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So I just did a 12mth analysis of what we spent


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#1 purpleduck

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:00 PM

sh*t! :omg:

There's nothing like doing a full analysis of what your income and expenditure has been for the last 12 months. Unfortunately we have had a LOT of unusual expenditure that we don't normally have but it has been a real eye opener and rather sobering :(

I guess it has given me clarity now that I want our expenses to be less than our income and I definitely want a bigger buffer for unexpected costs.

Anyone else done this recently and been surprised (good or bad)?

I am definitely in at least low level shock and it is going to have a direct and immediate impact on what I spend. Small benefit I guess....

#2 CallMeFeral

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:12 PM

I track our expenses. I'm always blown away by how much we spend. Almost to the point of overwhelm.

#3 Mands09

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:16 PM

Yes we did this 2 years ago. Analyses the previous 2 years of spending line by line, grouping into categories. It was eyewatering in some instances (DH spending thousands on in-app game purchases for example). Certainly led to behaviour change.

#4 Jane Jinglebells

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:19 PM

We have a lot of tax expenses (car travel, parking, etc) so every tax time I do a bit of a forensic analysis of the year and go look at what we've spent so I can see what's claimable.

I am always horrified by how much DH spends on lunch and have to tell him off; and how much I spend on groceries, and vow that I'll be better.

#5 purpleduck

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:20 PM

Its been a few years since we did our last one, and I had a feeling we were spending above our means but to see it in black and white (and to get all the different account data in the same place) at least puts it into a more wholistic financial picture, even if its scary.

#6 BusbyWilkes

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:33 PM

We need to do this but it always seems like such an overwhelming job. How did you do it? Reviewing bank and credit card statements manually and categorising expenses?

#7 purpleduck

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:39 PM

Download the last 12mths into excel, sort by name/description, add a column to put in a category eg car, income, groceries and then I did a pivot table but you could do a simple sum (just takes longer).

Just be careful - some accounts have debit and credit columns and some just have them both in the same column but with a minus for the debits. You need to make sure they are all the same format in one column.

Edited by purpleduck, 18 November 2019 - 10:45 PM.


#8 Mands09

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:49 PM

^ this is how we did it too.

#9 LiveLife

Posted 18 November 2019 - 11:07 PM

Coffee annual spend...... sh*t that’s stupid.

#10 Charli73

Posted 19 November 2019 - 04:48 AM

How do you download it into excel using bank statements?

Edited by Charli73, 19 November 2019 - 04:49 AM.


#11 WaitForMe

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:06 AM

View PostCharli73, on 19 November 2019 - 04:48 AM, said:

How do you download it into excel using bank statements?

Look for something about downloading into a CSV file. It stands for Comma Separated Value, Excel can open it.

If you tell us what bank you are with there is probably someone here who can give you instructions.

Edited by WaitForMe, 19 November 2019 - 05:07 AM.


#12 IamzFeralz

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:10 AM

View PostCharli73, on 19 November 2019 - 04:48 AM, said:

How do you download it into excel using bank statements?

Your online banking usually allows you to download the statements in different formats - CSV is the one I use. You do the download, then open up Excel and from there open up the file you downloaded from your online banking.

#13 WaitForMe

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:12 AM

Every now and then I go back over our expenses and yeah... eye opener.

I find it a bit overwhelming of how to improve. Its always a case of finding little bits we could save but we'd need to find so many of those little bits to get any significant benefit. For us theres never just one or two big amounts somewhere and all we need to do is cut those out.

#14 red_squirrel

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:26 AM

View PostLiveLife, on 18 November 2019 - 11:07 PM, said:

Coffee annual spend...... sh*t that’s stupid.

If you can afford it it isn’t. You are helping to keep that business afloat.

Imagine if we all only spent on what we absolutely need, how many businesses would close down? How many would then be out of a job. Things would deteriorate rapidly.

Some might argue that this is fantastic but I’m not one of them.  I spend in the businesses I want to still see going in these tough retail times.

#15 Sancti-claws

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:29 AM

My budgeting spreadsheet does this anyway.

My main "eek" is that fact that, with all of our necessaries, the wiggle room is getting smaller every month.

