November 2012 Spending Recap


Woot! I’ve tracked every penny for 11 months of 2012, and I can confidently say it’s a habit that will stick. I never liked doing it, but it definitely does make things easier over the long haul. I’m excited to track the rest of the year and find out my average spending in every category. I’ve already peeked, and there was no real surprises, but there were some things that I’m going to adjust in the New Year. Anyway, back to November:

Bank chargesyou know what this is for.

Bills – those essential things. It’s getting dark at 4pm now so I’m expecting my electricity bill to double for the next few months =\

Clothing – I bought a pair of shoes in Vancouver, then some sweaters and tights from Superstore which cost next to nothing. Then the usual round of dry-cleaning, which I need to do less of.

Debt – yeah, I’m still doin’ it even if you guys think I’m not!

Electronics – I bought a TV, and an Apple TV. I feel like maybe I should have pointed this out in my birthday post, but my grandparents and my dad contributed to the TV fund as my birthday present so while I “spent” all this money, it didn’t come right out of my pocket. Yeah birthday money!

Food – a little bit higher than usual. November was not a cooking month for me. I could not be bothered. I also hosted a party, which came with a pricetag. Worth it!

Healthcare – this is for a massage. Normally these are covered by my employer, but I think I spent my maximum amount in 2012 so I have to pay this one. Oops!

Household – I think this is my new luggage… should have rethought that category.

Investment – bought some stocks! I know some recent posts may have made you all forget I do exercise some financial restraint.

Job Expenses – these will all be reimbursed. I submitted my travel claims for my Vancouver trip, but I made a mistake on them so now I have to correct that and send them in again. So… ignore this pie slice, I’ll get the money back eventually.

Leisure – I bought two tickets to Taylor Swift’s Red tour for 2013. One of these is mine, the other is for my bestie so I’ll be reimbursed for that one too sometime in the future =) The rest is movie tickets (I saw both Breaking Dawn and Skyfall, guess which I liked better?) and iTunes purchases.

Personal care – make-up & spa.

Travel – this is the cost of my extra days in Vancouver. I had to pay for one extra night in the hotel, food while I was there, and the difference in cost for my flight since I opted to stay a few days and it ended up being more expensive.

On to December!


  1. John S @ Frugal Rules

    Great work on tracking your expenses! We do it as well and it can be really helpful. How do you like the Apple TV? We had considered it (well my wife did) and we ended up buying an Internet ready Samsung.

    • Bridget (Author)

      I like the Apple TV, though I think I need to increase my internet package to cope with all the movies I’m streaming on Netflix =\ I only bought Apple TV because I’m most familiar with Apple products — I didn’t realize Samsung had something similar!

  2. Talley

    Very nicely done. I really like the pie chart! What program do you use for tracking your budget?

  3. I’m thinking about investing in some stocks in January 2013 (post-Holidays). I’ve never purchased stock before, so it’s honestly pretty daunting. How do you invest?

  4. Good for you!! We track every penny and are so happy that we do that. It makes planning that much easier. We have managed to plow through our mortgage in 3 years with budgeting and documenting where our money goes! Keep at it mate, here’s to 2013! Mr.CBB

  5. I’m loving the rainbow. 🙂

  6. I’m just working on a similar 2012 post myself. I’ve been tracking ALL of our spending, & it’s kind of crazy how useful it is. It gives me a lot of insight into what I think we spend money on vs where it’s actually going. And, there’s quite a difference. 😉

  7. Congrats on tracking your expenses. It can give you a clear picture of areas that can be fixed/cut and let you know how you’re doing.

  8. Good job tracking your expenses! I like the fancy pie graph too!!!!!

  9. The one thing it was hard to get people to do when I was an advisor was to track their expenses. 11 months! Fantastic job. You’re right…it’s a habit now.

  10. Nice work tracking the pennies! I started doing so myself a few years ago and it’s second-nature now. Also, have to admit how I love your color scheme for this post…hehe 🙂 Good luck in December!

  11. Hi, its me again trying to learn this new blogging thing.

    I’m no expert as I’ve only taken a single accounting course during my degree at the U of A (accounting 300, which isn’t even for business students so maybe its not as good??). Won’t including the expenses you will get reimbursed improperly skew your pie chart? The work expenses for example. Yes you did spend that money but then if you were to look over the entire year of pie charts you will see that you spent X percent of your money on work expenses over the year but these pie charts don’t take into account money received.

