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tracking your expenses over time
Old 09-13-2016, 03:59 PM   #1
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tracking your expenses over time

So I've tracked in Quicken for 20 years, but I never happened to look at it as a whole. Today when looking at Spending (without taxes), the Date got switched to "All Dates".. so all of a sudden I'm looking at 20 years of spending at one time.

Holy cow, you see over $1M in spending.. what have I been doing all these years.

This that surprised me
- Auto - $124K, $55K in vehicles, the rest all in fuel, tolls, and service.
- Utilities - $80k .. this shocked me .. boy did fancy cable add up.
- Household Items - $94K That's a lot of furniture, electronics, and knick knacks.. oh those knick knacks sure drained my funds...
- Clothing - $23K have to admit I went overboard on that one.

I've always looked at spending on a yearly basis, but I would definitely have re-thought a few things if I had looked at it over a longer timeframe, especially my Audi which was a money suck in repairs and my Disney collection.
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:06 PM   #2
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I once made the mistake of tracking my vet expenses for 12 years having anywhere from 2-4 dogs. vEry depressing knowing I spent 30k on them. Now I know better then to track long term)
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:08 PM   #3
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I once made the mistake of tracking my vet expenses for 12 years having anywhere from 2-4 dogs. vEry depressing knowing I spent 30k on them. Now I know better then to track long term)
Some things it is just better not to know. I don't want to know what I've spent on R/C airplanes & associated gear....
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
.....
Holy cow, you see over $1M in spending.. what have I been doing all these years.

This that surprised me
- Auto - $124K, $55K in vehicles, the rest all in fuel, tolls, and service.
- Utilities - $80k .. this shocked me .. boy did fancy cable add up.
- Household Items - $94K That's a lot of furniture, electronics, and knick knacks.. oh those knick knacks sure drained my funds...
- Clothing - $23K have to admit I went overboard on that one.

I've always looked at spending on a yearly basis, but I would definitely have re-thought a few things if I had looked at it over a longer timeframe, especially my Audi which was a money suck in repairs and my Disney collection.
Hey, I was trying to be good and started to track my spending.

I just recently installed a spending tracking app on my phone, because whenever I tried it on the computer I was too lazy/distracted/busy and it never ended up being done.

You certainly have been consistent
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:12 PM   #5
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I use a cellar tracker app to manage my wine cellar. I have learned to never, ever look at the cost of wine consumed/bought. Frightening.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:20 PM   #6
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Frankly, I think this is something better thought about in advance than in retrospect ;^>

Twenty years is a big chunk of your life. Presumably, if you spent a lot on dogs or jewelry or whatever, it was because those things meant a whole lot to you, or else Something Happened (e.g. health, house, legal) that you could not see coming. You can't have that money back now, so why examine it?

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Old 09-13-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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I don't think that a little over $2k/ year for clothing is all that bad if it includes a decent work wardrobe. You could do a lot worse.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:26 PM   #8
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People in general don't realize the huge cost of some small repeat cost over time, the classic example is:
One $4 coffee per day at work or on the way to work.
It really costs $1,000 per year, and $30,000 per typical work career, in today's dollars, and that is without compounding for 30 years !
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:36 PM   #9
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For giggles I just looked at mine "all dates".

Man did we spend a lot on childcare (daycare, preschool, afterschool programs, summer camps, etc.)

And groceries.... A lot on groceries.

Not so much on cars or clothes... Probably because we were spending so much on childcare and groceries. LOL.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:16 PM   #10
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Even before I realized how much we had spent on dogs we had decided to down size by natural attrition to 1 or 2 as they die ( ages 11-20). The main reason was because who would take them if something happens to us and it is a lot of responsibility, takes a lot of time, harder to travel. They do bring us lots of joy.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:55 PM   #11
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Some things it is just better not to know. I don't want to know what I've spent on R/C airplanes & associated gear....
Probably, but it just happened to come up today, and once I saw it, I just couldn't help looking...
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:58 PM   #12
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Even before I realized how much we had spent on dogs we had decided to down size by natural attrition to 1 or 2 as they die ( ages 11-20). The main reason was because who would take them if something happens to us and it is a lot of responsibility, takes a lot of time, harder to travel. They do bring us lots of joy.
Yes pets are very pricy, and my BF and I have decided to not get a pet together. We both spent a lot on cats, cancer, diabetes, dialysis, birth defects etc.. and now we are happy just helping at a pet shelter plus the house is sure cleaner without hair and kitty litter. Honestly we knew we couldn't travel with pets so its better at least for now to be petless.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:05 PM   #13
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Karen, we don't do cancer treatment, dialysis, but still lots of medical things have come up. Plus vets are expensive in this part of the country. WE are lucky that my son will move in to take care of them when we go on vacation. They are all on meds and my son had to make up an excell spreadsheet so he would know he gave everyone their meds. We bought a used RV to travel but some parks only allow 2 dogs. I often have to call in advance and say 3 dogs only weigh 5lbs and even then some say ok and some say no. I also volunteer at the shelter but I need at least one of my own)
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:51 AM   #14
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I think people get too hung up on how much they spend on something.

