I really enjoyed watching the videos of “What I spend as a XX year old in XXX” that has been going around on YouTube a few months back. I personally do have a rough idea of what I spend in a month but I thought it would be interesting to break it down into weeks, as well as calculate any annual payments that are not typically done every week.
What is important to say is that I split all of those expenses with my husband, so technically, everything should be divided by two. We do not divide these costs between us, since it is serving both of us, but I would like to put it up as a disclaimer.
As I said in the beginning, I am going to cover both fixed expenses that occur either monthly (like electricity) or annually (like taxes), as well as variable expenses, such as food.
Fixed expenses = $231.35 pw
In the fixed expenses category, I have included housing and utilities, insurance, car and subscriptions. Because I am employed, my taxes are deducted before my salary reaches me, so I don't need to worry about those.
Housing and utilities = $170 pw
We have recently purchased our first home so we have switched from paying rent to paying a mortgage, insurance and our own bills. The fun thing is that we are paying almost 40 USD per week less on housing and utilities AND around half of our mortgage is going towards the principal at the moment. This means that we save money that we can invest and we are also paying money towards our own property.
- mortgage: $103 pw
- bills: $64 pw
- property tax and insurance: $3 pw
Retirement = $35 pw
At the moment, I am paying quite a lot towards my retirement fund. The plan is to create a basis for compound interest while I am relatively young so that this interest can keep on giving in the future. With this amount, I am also maxing out the tax break I can get from the government. I plan to keep on paying this for a few years and then decrease this amount and invest the money elsewhere to diversify my retirement fund.
- retirement: $35 pw
Car = $17.2 pw
Getting a car this year has been probably the best purchase we have made because it allows us to travel to our parents summer houses whenever we wanted to without being scared of or dependent on travelling via public transport during the pandemic. Because we pretty much only drive on the weekends, a full tank of gas lasts us around a month.
I was surprised by the car insurance payment that we pay on an annual basis but I have not realised that it comes up to almost a third of what it costs us to own a car.
- gas: $11.5 pw
- parking: $0.2 pw
- car insurance: $5.5 pw
Subscriptions = $9.15 pw
I am very particular about the subscriptions that we are paying for and I would hate to have one that we don't use. Netflix and Spotify are great purchases for us, and my husband is paying for a news subscription, which he also uses every single day. The Czech TV subscription is something that we have to pay by law, it is basically a payment for the public TV.
- Netflix: $3 pw
- Spotify: $3 pw
- News: $1.15 pw
- Czech TV: $2 pw
Variable expenses = $85 pw
Variable expenses in lockdown are actually very limited to necessities, such as grocery. There would be other expenses every now and then, such as clothing (This year I bought some clothing, a total of around $180. I bought Czech-made leather winter shoes, which I expect to last me at least 5+ years and period pants so that I don't need to buy any wasteful sanitary products. Yes, I could have bought shoes for $20 but I refuse to buy fast fashion.), books (I rarely buy any other books than Kindle books discounted to $0.99. This year my books may have come to a total of $60, mind that I read over 50 books a year) or hobbies (during the lockdown, I have gotten into painting, spending around $110 on supplies).
I am putting away some money for donations every month. I don't spend that money every month, but I keep them aside for giving back to causes that speak to me.
- clothing and hobbies: $7 pw
- donations: $8 pw
With grocery, I believed that we go to the shops only once a week. Looking over the bills from the past two months, I actually found out that we went to the grocery shop more like two times a week. Our grocery shop rarely changes and the cost varies if we are buying things like dishwasher tablets or other necessities. We also make a lot of effort not to throw away any food which I find one of the most wasteful habits.
On the other hand, we have gotten into a habit of ordering takeout every Friday as comfort food in lockdown. This is something I would like to cut down on in the future and rather go out to a restaurant every month or so.
I go to the office once a week or so and when I go, I don't pack my own lunch. This is again something I would like to cut back on, but at the moment, when I make lunch every day at home, I enjoy having someone else making my lunch every now and then.
- grocery: $42.5 pw
- takeaways: $23 pw
- lunch out: $5.5 pw
In total, my husband and I spend around $316.35 per week. This comes to around $158 per person. This is actually in line with what Nomad list says — a cost of living for a local in my city is $165 per week. So I believe that even though I do have a space for decreasing my total cost (I can hear Stephen Graham shouting at me that I could cut down on takeaways and lunching out and invest extra $100 per month!) I am comfortable with the total number I came to.