2600 days of every dollar tracked

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madbrain
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by madbrain » Mon May 19, 2014 6:11 pm

assumer wrote:
jbh42 wrote:Hard to believe you spent $2662.00 for health in a span of 2600 days. That is approx. $374.00/year
for insurance, dental, eyes and medicine. You are very fortunate.
I had healthcare through my school during my B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.

It only took out a small percentage of my stipend (which I did keep track of). I have never had to pay for any medical expenses besides copays for annual checkups since I eat very healthy (have to for weightlifting). I also include things such as toothpaste and haircuts in a subcategory "Health, Hygiene".
Are you aware of how much the school is paying towards your premiums ?

I track every component of every pay stub, including the amount my employer pays towards benefits, and the total amount spent on group premiums for all insurance plans (medical, dental, life insurance, LTC). I find this helpful because it helps at least partially predict for what medical costs would be if I retired early. Of course, they will be higher, since the ACA state medical group plans tend to be a lot more expensive than large employer plans.

J295
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by J295 » Tue May 20, 2014 6:17 pm

Thanks to OP for posting and participating. Very encouraging to see such insight and evidence based analysis. Best wishes for success!

assumer
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by assumer » Tue May 20, 2014 6:59 pm

madbrain wrote:Are you aware of how much the school is paying towards your premiums ?

I track every component of every pay stub, including the amount my employer pays towards benefits, and the total amount spent on group premiums for all insurance plans (medical, dental, life insurance, LTC). I find this helpful because it helps at least partially predict for what medical costs would be if I retired early. Of course, they will be higher, since the ACA state medical group plans tend to be a lot more expensive than large employer plans.
So unfortunately that information is not readily available to me. It would be useful for the future, but it's not. All I can see easily is what they deduct, and a cursory search on their website doesn't provide much.

Here's a screenshot of how I categorized a given paycheck:

Image
J295 wrote:Thanks to OP for posting and participating. Very encouraging to see such insight and evidence based analysis. Best wishes for success!
Thanks; happy to. Many people speculate on what they spend money on, and imagine how much things have cost in the long run.

However, I've found that people are extraordinarily good at deceiving themselves, especially when they wish they didn't spend a lot of money on something such as a vice and are ashamed of it. F** that. I'm an engineer, and the data is what it is.

madbrain
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by madbrain » Tue May 20, 2014 7:27 pm

assumer wrote: So unfortunately that information is not readily available to me. It would be useful for the future, but it's not. All I can see easily is what they deduct, and a cursory search on their website doesn't provide much.
Assuming your employer offers insurance for domestic partners, do a search on "domestic partner imputed income" on your employer HR site.
Employees who cover their domestic partners have to pay tax on the amount the employer pays towards the DP's insurance because the DPs aren't running under federal law (or state law in many states). For DP coverage, even the employer subsidy is taxable to the employee.
The actual insurance cost for 1 person will approximately be the same as the amount of "imputed income" for domestic partner, plus your current individual deduction.
Thus, you may actually find what the real cost of your insurance is that way, even if your employer doesn't disclose it exactly.

JDDS
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by JDDS » Tue May 20, 2014 11:17 pm

awval999 wrote:I'm 28 so I enjoyed your chart.

I appreciate you coming out and posting the alcohol #4 and the amount. Truthfully, I'm probably there or higher. I recently made the decision to go from Jack Daniels to Evan Williams and Stoli to Smirnoff. I'm a craft beer drinker as well. It's kinda crazy to think about the dollar amount of alcohol spent, at home, out on the town in the City, and on vacations.
+1 I'm also 28; craft beer really adds up! I'm partial to things like bourbon barrel stouts that are on the high end :sharebeer
assumer wrote:
J295 wrote:Thanks to OP for posting and participating. Very encouraging to see such insight and evidence based analysis. Best wishes for success!
Thanks; happy to. Many people speculate on what they spend money on, and imagine how much things have cost in the long run.

However, I've found that people are extraordinarily good at deceiving themselves, especially when they wish they didn't spend a lot of money on something such as a vice and are ashamed of it. F** that. I'm an engineer, and the data is what it is.
At a broad level I've tracked my spending since the start of 2011. I'm interested in the trends whether they're good or bad. As I mentioned above, I love craft beer. Since I know that's something that I spend a lot of money on, more than I probably should, I track that more thoroughly. I'm comforted by knowing the data is staring me in the face, and as you say, 'the data is what it is.'

Wannaretireearly
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by Wannaretireearly » Tue May 20, 2014 11:58 pm

Brilliant - thanks for sharing!
Nisi definitely has some new upstart competition from the OP re: fantastic posts with Graphics and charts!

Would love to see your charts in 10 years - if its still this detailed you've done a great job monitoring and are probably/definitely OCD - lol joking!
Buy Low, Sell High

gwrvmd
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by gwrvmd » Wed May 21, 2014 3:24 am

Your PhD......It must have been in graphics..................Gordon
Disciple of John Neff

Bacchus01
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by Bacchus01 » Wed May 21, 2014 7:01 am

Interesting. I do this in Quicken. Not that level, but close. Everything goes in a credit card paid each month or direct pay from Ally Bank. I probably spend 15 minutes a month reconciling things.

I would suggest getting a software package like Quicken or mint. The ROI on your time is pretty high.

