that policies include things like cotton buds and deodorant – f*cking ridiculous!

      All up you guys are doing a great job.

      1. Thanks so much for the feedback.

        Health – gee, you’re right, it is a lot. And I have no idea why! The wife’s gym membership is $33 / fortnight, and I spent a bit on osteo treatments. The only other thing I can think of is supplements, but now you’ve pointed it out I’ll have to dig further. Thanks!

        Agree re contents insurance. I couldn’t really care too much about it, but it comes part and parcel with insuring the house against fire, flood etc. I managed to knock a whopping $800 off the annual premium by finding an online discount offer and playing around with the excess. (I went for a high excess and lower premium. The chances of our house being demolished by lightning are very slim, and if it did happen we have enough savings to cover the excess no probs (I’ve just read your post on insurance!) From memory, I did actually play around with reducing the sum of contents insured and upping the excess, and the premium went…. up! Perhaps they thought I was running a meth lab or something!)

    1. Haha thanks mate. I would’ve thought WA would be cheaper overall than the other states nowadays, especially rent/housing. What do you think?

      Having said that, some of the boom-time prices haven’t gone away like at restaurants, pubs and coffee shops though!

  14. Hello again ,,,
    More frugal shopping ;
    Freo Markets at 4 pm Sunday for fruit and veggies all at half or less than normal
    prices . Same for for bread and most cakes .
    Eating out ; buy your cooked lunches circa half price at or about 2-30 pm .
    Use public transport whenever possible if your destination is beyond walking distance .
    Your favourite tight-wad , Ramon .
    P S . Avoid cooking as much as possible ; salad sandwiches are easy to make .

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