I think going forward I'm going to collapse the Pets and Travel categories because all of our pet shopping is done at the grocery store and so included there and Travel was meant to be for vacation travel, but I rarely remember to separate it - it's just included with gas expenditures.
I may also get rid of Medical - because again, prescriptions and other medical items are purchased where we purchase groceries and I rarely remember to itemize receipts.
When I first started tracking our expenses - Jordan and I were both shocked at the amount of money we spent ingesting things...our Alcohol, Eating Out, and Grocery budgets were very high. For the next few years we slowly chipped away at our spending in those categories and made some great progress. This year however...we slipped. We spent $17,592.56 on putting things in our (or our dogs, or our friends) mouths! That also includes anything else we would have bought at a grocery store including housewares, cleaning supplies etc. but Wowza! That's almost 45% of our spending.... Now, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with that - but we do have a choice to make. Continue spending like that, or choose to spend less in those areas if there's something else we want our money to be doing (like....paying down that $29,000 LOC).
Here's a look at our track record:
We're pretty consistent with gas, clothing, education, and gifts - no issues there. Though going forward I expect clothing costs to increase due to the expectations at Jordan's new job.
Groceries has been on the rise and as already described eating out and alcohol took a dip in 2011 but then have been rising ever since. Entertainment is on the rise as is vehicle maintenance - though with having two vehicles again, I'm not surprised with the dip and the return to 2010 levels.
Home Maintenance is back to normal levels now that we're not in 'brand new house, we want to buy everything to make it pretty' mode.
What is becoming evident however; is that our weekly budget of $300 just isn't cutting it...need to have a think about our spending strategy...and perhaps our non-spending strategy.