Thursday, December 26, 2013

{2013 review} money and finances

Today I've been busy decluttering, tidying, tossing, sorting and ..... the best part, BUDGETING!

(I'm not being sarcastic. Part of rounding out a year is for me taking stock... properly... of every part of my life and money is the oil that greases a lot of wheels, right?)

End-of-the-year budgeting is obviously a much bigger procedure than the monthly one and I let my nerdy side totally play tonight.

In our budget, we have three sets of savings which we call joint savings, Marcia's savings and D's savings (you can see I set up the spreadsheets...) That's separate from the forced savings (pension and provident funds - your 401Ks, my American friends) and RAs, unit trusts, etc. My extreme goal is to live on the lower of the two incomes and save the entire higher income. We're not there yet but we're making good progress.

The good bits

I set a big, juicy savings goal on my birthday in August and I've already surpassed it by 26% (yay overseas holiday next year!)

All but about 5 receipts from 2013 have been tossed! Yay - no clutter

(do you keep your receipts?)

The not-so-good bits

We're doing great at saving jointly... but not so great at actually keeping the money.

Remember it doesn't matter how much you make/ save if your lifestyle is too "big" for your salary.

Interestingly (and this is so weird I double-checked my calculations), we only "retained" 40.3% of our savings... and of the amount we spent (59.7% obviously), we spent exactly 40.3% on holidays. How weird is that?!

Granted, I'm happy we're holidaying "well" but I'm not so happy about the rest of it being frittered away on nonsense (Mr P Home!!!!).

I've now set up a spreadsheet (as with the groceries one) and I'll be monitoring it very closely next year.

Some things on my list for next year are holidays, a dishwasher, new bed, kitchen table, and new carpets in the bedrooms (we've been in this house 8 years and haven't replaced those ones. The other carpets in some of the living areas will be 5 years old in January and you can see we have active kids.

Since I have the info, here's some additional detail if you haven't already clicked away :)

Month Highest expense
Jan-13 Ballito
Feb-13 Kulula tickets to Plett
Mar-13 Fridge (new to us, but secondhand)
Apr-13 Photos
May-13 Hospitality/ Gate Motor
Jun-13 Plett accommodation
Jul-13 Extra airfare to Kulula
Aug-13 nothing interesting
Sep-13 Santa Shoeboxes
Oct-13 Canvases and photoshoot
Nov-13 Ballito flights and accommodation
Dec-13 Nanny S's bonus

Am I the only one who does this?

Have you analysed your spending/ savings for the year yet? Anything interesting?

PS my joint savings spreadsheet goes back to 2006 so I had a look at all the IVF stuff. 2008 was a bad year financially (UK trip PLUS two IVFs) and then 2009 was almost just as bad for the 5 months of newborn twins!


  1. LOL what is "nothing interesting"

    I am all set to start monitoring our budget better in 2014!! Our money is disappearing and I can not tell you why and I need to figure it out.

    1. Just bits and bobs - nothing exciting, all around the R300 - R400 mark but adds up!

  2. I keep track of mine, but probably not to the same level as you do. ;-)

  3. I'm just as obsessive as you, must be a Marcia thing!

    My goal is that 20% of our salaries go into aggressive investments (because we are still young enough for that) and so far that is paying off well. I don't have pension funds or RA's because I don't like how much gets skimmed off in the name of "costs", but I invest in the same products that they do.

    We've spent a lot on new things this year, new bed (plus bedding), that sort of thing. My car is now almost 11 years old so I needed to do some little maintenance things like new tyres.

    I used 22seven to do my budget, do you still use that? This is the first time that I've had a whole year's data, and I love the accuracy that gave me.

    It was also a bit of a shock, to be honest, for the first time in about 12 years, my budget and my projected income were a little to close for my liking. I've never had that problem before, I always get above inflation increases, but apparently my inflation is higher than the "nation's" inflation.

    I made some small changes like simplifying my banking to cut back on banking charges, and my groceries bill is also going to have to be cut one way or another.

    We're also still putting aside R30g a year for IVF/adoption and one of these days we are going to make a call on putting all that behind us for good, so it will be nice to actually be putting aside that money for something other than a bottomless pit of despair.

  4. Not done. Am way too afraid!


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