Daily Life | 2019 Spending Report – Q2

I can’t believe we’re well into the third quarter of this year, so who is ready to look back at our Q2 spending? 

Our overall spending was actually down over the last three months compared to Q1 of this year, but that’s why the pie-pieces have shape-shifted a bit when it comes to percentages of spending. These quarterly updates show easily how spending varies throughout the year and why it’s so important to budget for your true expenses (e.g. save ahead for less frequent, but regular payments like insurance premiums that are due bi-annually or annually and also build up funds for unexpected expenses).

I think I mentioned in my last post that we’ve decided to open a FSA (Flexible Spending Account) this year to try and take advantage of some tax savings.  I am curious to see how that works out at the end of the year. You kind of have to know or anticipate what your expenses for the year are going to be and it’s an extra hit to my take-home paycheck. Unlike others – with a FedsFSA, you don’t get an FSA spending card, but have to pay upfront and then get reimbursed for medical expenses, so it’s a little bit of a trickier situation on the budget side. I do hope it’ll have been worth it when I assess at the end of the year.

So, let’s look at our spending. I pulled this handy pie-chart out of YNAB* (well, actually the pie-chart was done in Excel, but the report came out of YNAB.)

I have more subcategories that I track separately in my budgeting software, but I consolidated them a bit for the purpose of easier visualization. As a reminder: these are percentages based on money spent, not based on my (take-home) income.


Home (44% was 35% in Q1) – The spending for our (rental) home now includes rent, utilities, household items, and rental insurance. We actually spent a little less in actual dollars on this category over the last few months, but I guess based on other spending the percentage went up and made it a larger chunk of our overall budget.

Groceries (15% was 14% in Q1) and Dining Out (8% was 10% in Q1) – We also spent less on groceries and eating out in Q2 of this year, although the percentages have not changed much and I still think we could do better. When’s Aldi coming to NorCal? Sigh. 

Shopping and Miscellaneous (9% was 3% in Q1) – Oops, we almost doubled our discretionary spending in Q2 but in included a concert, race entries, an outing at the County Fair and a couple of Amazon purchases.

Travel (8% was 6% in Q1) – That’s bascially the money I spent on my trip to Germany and what J spent back home (we called that his “staycation”).

Health & Fitness (4% was 6% in Q1) – This category includes my gym membership, and our medical and dental co-payments. I predicted that this was going to go down as I was expecting a refund for a dental cleaning that came through. Always check your billing statements, guys! 

Cable/Internet (4% was 3% in Q1) – Slightly higher percentage this time, but same numbers bascially.

Personal Care (2% was 1% in Q1) – This category includes all toiletry items, makeup, J’s beard trims, and haircuts.

Clothing (2% was 1% in Q1) – J got a couple of new shirts and some shorts, I bought some shoes (so cliché – ha!) and a new bra. 

Transportation (2% was 1% in Q1) – Gas and parking fees. Even though I’ve been using the bus and bike more to get to work, our spending on gas hasn’t changed much (which could be due to fluctuating gas prices, and gas here is expensive in general, or that we used the car for a couple of day trips).

Cellphone (1% was 2% in Q1) – Expenses were the same, percentage went slightly down because of other expense patterns.

Gifts (1% was 6% in Q1) – Birthdays, mainly. 

Subscriptions (1 % was 3% Q1) – This includes Netflix and Identity Guard Fraud protection.

Car Maintenance (<1% was 9% in Q1) – A car wash. That was it in Q2. I like it.

How did you spend your money in Q2 of this year? Do you have a FSA?

* This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated by YNAB for mentioning their product. I just share it for transparency’s sake. However, the post does contain an affiliate link. If you feel like you need a budget software in your life, download the fully functioning trial version and give it a shot! If you like it, you can use this link to activate the software and we’ll both get a month free!

  1. It’s so neat to see the breakdown like this. We use a spreadsheet to track our budget but I think it would be kind of nice to see it as a chart like that because I’m so visual, it might actually show better where we’re spending more for me.

  2. Love these posts! I have a FSA through my work but it’s the traditional style so I have a “credit card” for healthcare purchases and it has been a game-changer for me.

  3. I always love looking at these kinds of posts and would like to really start tracking my spending too. I will say that shopping at Aldi has drastically reduced my grocery budget (lucky for me, I have one about 10 minutes away from our house)—and we’re getting a Trader Joe’s! But some others, I know I overspend. I don’t do flex spending but heard that things like contact solution (maybe even contact lenses) are covered which would be very nice. Anyway, I love a nice pie graph, so thanks for sending this one along!!

  4. It’s very interesting to see where it all goes. We got hit with a big unforeseen expense this month when we had to put new tires on the car. Ugh.

  5. I love that your car expense was just a car wash – always nice, right? I do like these posts! It’s interesting to see how people budget, etc.


  6. I have an FSA and luckily it’s credit-card based so I don’t have to deal with reimbursements. I have daily contacts so it’s easy for me to spend what I set aside. I also have an HSA so I can only use my FSA for expenses unrelated to health care so I just set aside what I will spend on my eye exam/contacts.

    I’ve had a few more expensive months lately as I bought a few new make-up items and skin care products from Beauty counter as I wasn’t happy with how my current products were rated by the ERG (website that rates your products based on chemicals/additives). But the products will last a long time so it was a big expense upfront but less in the future.

    I also love these posts! It’s so interesting to see how different everyone’s spending habits are!

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