Ive been tracking expenses for 3 years now in quicken. I never look at spending per category. Im more concerned with overall expenses for the year. If my 401k and roth's are fully funded, if im able to stick a nice amount in some index funds, if I can continue to up my savings and all bills are paid...I couldnt care less how much I spend on x vs y.

You can critique most luxury expenses all you want...the reality is you only get a short amount of time on this planet...enjoy it while you can!
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:00 AM   #15
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I use a cellar tracker app to manage my wine cellar. I have learned to never, ever look at the cost of wine consumed/bought. Frightening.
Once it is in the cellar, I tell DW not to look at price. Sunk Cost.

She can't avoid thinking about it though--and she is the one who selects the wine each evening.

But, Quicken has a wine category at our house--for general planning, as it will go down substantially as a tradeoff for travel at retirement. After the college tuitions ceased, it has been our largest discretionary expense--about the same as "restaurants" + "groceries" (and more than total car costs). So yes, it is frightening!
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:01 AM   #16
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My long term tracking is:
Income - Savings = Spending. I don't want to know how much I spent on the kids or health care or even vacations over time - economics were not the primary reason to have them/do these things.

I do try to model future expenses and know where to cut out non essential spending when the big drop in the portfolio hits.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
So I've tracked in Quicken for 20 years, but I never happened to look at it as a whole. Today when looking at Spending (without taxes), the Date got switched to "All Dates".. so all of a sudden I'm looking at 20 years of spending at one time.

Holy cow, you see over $1M in spending.. what have I been doing all these years.

This that surprised me
- Auto - $124K, $55K in vehicles, the rest all in fuel, tolls, and service.
- Utilities - $80k .. this shocked me .. boy did fancy cable add up.
- Household Items - $94K That's a lot of furniture, electronics, and knick knacks.. oh those knick knacks sure drained my funds...
- Clothing - $23K have to admit I went overboard on that one.

I've always looked at spending on a yearly basis, but I would definitely have re-thought a few things if I had looked at it over a longer timeframe, especially my Audi which was a money suck in repairs and my Disney collection.
Just joined the forum. Good reading so far.
23 year Quicken user here. The real scary number on the "include all dates" expenses report for me is TAXES!! by a wide margin. All forms of taxes (federal, state, FICA, medicare, property, etc). Four times greater than any other single category
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:26 AM   #18
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Just joined the forum. Good reading so far.
23 year Quicken user here. The real scary number on the "include all dates" expenses report for me is TAXES!! by a wide margin. All forms of taxes (federal, state, FICA, medicare, property, etc). Four times greater than any other single category
Exactly
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:57 AM   #19
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Oh yeah, the " pet categories". ����Ours are divided by "cats" and " dogs", large dogs run about $1,000 per year and we usually have two. Cats are about a third that.
At one time we had 6 cats and 2 largish dogs. My son felt he would read about me one day "Crazy cat lady" found dead, mauled or whatever... So far, so good.
We like critters and so far no college tuition payments for any of them��
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
My long term tracking is:
Income - Savings = Spending. I don't want to know how much I spent on the kids or health care or even vacations over time - economics were not the primary reason to have them/do these things.

I do try to model future expenses and know where to cut out non essential spending when the big drop in the portfolio hits.
Ditto:

At this stage of the game, all I look at are the Big Numbers and don't worry about whether we spend a lot on dining out vs. clothing, etc, etc.

Who cares?

As long as you are not throwing money away frivolously (gambling, bad habits, etc), then it's all good if you are within the Big Number budget.

In the end, 25 years of Quicken detail data is water under the bridge and does not reflect what you are doing today and going forward.
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