#16 Mooples

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:03 AM

Dh tracks every dollar we spend. We go over our budget by around $1000 every month because of all the out of the ordinary things that pop up. Life is so expensive!

#17 -Emissary-

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:05 AM

We did recently.

I have always had a decent gauge on what and how we spend our money on so nothing really come as a huge surprise. DH was a bit shocked but that’s because he rarely looks at the credit card (despite his numerous trips to Bunnings).

We spend a lot on food (including coffee, lunches and occasional dinner out).

Edited by -Emissary-, 19 November 2019 - 06:05 AM.


#18 Wahwah

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:18 AM

I did it a few months ago. Showed DH that he spends nearly $7k a year on parking, lunch and coffee. He could take public transport and has never taken lunch to work in the 20 years we have been together. No behaviour change here though.

#19 Bauble Dinkleberry

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:33 AM

We use pocketbook to track expenses and budget. Sometimes  it is very confronting how much a family costs to run.

#20 born.a.girl

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:48 AM

View PostBusbyWilkes, on 18 November 2019 - 10:33 PM, said:

We need to do this but it always seems like such an overwhelming job. How did you do it? Reviewing bank and credit card statements manually and categorising expenses?

Yep, we spend very little cash, apart from a few specific things (hairdresser and cleaner) so that wasn't too hard.

As per another thread, I also divided some expenses into fixed and optional.  Basic water, electricity, gas is fixed. Choosing to run the aircon, having a lawn etc is optional.


I saw 'pocketbook' recommended on an ASX webinar the other day, so assume it's good.

#21 born.a.girl

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:54 AM

View PostWahwah, on 19 November 2019 - 06:18 AM, said:

I did it a few months ago. Showed DH that he spends nearly $7k a year on parking, lunch and coffee. He could take public transport and has never taken lunch to work in the 20 years we have been together. No behaviour change here though.


Staggering, isn't it, when you actually add up those 'small' daily expenses.

Maybe you should go into a site like Canstar and show him what $7,000 pa compounded over the number of years to retirement, would get him in super.

If he's got less than $25k going in via an employer, the balance is tax deductible, too.

#22 purpleduck

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:22 AM

Again, i think it really isn’t a problem if you spend $7k on coffee as long as your income is high enough to afford that.

We don’t have any credit cards and we can absorb some unexpected expenses but when it’s one after the other, it erodes the small buffer we have.

I think we can be relatively thoughtless when spending. Tapping a card also isn’t as painful as handing over cold hard cash.

#23 maryanneK

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:29 AM

I do this from time to time. What depresses me is not the "frivolous" spending, because we don't really do a lot of that, but how much we spend just on the non negotiables/ essentials.

#24 Babetty

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:34 AM

View Postpurpleduck, on 19 November 2019 - 07:22 AM, said:


I think we can be relatively thoughtless when spending. Tapping a card also isn’t as painful as handing over cold hard cash.

We have a fortnightly cash "allowance" for this reason - to cover coffees, lunches, etc and we both save some of it for personal indulgences as all our other money is shared and it's nice to have a stash to spend without discussing, etc. It's fairly generous as we can afford it, but just that sheer visual reminder of seeing the purse empty as the fortnight goes on helps keep my coffee & cake habit in check (and the incentive of seeing my savings envelope grow!)

From the reaction at the coffee shop etc there are not that many people still using cash for small expenses!

#25 born.a.girl

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:37 AM

View Postpurpleduck, on 19 November 2019 - 07:22 AM, said:

Again, i think it really isn’t a problem if you spend $7k on coffee as long as your income is high enough to afford that.

We don’t have any credit cards and we can absorb some unexpected expenses but when it’s one after the other, it erodes the small buffer we have.

I think we can be relatively thoughtless when spending. Tapping a card also isn’t as painful as handing over cold hard cash.

I know what you've said is what happens for most people, but I'm a bit the opposite.  Cash evaporates, whereas tapping the credit card means I have a record of it, and what it was spent on.

I can go for weeks with 10c in my wallet. That was a bit inadvertent, as I usually have a sneaky $50 tucked into my phone case for emergencies, and times when I out with just my phone, but shows you how much I prefer the card.




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