2019-04 Expenses

Apr_2019

YTD

Fixed

Accountant

986

1537

Cellular

220

880

Healthcare

75

1155

Insurance- Auto

0

0

Insurance- Home

0

0

Internet (Wifi, Netflix, Spotify)

122

482

Maintenance- Home

0

383

Property Tax

0

4654

Transportation (Fuel, Bus)

159

390

Utilities

427

879

Total- Fixed

1989

10360

Discretionary

Children

74

294

Clothing

7

602

Dog

104

286

Food

1937

5224

Haircuts

60

103

Hobbies

4

345

Misc

3

3

Travel

0

867

Total- Discretionary

2188

7724

Expenses- Total

4178

18084

It is expenses time of the month. This is another financial habit that I have had since I moved away from home to attend university. I was only 17 years old and kept track of it all on a printed out calendar.

Good grief, both my kids are currently older than I was. Well it is much easier to track spending nowadays with apps such as Mint. That is what I use.

As usual, we spend the most on food. We also had guests during the month which involved you guessed it, lots of dining out.

I am beyond worrying about it all that much. I worry more for my health rather than the expense. My expenses seem to settle around 50- 60K/ year.

Thank goodness for Mint because I do not think I would track my expenses manually anymore. I think tracking manually is a very bad habit. I tend to accumulate habits that I will continue endlessly. If it wasn’t automated now, I shudder at all the life energy wasted trying to keep that up.

I have almost never budgeted. I just tend not to have insanely expensive tastes. I also tend to have simple hobbies. In fact, ALL my hobbies are free.

I tell my kids to just deposit a fixed amount into their chequing account at the beginning of each month. Then when they have spent the money they get to wait out the rest of the month with no further spending.

That is the easiest approach. With that strategy, you do not have to track anything. Honestly money spent is gone. Does it even matter which category it went to?

There is a reason I have been using Mint. I flag only my food expenses for the month. The fact is that no matter how I track it, I do not change my behavior all that much. What has changed my eating out for the current month has been realizing that I would rather eat prepared foods at home than go out.

It is the health aspect that is changing my behavior than caring about how much it costs. It really can be that simple.

And for those who find it too easy to spend. Just use cash and then stop when it runs out before the end of the month. My kids use this method and it works.

I only used cash during Medical school. I was rejected for the only Visa card I applied for at the time. I probably filled it out incorrectly. I also never borrowed from the bank. I use to listen to my classmates go on and on about their lines of credit.

I have also never had a line of credit either.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how minimally I use the financial system. That’s likely why I still do not have a personal banker to this day. I tend to use mainly online banking. I never needed to form any “relationships” with a banker since I rarely used them.

I had one mortgage for our rental house and other than that we paid for all our properties with cash. My accountant told me to pay off the remaining rental mortgage since he saw that I left most of the cash sitting in the accounts.

Anyhow, back to tracking expenses. It is likely a waste of time for me to do this anymore. I spend erratically and it has never seem to matter to our family finances. The best advice I can give is to not saddle yourself with too many subscription type of expenses. The inertia makes one keep those for much longer than needed.

As physicians, we do not make leveraged income. We need to stop spending like it is the easiest thing to make the money back.

Money does not have much to do with intelligence. And certainly nothing to do with academic intelligence. Unfortunately many doctors have an ego. That is the tripwire that many merchants catch them on. Doctors want to feel important and society is happy to further their delusion by selling them pretty shiny things.

If you don’t spend like a silly person, then meticulously categorizing your expenses is likely a waste of bandwidth.

I am sure there are plenty of folks like myself who will not change their behavior even after seeing the numbers year after year.

The most helpful part of my expenses is knowing how much my essentials cost. The rest is all discretionary and contingency expenses. Contingency expenses are the most difficult. They seem to come out of nowhere.

There is nothing wrong with spending if you have the means to afford it comfortably. I prefer spending on systems that makes my life better. I love my Roomba for my daughter’s long hair, I love my dishwasher for obvious reasons. I love things that make my life convenient.

Instead of not spending, focus on consciously spending on what you love.

I love convenience, freedom and relationships. I spend happily on things that support those values.

For everything else, I could care less.

Money has allowed me to avoid doing things I don’t want to do. Hmm. I don’t like cooking so perhaps that’s why I eat out so often. But I hope it’s more that it helps me enjoy my relationships with a great meal out.

You just have to know what you like. I like food that tastes good to me. I could care less about fancy restaurants with menus I can’t pronounce.

I also have a general disdain for luxury and status. That alone makes my spending lower than most folks. And don’t get me started on “exclusivity”. I have tried these things and they are often one step short of being super annoying.

Expenses are an important part of personal finance.

Just know that any amount of income can be spent.

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Published by Dr. MB

I enjoy the know-nothing, do-nothing approach to investing.

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