To adequately review 2007, I had to go back to 2006. Unfortunately, the way I kept track of finances in 2006 was a little different than 2007. Over the years I find new, improved, and interesting ways to keep meticulous financial data. I spent a little time going back over 2006 so that I could organize my data in a way that it was comparable to 2007.
The results were somewhat interesting, at least to me. I made 1% more than I spent both years. Which makes perfect since to me when I look at my savings account and compare it to how much I made each year. I thought I was doing well on savings, but only saving 1% of what I made in two years makes me feel like I could have done better.
I paid off more debt in 2007. Most of that debt was accumulated in 2006. Auto maintenance and gas spending doubled. It was 3% in 2006, but 6% in 2007. I think it was because in 2006 and major auto repair went into debt. In 2007 I was able to pay for all auto expenses out of pocket and keep them off the credit card.
I stopped reporting monthly financial reviews on my blog because they were boring, even to me. Annual reviews, I learned today, are also boring. That being said I think 2008's financial review, when compared with 2007, will be more interesting because now I can compare two life styles: trailer life versus apartment life. I think I'll go ahead and even make some 2008 predictions.
- Bills will increase in 2008, but probably about as much as they did from 2006 to 2007.
- Other spending (luxury items and things that don't fit neatly into a category) will be down because I've started bringing my lunch to work.
- Auto spending will be down, I hope way down. I started riding my bike to work. Obviously I'll save on gas, but I'm also hoping that if I use my truck less I'll also save on maintenance and maybe even put off a repair or two.
I have to admit, moving did have me sweating finances at first. Granted it has only been two weeks into 2008, but so far finances have been better than ever before. Some of that can be accounted for by the sell of the trailer and the little extra I get from the GI Bill for going back to school. I also think that there was a hidden cost with trailer life. Anything that went wrong came out of my pocket. When I had to replace the air conditioner, it was up to me to fund the new one. Same goes for the power converter. In the apartment, on the other hand, when something breaks I don't sweat it. I just tell the front office to send maintenance to come fix my problem. This might really work out to my advantage this year.