    Based off your pie chart you make at least $7777.78 per month. My calculations:

    I only know the value of on of the expenses by following one of your links in the bank charges of 700 (rounded for simplicity). so… 700/0.12 = 5833.33. Since roughly 12% of your expenses are 700. that means your total expenses are 5833.33. So assuming you are breaking in November it will be assumed that you are also making 5833.33 each month (this ignores savings). If this is your take home pay then your gross salary (assuming 25% deductions as a general estimate) is 5833.33/0.75 = 7777.78. Now having read through a number of your posts (sorry I am new but like personal finances so I’m trying to play catch-up as I’m sure you have outlined this many times before on your blog) you do have savings and contribute each month which would mean to “break even” you must make even more than the 7777.78.

    Now I concede that you are not actually making this amount (as outline in your previous post which shows you grossing around 6k a month recently). But based off of how you present your expenses it would suggest you are over spending each month, which I’m assuming is not true. Your current method of accounting for your expenses will overstate your expenses for the year and when compared to revenue (in this case Salary/payment for work) you will show a loss for the year unless the overstatement is minor, which 8% is not. This would work however if you took into account the reimbursement as revenue/salary/payment for work. This would then overstate money in to properly offset money out which will provide the accurate net income for the year. However that is still not technically correct from an financial accounting point of view.

    Another example: Lets say you make, after tax, 50k a year and spend exactly 50k. Net income = 0. If you pay for Taylor Swift tickets for me (please?) and it is $500 (VIP obviously) you still only made 50k after tax but had 50.5k in expenses which puts you at a net loss of $500, when in fact I payed you back (AAA credit score) and you still pulled even at 0 income/loss. If you were to include my repayment into revenue as well though then you made 50.5k and spent 50.5k putting you back at a income/loss of 0. This of course overstates your earnings because you only did make 50k.

    Again not trying to be critical. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you think this is over critical and want me to edit anything. I’m just getting into the internet, blogging, social media thing (i dont even have FaceBook and I’m 26, not 60…) and am unsure as to the etiquette so any guidance would be appreciated in that regard as I do not wish to offend.

  12. Bridget (Author)

    Hi Kendrick,

    The reimbursed expenses DO skew the pie chart. I put my spending into my program, then go back and change the values to $0 when I receive the reimbursement. I could leave them out entirely but this is just easier for me to keep track of it.

    I do contribute to savings automatically, particularly my brokerage account. When this account reaches $800-$1000+ in liquid cash, I usually buy a stock. So the figure you see there where I bought some shares, actually represents about 2-3 months of contributions & dividends, not just a portion of my pay this month (I do not count the contributions to my savings accounts in spending because in the program I use these merely show up as “transfers” whereas actually purchasing shares in a company does count as “spending”)

    This month I had more disposable income that wasn’t necessarily earnings but was still spent — ie. Birthday money. I received a few hundred dollars from my parents and grandparents to buy my TV and Apple TV so while these show up as spending in electronics, it wasn’t money I counted as income for this month.

    Things like the concert tickets which I bought for my friend & I that I will be paid back for eventually, are items I’ll cover with savings until my friend pays me back (which I wouldn’t count as income at the time I receive it, instead I usually treat this similarly to work reimbursement and go back and adjust the original balance)
    Likewise, one of my savings account is a travel fund which I withdraw from when I go on trips like Vancouver. Like the brokerage account, this represents months of contributions rather than just whatever I earned this month. Consequently, like buying stocks, this lets me spend more in one month than I actually earned that month, because the difference was banked previously.

    While $7777/mo sounds pleasant, I assure you, that is not (yet) my income.

  13. well done! I should probably do the same thing, maybe tomorrow!

  14. I hope that you liked Skyfall. 🙂 I am a huge fan of Daniel Craig and his Bond. 🙂
    Clothing expense seems not big (according to my books.) 🙂 Taylor Swift? You like her? Oh well… Someone has to, right?:)

  15. Wow! You are sooo organised! Good on you for doing this, I need to buy it definitely scares me a little to see/ admit where it is actually all going!