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HOW MUCH MONEY DID I SPEND LAST YEAR?
by:Pox
2013/03/05
As part of last year's challenge, I had set out to count every penny I spent to see how much it cost being me and where I waste my money. I gotta admit, it's going to be weird to NOT do this anymore since I'd been updating my little notepad document every single time I bought something, which is most days at it turns out!

So let's look at a pie chart:

MONEY SPENT IN 2012
***Doesn't count money saved / taxes



The average single person household in Canada spends $30 564. That's almost double what I spent this year and this was definitely the year I spent the most in my life! I spent almost as much on my cycling hobby than I did on food and rent! The minimum wage in Quebec is 9.90$/ hour, which amounts to close to 20k a year. So apparently, I'm living like a Wal-Mart employee right now. No wonder people complain about making ends meet, the average Canadian couple with children spends 74k a year, meaning both parents have to make double minimum wage after taxes just to keep pace with their spending.

Let's see how I compare in my spending to the single-person average:

Average Me
Food 4306 4064
Shelter 10 676 4545
Utilities 2233 600
Household Stuff 1001 230
Clothes 1556 90
Transportation 5345 218
Healthcare 1377 331
Personal Care 617 204
Recreation 2068 575
Education 491 0
Reading Material 148 6
Tobacco / Booze 1377 500
Games of Chance 1377 0
Misc 1095 355
Gifts/ Charity / Alimony 1641 458
Dumbass Cycling Hobby 0 3405
** I've taken 500$ from food to put into alcohol. I didn't count alcohol separately this year so it's an estimate.


What is surprising to me is how little the average Canadian spends on food. I cook a lot and I know what's cheap and what to buy. I do NOT overspend on the food that I need (much) and I eat out maybe once every 2 weeks. Because of cycling, I do need to eat probably 20-30% more food though.Still, I thought I'd blow that one right out of the water! I own at all the rest. Look at the HUGE amount of money people waste on GAMES OF CHANCE. 1377$! WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE?

Also interesting is that I spent just about nothing on transportation. Cycling is awesome. Compared to the average person who needs / has a car, I save thousands a year, get around faster and it keeps me healthier. If you can manage to live without a car, FUCKING DO IT.

Another noteworthy thing is clothing. Why are people buying all these clothes? Do you need new winter gear every year? I buy t-shirts at Wal-Mart, they're like 5 for 20$. That lasts years. Same for socks, jeans etc. 1500$ is what you'd spend on clothes for 10 years!

The rest is understandable I suppose. I don't live by myself, I have roomates, so my rent is obviously going to be cheaper than 10k.

What percentage of MY money is wasted?

Well, first of all:

MONEY SPENT ON FOOD IN 2012


What's useless food? It's stuff like going to restaurants, bars and buying unhealthy crap like candy and pizza. Given a reasonable estimate, this food costs 4 times as much as the needed food, which is mostly food I shop for intelligently. Furthermore, given that I bike a lot, I spend a lot more money on food than an average individual, probably up to 25% more because of the caloric needs.

So that means I could be spending as little as 2300$ on food.

PIE CHART WITH ALL NEEDLESS SPENDING REMOVED 2012


Removing all useless food, activities, hobbies and needless spending, it looks like it costs me 7123$ less! If I made only miminum wage and didn't bike, I could save up 11 000$ a year that I could put in a retirement account. That's $440 000 over 40 years, not counting interests. That would be a sad life though.

For fun, here's a pie chart of my living expenses:



All in all, I think I did pretty well! Aside from the unjustifiably huge amount of money I've spent getting into bike racing, which would make me look like a lunatic if it was on Pokemon memorabilia, I really don't waste too much money. Plus, now I know how much I waste and how much I would save if I stopped!

This is powerful knowledge and I'm sure it can inspire many dumb experiments! Can I live on 100$ of food in a month? MAYBE. Can I waste exactly 0$ for an entire month? Or avoid spending money on anything but food and rent?

Oh I can tell my future will be FUN...

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