Our Finances » Spending

Frugality fuels our lifestyle, so understanding how and what we spend is important.

By “spending” we really mean “net personal expenditures”. The key differences: Mortgage principle and home improvement are treated as a type of saving rather than spending. Mortgage closing costs are amortized over the life of the loan. And we count vehicle depreciation as an expenditure but not the initial purchase cost.1

The table below shows our 2020 spending. You can view details if you hover over or tap the blue text. Elsewhere, we disclose our spending back to 2012.

Category2020
Apparel$920
Education$0
Entertainment$2,240
Food and drink$8,010
Health care$300
Household operation$1,260
Housing$8,060
Miscellaneous$1,160
Personal care$650
Rebates-$700
Transportation$1,900
Travel$2,090
Utilities and phone$1,810
Net personal expenditures$27,700

The same data are visualized below (excluding Rebates). Hover over individual spending categories for details.2

For clarity and context:

  • The Travel category includes all spending incurred as result of being away from home. This includes obvious things like air travel as well as non-obvious things like pet services (e.g. hiring a dog-sitter).
  • We live in a 700 square-foot, 2-bedroom apartment in a duplex (that we own).
  • Overall, we think our material life is pretty luxurious.
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  1. If we had an auto loan, the interest payments would count as expenditure along with depreciation.
  2. For data scientists in the crowd: This interactive “treemap” was created by mashing the treemapify and ggiraph packages, both of which build upon ggplot2 in the R language.