This is always a fun post to write because it’s 365 days worth of data summarized. There are not many components of my life that I can analyze so clearly. I track every penny I spent and break it down categorically. Essentially, it’s how much I spend on food, recreation, gambling, and general life. Knowing where the money goes says a lot about a person. You either embrace money, and play the game with all the other peons around you, or reject capitalism and go against the grain of meritocracy. If you know me, you know I embrace it and this is how my financial life breaks down.
Breakfast 2019 – $1,653 | 2020 – $1,508 | 2021 – $1,961
I purchase breakfast out almost every work day. It’s purely a time saver and I enjoy breakfast sandwiches and coffee more from other establishments than my kitchen. I think this increase in expense is mainly from inflation.
Lunch 2019 – $2,575 | 2020 – $2,100 | 2021 – $2,779
Inflation again as there was nothing done differently for lunch. This would clearly be an expense that I could decrease dramatically if I wanted to bring my lunch to work.
Dinner 2019 – $2,619 | 2020 – $1,047 | 2021 – $1,568
Clearly I’m not going out to eat much. Not much to discuss other than this is still within the pandemic effect compared to 2019. Restaurants are going out of business left and right and even though I’m not a main target market of people going out to eat, my expense is miniscule in the grand scheme of things.
Alcohol 2019 – $8,975 | 2020 – $4,280 | 2021 – $6,673
This total is jumping back up a bit nearer to pre-pandemic totals. I don’t think it’s that surprising how much alcohol costs when you compare 1 Bud Light at a bar is equivalent to my entire breakfast expense per day. When you drink 5 when you’re out, this expense will be alarming. To all the non-drinkers out there, pat yourself on the back for saving thousands of dollars. What’s even scarier is if you consider I spend this much for the past 17 years, it’s almost 100k extra to my name. Is it worth it? Let me work it.
Drinks 2019 – 1,680 | 2020 – 1,090 | 2021 – 1,306
Is this still a shit ton of drinks compared to the average person? It’s an average of 3.5 alcoholic drinks a day. This is clearly an area where I can improve. Do I drink 3.5 drinks a day? I do not. This number is skewed by binging weekends and being able to go out to bars again. My goal this year is to get this number under 1,000. That would be a tremendous improvement and a healthy change. Will I do that? To me, there is not much better activities than having 6 beers on the golf course. If I golf 50 rounds throughout the year, that’s hundreds right there. I’m not sure I’m giving that up.
Things 2019 – $22,403 | 2020 – $34,095 | 2021 – $30,989
A few of the bigger expenses are the country club, a new Boss suit, lost my phone without insurance, new washer and dryer, and a few trips like Myrtle Beach and Jordan’s Bachelor party in New Orleans. Odd to see that I’m spending more within the pandemic. This also includes the dentist, auto insurance, golf, and general life. I would guess the older I get and more money I make, this category will continue to increase because it’s money spent on living life.
DFS 2019 $-1,650 | 2020 – $-1,444 | 2021 -$1,540
Not great. I don’t devote enough time to improving and that’s clear at this point. It’s strictly a recreational category, and I do get a fair amount of entertainment, but 3 straight losing seasons show that this is not a place for me to make money even with the subscriptions like PFF, Establish the Run, and FantasyLabs. Of course one GPP hit completely would make me re-think this, but apparently I’m not that good.
Betting 2019 $-681 | 2020 – $-1,258 | 2021 -$3,059
This number got away from me only recently. The $900 dollar bet on the Redskins last week turned this from not a horrific year to losing too much. Crazy how a little alcohol and too much money in my DK account was dynamite to my bankroll. Of course it could have gone the other way, but that’s the nature of the beast. Sam’s 1k Sixers bet is also not included in this total. Here’s the gambling sheet in case you are curious. If I didn’t bet on Louis, since PGA is my biggest hole lifetime (-$2,200), I’d probably be closer to even.
Subscriptions 2019 $39,970 | 2020 $42,105 | 2021 – $38,457
This is the biggest category and includes line items like my mortgage, car payment, and all monthly bills / subscriptions. Comcast and Verizon are also part of this and they are taking far too much from me. These expenses would be the bare bones to survive without a food expense.
Miles 2019 896 | 2020 – 863.5 | 2021 – 746
We’re going the wrong way. This number took a real hit because I suffered a lingering calf injury. I had 6 months where I was only able to put 40-50 miles in. My best month was 105. During those down months, I was mainly on the elliptical or not running at all. I’m currently still damaged and hope that I can put in the miles because this is a positive effect on my health.
Golf Handicap | 2020 – 15.5 | 2021 – 13.2
I took a full 2 strokes off my game from the end of last season. I also had a few awesome rounds like my 86 at the Union League and a bunch of 80’s trickled in at various courses. I bought a new putter this year and altered the form a bit by moving the handle forward. I also am chipping better by tilting the club higher for short chips. Teeing off with a 4 wood also keeps me in play much more. I don’t see why I can’t hit an 11 for 2022.
What To Think
These numbers are all relative to how much money a human makes. The amount of money I totaled up for my life expense is $93,116. Since you have no idea my earnings, you have no idea whether this is good or bad. My life philosophy is to out earn what I spend. Saving every penny is not the way I want to go through life so I work hard to make sure I don’t worry about it.
The bigger questions are what does all of this mean? Why am I tracking this and what am I getting from it? Knowing where the money goes shows who you are. All of this money is spent on what is important or necessary to me. I spend money on what I value and that’s usually what is more expensive. Do I buy Peter Millar or Hanes? Do I play Titleist (thanks Bill) or Top Flite? Do I drive an Acura or a Honda? Why don’t I drive a Ferrari? When I look at the end of the year I compare my earnings to my expenses and say, “is this spending in line with the amount I save?” If the answer is yes, I don’t have to change my spending habits. Also, am I enjoying my life? Money can equate to some sort of happiness whether you want to agree with that or not.
That doesn’t mean to squander money, it only means that if I’m happy with where I am, and not hurting my long term success, keep walking that line. Clearly without a dual income or any kids, my finance is simple. If that changes, these numbers may start skewing. If I lost my job, I’d be making dramatic changes. How long can I survive off my savings if I don’t work at all? This starts to project a retirement age. If I spend 90k a year, and I have $3.6 million dollars in my account, I can last until I’m 78 and that’s assuming I get no return on investment. That would be a target number and that’s living more lavishly than the average person I’d assume.
Also, this post isn’t to brag. You have no idea what I do in my life to arrive at these numbers. I share this because I’ve literally spent the last 4 years tracking every dollar I spend and I’m guessing you don’t do that. If you can learn from me and my pitfalls, you can possibly improve your own life. You’re situation will be different than mine and I’m not better or worse off than you. We’re all doing the best we can to survive life in the best spirits possible. If financial difficulty makes life shitty, you should work hard on improving it. I’ve spent countless hours trying to improve my financial world by reading books on communication and trying to do right. When I can start giving back, I will. I hope you can take away some nuggets of info from my effort.