Last year throughout October I tracked my spendings to get a better picture of where the money is going. And I wanted to repeat it in 2023 as well. Then we had plans of being on vacation and I also had the weekend with my dad coming up. It really didn’t compare to the spendings of 2022. I decided to go ahead and track my October spendings 2023 nevertheless. In the end I decided to not include the cost for the vacations in this spending report. It would have messed it up too much.
I stuck to just tracking my own spendings. I was considering doing household spendings but first of it would have been more work and it also isn’t really comparable to last year. So only my spendings it is.
Nothing much has changed compared to last year when it comes to the big spenders. Most my money goes to insurances and retirement (35%) then for housing (35% +6%). Now please keep in mind housing is only the share I pay. It is double the money.
Compared to last year rent has gone up. This was due to the move we were forced to do. Within one year rent prices have gone up about 20% here in Berlin. And we really did’t have a choice in paying more. While I like our new apartment – it is in better shape than the one we were forced out of – it still rubs me the wrong way to spend so much money on rent. But what can you do.
The service charges housing includes all the bills that accumulate and that are paid from our joined account. So I am not completely sure about the exact amounts. And important info this also includes internet and streaming subscriptions.
It never stops hurting to look at how much I monthly pay for insurances.
I have insurances like my business insurance or my international health care that I pay annually and that don’t fall into October. My health insurance is still the highest of them all even though it slightly dropped this year. As a freelancer I have to cover that all by myself and the amount depends on my income and that has been lower than last year. But it is a lot I am paying and I really might have to look into it more closely and check if it makes sense to which the insurance company.
As a freelancer I also have to save up some money for my retirement. I do not have any employer taking care of that. I do have a couple insurances for that – not the best options but I was young. I also try to build up a portfolio to close the gap I am having for retiring. For that I have a certain amount that goes into the portfolio and is automatically invested into stocks. if that will keep me afloat during my retirement – lots hope so.
Spendings for Savings and freelance life
I like to save as much as I can. Currently that is 7% a month. This is a bit fluent. If I spend less I put more in savings. Less in December as I have all the Christmas spendings. However ever since I started full time work I have tried to put some money into savings. And I know I am a rare breed when I say I have never been in dept in my life. Very privileged. Very thankful. And while this is still true I am struggling to make ends meet recently as every day costs are rising. I had to move some money from my savings back to the account in order to not go into overdraft. Not ideal. Need to keep an eye on that.
Maybe a quick side note since I dipped into freelancing. I do have two separate accounts. And I pay myself a monthly salary from my business account to my private account. That salary is fixed (at least for a year) and if I earn more I don’t get a raise. But I also don’t get cut when freelance work slows down a bit. I try to have a steady income that is oriented on my spendings.
The savings here in the diagram are additional savings as a private person.
Spendings on Food
Compared to last year our grocery spendings have gone up from 2% to 6%, And that is only my share. We usually don’t keep track much who pays for what – it is whoever in the store does it. For October it actually is almost exactly 50:50. However it is still not quite correct as I was away for 4 days and then we spend 7 days on vacation. The food we ate then is not included in these spending. So a regular month grocery spending would be even higher. This is really showing how much prices have increased.
Additionally we are shopping less at the discounter since we are now living in an area where there are less discounters and we never come by them. Since we only have one car the husband usually takes it and if I need to get something I only have one option I can reach by bike and foot. Going to the discounter is really getting out of our way and takes much more time. However I try to do it once a month to stock up on basics.
As last year I need to mention that some of our groceries are bought at the drugstore. The drugstore carries a lot of organic foods. I get my oat milk, healthy candy, cracker and nuts, honey or at times noodles or flour.
Spendings on Take-Out
October was also a bit higher on my spendings when it comes to take out. We have been rather good about not ordering in so much but in October I was socializing a bit more since I wasn’t working full-time. The husband and I went to a brewery pub we wanted to check out and my sister and I went to a spa where we had some coffee and cake and after had a nice dinner.
I didn’t spend any money on my hobbies in October. No books, no craft supplies. However I did already started to buy gifts for my three shoeboxes I am packing for my volunteering of Christmas in a shoebox. That however still only comes in as 1%.
I think I did a pretty good job in tracking all the spendings this year. And it is also good to see that – besides the extraordinary expenses for vacation everything else is more or less the same. At least percentage wise. Overall costs have gone up by 20%. And that is not really good for the long run. Especially since I do not have a full-time project for right now and the client I have doesn’t cover the monthly expenses. So for the coming months I will dig into those savings I have.
Have you realized that prices have gone up? Do you track your spendings? How do you handle price increases? Does it make you nervous when money is tight? Do you have to take care of your retirement by yourself?