Our Credit Card Spending November to December

I read an inspiring post on Financial Samurai titled, “Credit Card Enlightenment: Track Your Expenses Wisely” that made me want to get a handle on monthly expenditures, but as explained before I feel like I started in the wrong month, but oh well!  Unlike my net worth updates, I am going to provide exact dollars (I guess I am getting transparent in my old age).Before getting into the details, the following charges were made on the one card I primarily use, my Premier Gold American Express which I pay off monthly.

My Monthly Expenses

Nov 22-30 Dec 1-22
Merchant Total
MICRO CENTER-LONG ISLAND $ - $ 488.82 $ 488.82 9.05%
STAPLES 40 $ - $ 488.80 $ 488.80 9.05%
HOME DEPOT $ - $ 432.30 $ 432.30 8.00%
STOP & SHOP $ 246.33 $ 93.77 $ 340.10 6.29%
GYMBOREE $ 319.00 $ - $ 319.00 5.90%
PHARMACY $ 269.95 $ - $ 269.95 5.00%
ON THE SOUND-RES $ - $ 200.00 $ 200.00 3.70%
TARGET $ - $ 161.12 $ 161.12 2.98%
BJ’S $ 130.68 $ - $ 130.68 2.42%
PIZZA $ - $ 127.49 $ 127.49 2.36%
NEXTEL WIRELESS SVCS $ - $ 123.94 $ 123.94 2.29%
BAR & RESTAURANT $ - $ 116.85 $ 116.85 2.16%
THE HOME DEPOT $ - $ 113.64 $ 113.64 2.10%
Krav $ - $ 112.00 $ 112.00 2.07%
PARTY CITY $ 109.51 $ - $ 109.51 2.03%
ZAPPOS RETAIL $ 162.94 $ (56.47) $ 106.47 1.97%
SMOKE STAX $ - $ 104.78 $ 104.78 1.94%
BUYBUY BABY $ 25.36 $ 69.88 $ 95.24 1.76%
WALDBAUM’S $ - $ 91.51 $ 91.51 1.69%
PHOTOS BY SHUTTERFLY $ - $ 87.17 $ 87.17 1.61%
MARSHALLS $ - $ 86.78 $ 86.78 1.61%
SHELL OIL $ - $ 86.59 $ 86.59 1.60%
TRADER JOES $ - $ 82.00 $ 82.00 1.52%
WALGREENS $ - $ 81.38 $ 81.38 1.51%
KODAK GALLERY $ 73.75 $ - $ 73.75 1.36%
MICHAELS STORES INC $ - $ 73.38 $ 73.38 1.36%
POLAND SPRING WATER COMPA $ 69.12 $ - $ 69.12 1.28%
AMAZON.COM LLC $ 43.41 $ 7.90 $ 51.31 0.95%
FRIENDLY ICE CREAM $ - $ 50.25 $ 50.25 0.93%
LONG ISLAND $ - $ 49.59 $ 49.59 0.92%
HURLEYS SALOON & RESTAURA $ - $ 41.00 $ 41.00 0.76%
BJ’S $ - $ 40.16 $ 40.16 0.74%
LANDS END INC $ 39.60 $ - $ 39.60 0.73%
PILOT CORP $ 38.50 $ - $ 38.50 0.71%
PETCO #1760 $ - $ 38.19 $ 38.19 0.71%
BROADWAY MALL $ 30.96 $ - $ 30.96 0.57%
GETTY $ - $ 30.00 $ 30.00 0.56%
LANE CAR CARE $ - $ 30.00 $ 30.00 0.56%
FAIRWAY GROUP $ - $ 29.73 $ 29.73 0.55%
ONE PRICE CLEANERS $ 12.76 $ 16.17 $ 28.93 0.54%
SNAPFISH HP $ - $ 28.51 $ 28.51 0.53%
FINE WINES UNLIMITED $ - $ 28.22 $ 28.22 0.52%
PHIL’S PIZZA $ - $ 27.60 $ 27.60 0.51%
HOLIDAY MALL PHOTOS RFNY $ - $ 27.15 $ 27.15 0.50%
SOCIAL bar $ 26.26 $ - $ 26.26 0.49%
RESTAURANT $ - $ 26.18 $ 26.18 0.48%
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSN $ 25.00 $ - $ 25.00 0.46%
MTA/TBTA AUTO REPLENISH $ - $ 25.00 $ 25.00 0.46%
STAR KITCHEN $ - $ 21.70 $ 21.70 0.40%
FIVE GUYS $ - $ 21.24 $ 21.24 0.39%
PAVILION WINE AND SPIRITS $ - $ 19.54 $ 19.54 0.36%
SUPER STOP & SHOP $ - $ 18.87 $ 18.87 0.35%
EXXONMOBIL CAT OUTSIDE $ - $ 17.82 $ 17.82 0.33%
BURGER KING $ 14.69 $ - $ 14.69 0.27%
TJ MAXX $ - $ 14.57 $ 14.57 0.27%
GROUPON INC $ - $ 13.00 $ 13.00 0.24%
AMAZON.COM SSI MGZINE $ - $ 12.00 $ 12.00 0.22%
RITE AID $ - $ 11.41 $ 11.41 0.21%
STARBUCKS $ - $ 5.27 $ 5.27 0.10%
WENDY’S $ - $ 3.99 $ 3.99 0.07%
TOYS-R-US $ - $ 3.97 $ 3.97 0.07%
ITUNES MUSIC STORE $ - $ 1.98 $ 1.98 0.04%
FEDEX EXPRESS $ - $ 1.11 $ 1.11 0.02%
POLO.COM $ (31.00) $ (31.00) $ (62.00) -1.15%
Total $ 1,606.82 $ 3,796.85 $ 5,403.67 100.00%

