Friday, March 11, 2011

2010 was a wash financially - numbers breakdown

I just tallied my paperwork from last year in order to file taxes. Remember how excited I was in 2009 because I'd saved so much money in 2008? Well this year was the opposite.

This will be my first time disclosing actual numbers so be gentle if my math is failtastic!

While technically unemployed, I made 29,948.25 freelancing and doing odd design jobs. I also work as a contractor at the job I was laid off from in 2009. From that roughly 30k debit:
  • Rent: 12,540
  • Roth: 5,000
  • Lasik: 2,500
  • Random Medical: 600
  • Cellphone: 420
  • 1/2 Cable/Internet: 270
That is 21,330. I'd guesstimate my share of the electricity was about 600 plus oil for the furnace was about 1500. Note to readers: Don't ever live somewhere with an oil furnace. Lets round that to an even 2000 because I don't want to go looking through old bills. That brings my yearly bills to 23,330.

Right there I'd have 6,618.25 left.

I'd say I spent about 1,000 on gifts. While this number seems pretty high considering how much I love credit card points, gift cards and other ways of buying stuff cheaply there were a few instances when I chose to gift cash rather than a present. I also send my parents money periodically.

1,200 automatically went into Wachovia's Way2Save program.

My car was due for a major tune-up plus oil changes so I'd guess that was about $600. I also killed two rims and that set me back another $700. Car and renter's insurance was about $1000

I cruised to Canada for about 500.

Now we're at about $1600, which is about right since most of my groceries are free from couponning, I shop at sample sales and didn't calculate gas into my debits.

I got a new surround sound system but it was mostly paid through Sony points. I also got a Dash but that was entirely covered by Sony Points. I bought a new camera but that was covered by coupons and selling the old camera. The wacom tablet was mostly paid with Staples coupons. I don't think I spent more than $50 on any one item in 2010 so $1600 in random spending sounds right. I bet I made about another $1-2,000 from eBay and maybe $1000 craigslisting crap during my decluttering phase.

So it seems like my 2009 budget was not that far off: I predicted needing $26,000 in 2010 if I had lasik and contributed to the Roth.

The nice thing is I didn't feel like I wasn't making money. I stopped drafting monthly budgets years ago and while I knew I wasn't depositting into my savings account very often (its at a different bank) I didn't feel like I was making sacrifices in order to survive.

I'm at a point where I can coast off old purchases. Entertainment-wise I have my tv, wii, blu-ray player, surround sound, computer, multiple radios and ipods. In the kitchen I have my ideal set of Calphalon pots, all the pyrex I need and a respectable set of cooking tools. The car has been paid off for years.

So in 2010 I coasted off of what I'd done in my twenties but am ready to stop coasting. While it was nice to loaf, read, watch tv and goof off for most of the year I'd like more responsibility in my life. I'd also like to start saving money again. Asides from the 5k to the Roth and 1200 in Way2Save I didn't set much aside last year.

Luckily I haven't had to touch my emergency fund since being laid off back in 2009 but there isn't a reason for me to be ending a year at a wash financially. I'm relatively young, healthy and intelligent. I should be out pursuing the american dream of having a larger bank account!