2018 was expensive, but I’m still really pleased overall with how we did financially. Especially considering we had to pay for a wedding this year! That cut into how much I was able to save, but it was to be expected (and worth it!). I’ve done this sort of recap for the past three years, so I’m excited that I’m able to compare and share with you three years worth of data in my spreadsheets. 🙂
Related: How I saved 50% of my income in 2016
Thanks to a raise earlier in the year and moving to a new job, my full-time salary increased by about $13,000. I also brought home around $10,000 in freelance income – which is slightly lower than normal, but I ended up declining some opportunities and haven’t actively been seeking anything either.
Moving into 2019, a good friend and I are currently planning on starting a small online business together, and I’m also eligible for bonuses at my new job, so it will be interesting to see how my overall income will change in the next 12 months.
Anyway, onto the numbers! 🙂
Note: the numbers below are just my half of our shared expenses, as we spent most of this year with separate finances.
I’m super pleased that I almost came in on budget for the year, and can really account for all of the reasons why I went over budget on certain categories.
Household expenses also included pet expenses, and we had to pay well over $1,000 back in January because poor Zoey had to undergo dental surgery to pull a couple broken teeth.
Entertainment, I ended up splurging and getting a subscription to MLB.tv (~$150) which we will for sure keep on buying going forward. It’s totally worth it to be able to watch every single Blue Jays game, as well as the playoffs. I’m actually a bit embarrassed about how much we spent on entertainment and food this year (even though we had budgeted for it). I really want to get this cost down for next year because 80% of what we spent was on restaurants.
Clothing is so easy to go over budget on. 🙂 Just a few weeks ago I totally splurged on a new pair of work shoes, which pushed me over budget for the year.
I’m cringing at my Personal Care expenses. Over $2,000!? Crap. I mean I did make a huge change in how I took care of myself this year, and a lot of the expenses were upkeep of my eyelash extensions (which I’m still happy with). The rest of the money was spent on skincare, a bit of make-up, three hair cuts, a spa facial, and miscellaneous like nail polish, hair products, a new flat iron, etc.
Fitness included my annual field hockey fees and insurance. But I also bought a new pair of hiking shorts, an ultra lightweight jacket, and a monthly climbing membership (which we ended up canceling because of RD’s knee issues).
I splurged on Gifts this year because my sister and I decided that we were going to spend money on experiences instead of stuff. So I took her to the spa for her birthday, then we took mom for high tea and a mani/pedi for her birthday. Add that to all the rest of the gifts we spent over the year, and it was easy to go over budget. But it was still pretty reasonable, and I’m happy to spend money on gifts for loved ones.
Then we went a tiny bit over budget on our Wedding. We would have come significantly under budget if the restaurant we were going to have Reception #1 at hadn’t ghosted me just as we were finalizing the package. And also we had booked a private room in a bar for the after party at Reception #2, but they canceled my reservation like a month before the wedding because they wanted to renovate the room. So instead we ended up splurging and paying for a private room somewhere else ($350), and then decided to buy a second wedding cake and alcohol (which we hadn’t factored into our original budget). Everything was totally worth it, but it makes me a little sad that we almost made it on budget… so close!
**EDIT – I accidentally put the entire amount of the wedding into my image above, instead of my half.
Now for fun, here’s how much I spent compared to 2016 and 2017!
I excluded the wedding cost because I didn’t even include what we spent in our monthly budgets this year, and kept it as a completely independent budget. Which ended up working out because I didn’t have to extract all those numbers to create the chart below, haha.
I’m happy that I spent around $4,000 less than I did last year, but it’s pretty clear that the bulk of that was because last year we went to Portugal, and we basically didn’t go on a vacation this year. 🙂 Another big change was that my job stopped paying for my monthly transit costs, and as I mentioned above, my personal care costs went through the roof.
Because of the wedding and our deposit on our new condo, I didn’t actually save much this year except for my retirement contributions (about $17,000). I expected that, but it’s still a bummer! I’m just happy that we were able to pay for those two huge expenses without affecting the amount I’m contributing to our future.
Though, thanks in part to us buying our condo at the right time, my personal net worth increased by just over $80,000 this year.
I’ve moved all our budgeting over to Mint as a trial. I might come to regret this later (haha), but I wanted to make a huge effort to make our finances more accessible and user-friendly for RD. I also set him up with Wealthsimple because the user interface is really clean, and he can easily understand where his money is being invested, and how much he’s making.
The biggest change is that we’ve completely combined our finances for 2019, and we’ll each get an allowance for our personal spending. I’m excited because it means we’ll be working more as a team, and that we’ll be able to use our combined incomes to save more for retirement.
This means that my monthly budgets in 2019 will include our full spending (instead of just my half). YAY!
How did your spending look in 2018?
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.