Unfortunately, as we are a family of 5, our annual expenses are about what you spent in 4 years.

assumer
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by assumer » Wed May 21, 2014 9:19 am

Bacchus01 wrote:I would suggest getting a software package like Quicken or mint. The ROI on your time is pretty high.
I do like mint and use it to help me, but now that things are set up for me, I prefer excel. The reason is that I can do my own analysis that mint doesn't allow (such as my last batch of charts with savings rate broken down). It only takes me about 15 minutes per day anyway now.
Wannaretireearly wrote:Brilliant - thanks for sharing!
Nisi definitely has some new upstart competition from the OP re: fantastic posts with Graphics and charts!

Would love to see your charts in 10 years - if its still this detailed you've done a great job monitoring and are probably/definitely OCD - lol joking!
I think I'll continue this. I see now reason not to, and it only takes a few minutes a day at this point. Perhaps I'll update the original post yearly or something so we can see how my patterns change and how my thoughts and takeaways change.

NoVa Lurker
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by NoVa Lurker » Wed May 21, 2014 10:31 am

This is very interesting, thanks OP.

I suspect my expenses were relatively similar through my 20s.

These days, with a wife, two young kids, a home, two (relatively accidental) rental properties, several income streams, and day-care/preschool costs, our income/expenses are a mess. We have definitely loosened up on the latte-type expenses, and tried to focus more on the bigger-ticket items (including negotiating the purchase and sale of major assets, insurance expenses, etc). I do track all the big stuff in an excel sheet, but, at some point, I'd love to get a system in place to track our specific expenses.

I hope you keep doing this, and share how things change a few more years down the line!

JasonMc
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by JasonMc » Wed May 21, 2014 10:37 am

assumer wrote:I do like mint and use it to help me, but now that things are set up for me, I prefer excel. The reason is that I can do my own analysis that mint doesn't allow (such as my last batch of charts with savings rate broken down). It only takes me about 15 minutes per day anyway now.
Can't you just do an export from Mint? I think Mint has an option to export all transaction data to a CSV file.

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plantingourpennies
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by plantingourpennies » Wed May 21, 2014 7:58 pm

Another vote of support for this sort of thoughtful tracking-my wife and I do something similar via mint.

It can lend itself to some serious life hacking later on-you might want to check out the early retirement extreme community for a group of folks with similar interests and aptitudes.

best,
Mr. PoP

placeholder
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by placeholder » Wed May 21, 2014 11:50 pm

I don't bother to track because there's no useful information for me so it would be only for curiosity's sake.

Alex Frakt
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by Alex Frakt » Thu May 22, 2014 12:53 am

I want to know about the $56.41 you couldn't categorize.

assumer
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by assumer » Thu May 22, 2014 6:56 am

Alex Frakt wrote:I want to know about the $56.41 you couldn't categorize.
Hmm you made me curious. I now went through every "Misc" transaction and categorized it:

Turns out it's:
  • -$108.34 in ATM fees
  • +159.05 in coins which I converted to cash
  • -$102.00 in "unknown" which would happen sometimes when the petty cash in my wallet didn't precisely equal what my spreadsheet said I should have
  • +$1.88 in those tiny small deposits banks make when linking external accounts. Sometimes they don't always take them back out :)
  • -$7.00 in foreign currency exchange

bucksfan2
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by bucksfan2 » Thu May 22, 2014 8:06 am

Cool charts.

There have often been times I have wondered how much I have spent on alcohol over the past decade. I have been out of college for 10 years now and have been working full time since then. How much did I spend in my early twenties when we were going out much more often to now where my tastes have gotten a little more expensive. I have moved more to craft beer but don't drink nearly the volume anymore. I think that number would be shocking, something I don't really want to know. But back to the OP's comment that he wouldn't trade it, I fully agree. Beers with friends, some who you don't see anymore, times spent out at the bars with friends, on vacation, just the overall good times, and bad mornings, were part of the process of living.

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ipod_keith
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by ipod_keith » Thu May 22, 2014 12:25 pm

OP did a great job of putting this together for himself. Lot of patience. I think that's close to an 'ideal' set of metrics to collect and very helpful to answer the majority of questions one might have about own personal finance.

Only thing I might be inclined to include on the first chart with timeframes would be major stock market events, such as the flash crash or housing bust.

Nice job

assumer
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by assumer » Thu May 22, 2014 12:30 pm

ipod_keith wrote:OP did a great job of putting this together for himself. Lot of patience. I think that's close to an 'ideal' set of metrics to collect and very helpful to answer the majority of questions one might have about own personal finance.

Only thing I might be inclined to include on the first chart with timeframes would be major stock market events, such as the flash crash or housing bust.

Nice job
Thanks for the compliment. Keep in mind that because of my age stock market events have had little if any effect on my finances. See my cagr chart. I've only been investing since 2011 and only a small amount. I am in the accumulation and loan pay down phase of my life. As I get older stock market fluctuations will have an impact on my net worth but not now.

etarini
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Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

Post by etarini » Thu May 22, 2014 12:50 pm

As I have admitted in other posts,I have been entering all expenses, including all cash, into Quicken since December, 1998. It has been helpful in getting a handle on expenses, and for that task it's easier than Excel, plus it has some simple reporting. We bought a used 2012 Ford Focus last year, and I made a conscious decision to not write down the gallons, cost, and price of gasoline for every fill-up in a little spiral notebook that I kept in the glove compartment(though it's still tracked in Quicken). And when my 2003 Taurus Wagon goes to the Great Junkyard in the Sky, I won't be keeping track of mileage for its replacement car, either.

I know I could probably get a handle on my expenses with less thorough data collection, but it's easy and fast for me, and it's worth it even if only for the notes we put in the "memo" section, or for remembering the name of a restaurant where we ate while traveling.
But I don't understand how anyone can get a good understanding of their expenses and cash flow without *some* kind of system.

Eric

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