Looking Back: 2016 Money Pie

Happy New Year!! It's that time of year again...money pie time!! As you know, each year I recap my spending throughout the year as a percentage. I think this is a great way to see where the money is all going so that I can make smarter decisions with my money in the future years. You can find previous year's posts here: 2014, 2015.

As always, I did not include any savings in this chart. This is not technically "spending" although I do track it and it is part of my yearly financial plan.  
Home: This category includes mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance, as well as other misc items, such as appliances and other crap that comes with owing a home. However, the bulk (about 86%) of it is mortgage, taxes and insurance, with the others trailing way behind. Also, anything I buy on Amazon, I categorize as "home" as I am too lazy to figure out what it was I actually bought. It is probably a mix between shopping, home and entertainment in actuality.   
Transportation: This year I bought a car. As you can see from the pie, it affected the transportation category greatly! In addition, I still spent money commuting (BART) and definitely drove more, as a friend and I started a weekly run meet up after work and I took advantage of nice summer days to get the heck out of dodge as much as possible, including a road trip to Oregon and Kings Canyon.
Travel: Speaking of Oregon and Kings Canyon, once again, my indulgent category was travel. Funny enough though, I actually spent less this year than last, or my calculation methods could be inconsistent. Either way, I had a great time traveling abroad as well as to several U.S. destinations and many local weekend trips.

Groceries/Dining Out: Once again, these are almost the same! This year some friends and I went out to a nice meal once a month and we took turns paying. This equates to about once every four months me spending way too much on dinner. However, it is a lot of fun, but it's not helping my "dining out" budget.

Misc: This includes personal care, toiletries, gifts and donations, credit card fees and things like that. The bulk of it is gifts. The other things are minor.

Health: This includes pre-tax deductions and any copay or charge for contact lenses etc.

Entertainment: This includes movies, baseball games, and running related (or other hobbies) expenses. This year, most of it went to race fees. I probably should shift some of my "travel" over to this category, but once again, I am too lazy to really sort it out that thoroughly.

Shopping:  This category included clothing, toiletries and items from Target that were not home or running related. This year I bought a couple of pairs of work shoes and some things from REI which could be in the entertainment category...and that is pretty much it.

So, what did I learn from this? This year I definitely spent more that last year, although a lot of that extra cost was due to my purchase of a car. However, excluding the transportation category, the biggest increases over last year belonged to the Entertainment (53%), Health (33%) and Home (26%) categories. This makes sense, as I signed up for more big ticket races, my insurance premium went up, and I was in my house for a whole year vs. 7 months last year. On the flip side, I also saved more this year, so I am pretty happy with that, as my goal from the beginning of this year was to save more if I could.

What do I want to accomplish this year? This year I hope to do a bit of deeper analysis and develop a plan regarding getting the best bang for my buck. For example, does it make more financial sense to put my money into savings or use it to pay off my mortgage quicker. I have most of the information I need; now it is time to execute! In addition, once again I would like to save more this year than I saved last year. I would like to say I could minimize the Home category, but in reality, there is always a backyard project or a broken pipe or a random thing that goes bump in the night. So, that's it!

Do you keep track of your spending habits? What is the biggest piece of your money pie? What are your financial goals this year?


  1. You are so on the ball with posting this! I don't think I will get mine up for another week or so. One thing I don't include is anything that comes out of my paycheck automatically, like health insurance premiums... I didn't even think to do that! Whoops.

    I do keep a close eye on my spending habits. My biggest focus is on savings and I have an automatic transfer that goes into a savings account so that takes care of the saving goal. I could pay more attention to what is left after that transfer but I don't always do the best job of doing that. That said, I know I'm responsible with my money and have no debt besides my mortgage and car payment (I didn't pay cash for my car but the rate is pretty low so I'm just paying it monthly for now).

    Our financial goals this year are to pay for a wedding and not spend too much on it. Additionally, we will be merging our finances this year which will be an interesting experience. We have agreed that we will have joint accounts. So this is probably the last year I'll do a spending pie chart because I don't feel right about sharing our spending for both of us since Phil is so private, and I don't know that we'll get everything into one tracking software, like Mint.com. But we'll see...

  2. Statistically, I've always heard that Americans spend about 10% on food whereas europeans spend closer to 30% on food. It's one of the reasons they eat more naturally, less processed foods and are able to eat out more often than we do. Personally Kelley takes care of all of our spending so I don't know the percentages but we do buy only organic whole foods and very little processed stuff. And we eat out way too often. That's a very interesting chart!

  3. I finally got mint.com after seeing Lisa's spending recap so I'm excited to do a spending breakdown at the end of this year. Since I got a big bump in salary in 2016 I have been saving more money than ever and it feels sooo good. I want to figure out how to save even more! Hopefully we will be buying a house this year as well, so that will be a huge extra expense but worth it.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing again. I love getting a glimpse into other people's spending. I definitely track my spending and I have been using YNAB for the 2nd year in a row. Our biggest spending category was our home this year... mortgage, home maintenance, utilities, ... it adds up! But I also value our home, so it's good to spend money on it.
    My biggest goal this year is to save more for retirement.


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