Spending Report by Category

Spending Report by SubCategory

I was completely shocked when I read these numbers (like sick to stomach sick), but after reading through them a bit I think I figured out what was going on – we had A LOT of non-recurring payments and payback situations with this month:

  • Our biggest expense $488.82 is a fully refundable gift purchase we got on our CC so one spouse didn’t know about the other’s purchase for Christmas
  • Our second biggest expense $488.80 was the new computer purchase was a business expense that my S-corp paid for.  Also I have a $50 rebate coming in.
  • Our third biggest expense $432.30 was a gift for my father split between my brothers so that was partially refunded ($300)
  • We also received a payback on $162 from Zappos for a gift again, one spouse didn’t want the other to know about.

Right there we have $1,438 that was paid back to us already.  We also had a bunch of one time expenses associated with my son’s birthday and otherwise:

  • Our fifth largest expense (Gymboree) for $319 was a once a quarter expense
  • Our sixth largest expense (Pharmacy) for $269 was a one time fee for an inoculation for me (Chicken Pox) that I have put in paperwork to get reimbursed but no matter what it won’t be repeated.
  • Throughout the statement are entries that are just not normal because of our son’s birthday party and Christmas.

I know it sounds like a lot of justification, but it isn’t I think I just picked an off month to start tracking.  I am hoping my next update late next month will be 50% of this number!

15 Responses to Our Credit Card Spending November to December

  1. Interesting. I’ve been doing something like this for years. It’s very helpful for keeping an eye on spending habits.

    Until recently I tracked discretionary spending (at my house it all goes on credit cards) against budget categories (groceries, clothing, etc.). This allowed me to dedicate a category for one-time expenses (tho’ those are sometimes paid from short-term emergency savings) and also to see where I chronically overspend (or underspend…). It’s good to be able to spot problem areas at a glance.

    Lately the work schedule has been a little too hectic to spend time on that much detail, so I just subtract each credit-card debit from the monthly amount budgeted for CC spending.

    • Evan says:

      I resisted this type of detailed information as well as tracking my net worth as I believed they wouldn’t matter – holy shit was I wrong LOL

  2. I think this is a nice representation of how UNrepresentative any one month is in describing one’s spending habits. Best to look at this averaged across a year or even two.

  3. Dude, $127 is a lot for pizza. How much of that bad stuff did you eat? It’s only $15 max per medium size pie here in SF!

    What you’ll find is that there are MANY reoccurring “one-off” things.

    Sam

    • Evan says:

      HAHAHA In the pizza capital of the western hemisphere there is no large/medium/small but that was for the Kid’s 1st Birthday I had bought 5 or 6 pies that day and then a bunch of other stuff from the same place at a different time so it lumped it all together.

      I agree, that there will always be one-off things, but I am HOPING that this statement was particularly bad b/c that is way too much consumption.

  4. 101 Centavos says:

    Well, starting off with a high month gives motivation to improve, if nothing else.

  5. I think tracking is always great! But yes…sometimes it makes your stomach lurch.

    Also…did you see my comment about changing your age in your description box below the article? It still says you are 29 and didn’t you turn 30 last month? Perhaps you are ignoring the comment on purpose:). I just turned 29 and plan on hanging onto this age for as long as possible:).

  6. lol – hope you are auto importing that data. lots of line items!!

  7. Whoooooa buddy. Typical New Yorker. You eat out lots. Alright, two things to get rid of:

    1) Quit smoking! Isn’t it like, illegal already?
    2) Get a Brita and quit buying water.

    • Evan says:

      Lol that purchase was for cigars for a work party…but yes I do smoke cigars once in a while. However, since no one knows what to buy me as a present I ended up getting what must be 15 or so cigars so I should be set for a LONG time.

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