If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember back in 2017 and early 2018, I used to work with a financial planner at LearnVest and during that time, used their money tracking software pretty religiously. Since I knew where every dollar was going, it was pretty easy for me to write a post about how I spent my money in 2017. Shortly after I wrote that post, I stopped using LearnVest and instead just practiced their budgeting philosophies on my own. After stopping LearnVest, since I didn’t have a budgeting app I was using regularly, I lacked a good way to track how I spent my money other than manually coding everything. So last year, I didn’t write a similar post recapping how I spent my money in 2018—I love the blog, but hand coding hundreds of transactions didn’t exactly scream “fun times” to me.
A week or so ago, I was reviewing my recent credit card charges and had a notification saying that my year-end spending report was ready. Other than rent, I put 99.9% of my expenses on a credit card, so this report made it really easy for me to see where my money went in 2019. To round out my full financial picture, I calculated how much I spent on rent and how much money I saved, and then calculated the percentage I spent in each category, which you’ll see below.
Looking at where I spent the majority of my money last year—rent, savings, travel, food + drink—was not a surprise to me at all, and I consider that to be a good thing since it means I have pretty good self awareness when it comes to my finances. I am sure my financial priorities will change over time, but for where I am at right now with a very “lock and leave” lifestyle, I’m happy to spend my money on traveling to new places and enjoying good food and drink with friends (and not cooking for one, hah!). One thing I have really tried to double down on the past couple of years is saving—I’ve slowly increased my 401(K) contributions, take advantage of the company stock plan, and squirrel away money into my emergency savings fund. I am really good at spending money, so saving is something I really have to work at—but I know it will pay off in the long run, and since I have a ~lifestyle~ I love, I want to make sure I can afford such luxuries in the retirement home one day.
Before we dive in, I want to disclaim that I am not financial planner or expert, and I’m simply sharing the below since I thought it would be an interesting read. I have a financial planner who helps me manage my money, and I’d totally recommend finding one to help you, too! You don’t have to be rich, own a home, or even make a ton of money to meet with one, and they can help you be so much smarter about your money. So with that said, here’s how I spent my money in 2019: