If you’ve been using Quicken, Quickbooks (which now can be accessed anywhere thanks to Quickbooks hosting), (or another tracking program) for a long time, and you ever want to scare yourself, run a Spending > Itemized Categories Report for the entire period you’ve tracked. All I can say after doing this is wow.
If I believed Quicken, I’d have spent $913,940.06 in 12 years. Thank goodness it’s not just my spending that I’ve been tracking. (Which would be a trick, because I sure haven’t earned that much money in 12 years…) That nearly a million figure also includes partial spending by my husband, my son, my ex-husband, and things that I bought on behalf of other people but was reimbursed for. (And I’ve done a lot of buying for other people – about $44,000 worth.) But still, I’d never have guessed it to be that high.
It was also a little surprising to see which categories had the highest spending. (Some of them were as expected, others weren’t.) Here are the top 10 categories, with the two that surprised me detailed:
Auto – $79,631 (associated expenses relating to one car for me, 2 cars for my husband, 5 vehicles for my ex-husband, plus a few vacation car rentals)
The school (3 college degrees, but one was free)
Spending (I’ve long since ditched this vague category for the most part)
Childcare – $29,316 (from about 18 mos. old to age 9)