2007 Financial and Life Review
Over the last few months, I’ve been complaining to Stacie that 2007 seemed like a year down the drain. I didn’t have the feeling that I accomplished much all year, but in reality I, and we, accomplished some huge feats:
- We paid off our Chevy Malibu almost 4 years early, and then promptly sold it
- We paid off all our credit card debt, and now only use credit cards for protection and rewards, and pay them off every month
- I got accepted into a graduate degree program, and just finished the first semester (2 courses)
- We’re earning about 5.4% more (combined) at year-end than beginning from our day-jobs
- I’ve earned an extra 5 figure income from our websites, mostly in the last half of the year. I’ll admit it’s in the low, low 5-figure range
- We paid off $35,000 of our January 2007 debt. That doesn’t even count the $19,000 we paid in 2 months for the MINI Cooper. Of that 19k, $6,000 was new debt this year that was paid off for a total of $41,000 in debt paid off this year
- Our net worth increased 461% since Jan 1, 2007, and that doesn’t include home mortgage or valuation although I think we could still eek out a profit if we sold our home now
- We have a new nephew and a new future brother-in-law (separate sisters)
But then again, the year came with some disappointments:
- The contract I was working for the last 18 months abruptly ended, leaving me with nothing to show for all that time. However, my company put me on a part overhead and part vacation pay, so I’ve had the last 2.5 weeks “off” of work. I expect to go back to work on the 7th with a new contract.
- I didn’t get anything done during this whole time because I herniated a disk in my lumbar region. I’ve been bed, floor and chair-ridden the whole time, on pain meds and still in a lot of pain. However, the pain has been going down recently and I only take 1-2 percocet per day now, if any.
- We didn’t get to do any of the home remodeling projects we wanted this year, including our upstairs, my bathroom, or hardwood in our kitchen/dining room.
- Our pool pump and some pool plumbing died this summer and I spent many days and hundreds of dollars repairing it all.
- We didn’t get Stacie’s private nutrition consultation practice off the ground, but we ended the year with a couple referrals. We’ll be working diligently this month and next to get things going legally.
- We resigned from the 2007 Marine Corp Marathon race and sold our passes because we just couldn’t handle the training along with our sites and my new master’s degree program. Maybe in another few years?
2007 Total Budget Expenses
This may not be the right heading, but I wanted to look through some Quicken reports and see where our money went this year, and let you compare your expenses to ours. These are just a few of the categories. Also, we have a few receipts from this weekend not in Quicken yet (like Dining at Zed’s Ethiopian on Sunday and groceries for our NYE party):
- Auto Fuel: $2977 – We drive alot
- Auto Insurance: $2313 – I wreck alot (well, not for almost 3 years now!)
- Untracked Cash: $798 – One reason I hate paying with cash is that I’m not good at keeping track of where I spent it. This is proof. And I’ve already tried carrying around a notepad.
- Clothing: $1090 – We really don’t spend much on clothing, and it shows sometimes
- Dining-Dinner: $2102 – We budgeted $200 per month, and came in under for the year
- Dining-Lunch: $1084 – We budgeted $100 for me to dine out for lunch every month, and came under for the year. This is one I’d still like to lower, but I love dining out!
- Entertainment: $1264 – A chunk of this was our Wii and some games/accessories
- Gifts Given (non-charity): $2441 – This is mostly Christmas ($900) and assorted meals, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc.
- Groceries: $2223 – We budgeted $200 per month for this too.
- Mortgage: about $28,000. Wow. That’s mostly interest too!
- Pool: $965
- Medical: $720 – copays, prescriptions and glasses which were mostly out of our Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
- Gym Memberships: $280 – Yep, that’s it for 2 of us, which is why we don’t cancel.
- Vacation: $490 – We really need a good one
I think utilities are the most interesting place to look about our lives. For instance, check out how much we pay for our cellphones versus electricity, gas or even the essential running water. We do have one more quarterly bill to pay for water though:
- Cable: $217 – We only have basic cable
- Cellphone: $1171 – We have 1000 shared minutes with 2 phones
- Electricity: $1246
- Garbage/Recycling: $282
- Natural Gas: $1041
- Internet: $329
- Phone:$264 – Thanks to Vonage
- Water: $191
Total Utilities: $4745
How does your expense report stack up? Don’t have one? Why not? Start tracking it!