Daily Life | 2023 Spending Report

All the cool kids have been sharing their 2023 spending reports and I used to share our annual spending, too. I don’t know if you even noticed that I skipped the one for 2022 last year. It just slipped through the cracks because I did track our spending, just never got around to posting about it.

As you might remember, I’ve been using YNAB*  — You Need A Budget – for I think 8+ years now and still really love how easy it is to keep up with our finances. It also spits out pretty awesome statistics and reports, but the the pie-chart was done in Excel.

Since I skipped my spending report for 2022 but have the data, I thought I’d share a quick side-by-side for a visual effect before I dive into our spending from last year. As you can easily see, a lot of categories (listed in clockwise order) stayed about the same. There were some smaller fluctuations in actual dollar amounts, but overall spending for most categories was pretty stable (which was a little surprising because I felt that because of inflation everything just kept going up and up and up). The three categories with the biggest change in percentage of spending were fitness, travel, and dining out (although our grocery budget offset the dining out savings almost 1:1. Go figure!).

As a reminder: These are percentages based on money spent, not based on my (take-home) income. Not included are savings, retirement contributions, healthcare premiums, taxes, and everything else that is pre-deducted from my paycheck. 

Home (37% was 38% in 2022) — The spending for our (rental) home includes rent, utilities, household items, and rental insurance. It also includes other items for our home, which included a new TV last fall. The percentage for home expenses was down in 2023, but the actual dollar amount was slightly up. Overall spending: ⬆︎

Groceries (17% was 15%  in 2022) and Dining Out (9% was 14% in 2022) — We had an increase in grocery spending (what with the inflation going on), but saved about the same amount in our dining out category. Not sure what the lesson is here.  Overall spending: ➡︎

Shopping (1% was 2% in 2022) — we usually spend very little on just random shopping and we spent even less last year. My biggest purchases were my Apple Watch SE and yarn. Overall spending: ⬇︎

Fitness (8% was 2% in 2022) — I continued to pay for my Peloton membership and I signed up for a couple of races. The big jump in spending, however, was that Jon got a gym membership and has also been paying for a personal trainer. It’s the single best thing he could have done for himself last year, so this is money well spent. Overall spending: ⬆︎

Car Maintenance (3% was 5% in 2022) — Expenses in this category are for car insurance (which is the biggest chunk), registration, AAA membership, and miscellaneous car expenses (like oil changes, car wash, etc.). Luckily, we didn’t have any surprising expenses. Overall spending: ⬇︎

Cable/Internet (4% was 5% in 2022) — This category stayed pretty much the same in 2023, although I was able to renegotiate our contract which saved us a few dollars.  Overall spending: ⬇︎

Cellphone (2% was 2% in 2022) – Expenses were about the same. Overall spending: ➡︎

Healthcare (2% was 1% in 2022) —  We were overall healthy last year, but I had a couple of preventive procedures done (upper endoscopy and colonoscopy) and therefore some out-of-pocket expenses. Overall spending:  ⬆︎

Gifts (2% was 3% in 2022) — We spent about the same on gifts in 2023. This includes birthdays, Christmas, and ‘just because’-gifts throughout the year. Overall spending: ➡︎

Subscriptions (1% was 2% in 2022) – This includes YNAB, Netflix, Amazon Prime (I keep thinking I need to cut this), and Identity Guard Fraud protection. Overall spending: ⬇︎ 

Personal Care (1% was 1% in 2022) – This category includes all toiletry items, make-up, J’s beard trims, and haircuts. Our spending went up a little bit, probably because of more frequent barber shop visits.  Overall spending: ⬆︎

Travel (11% was 9% in 2022) — I went to Las Vegas to run a half marathon and meet a bunch of Peloton (Streaker365) friends. I also traveled to Germany in the spring to see my family, and we took a few trips down to SoCal to see Jon’s mom a few times last fall (after his dad passed away and she was diagnosed with cancer). Overall spending: ⬆︎

Clothing (<1 was <1% in 2020) – we do not spend much on clothing. Period. Less than $600 this year. Overall spending: ⬇︎

Donations (< 1% was <1% in 2022) – We continue to donate, although it doesn’t really reflect in our spending pie. Overall spending: ➡︎  

Transportation (<1% was 1% in 2022) – We spent about the same amount on gas last year as in 2022 and continued to move our car very little. Overall spending: ➡︎

Overall our regular spending was up by 8.8% in 2023. As mentioned, we had a few fluctuations here and there but it was mainly due to a little more travel and Jon’s gym membership/personal trainer. And as in previous years, the largest chunk of our money still goes to our home (not surprising in CA) and food. We also continued to prioritize retirement savings/investments as part of our budget (which is not reflected here).  

Did you see changes in your spending in 2023? What was a spending category that surprised you? 

* This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated by YNAB for mentioning their product.


  1. Every single time I read one of these, I think OH I NEED TO DO THIS. And then…

    1. Do you not track your spending… or do you just not look at the statistics?

  2. How stable your spending is! That’s remarkable. I feel like there’s just a lot of fluctuation in our spending, but I don’t have data like this to back it up. Hmmm…so interesting!

    1. Judging from your monthly spending, it’s hard to figure out your overall spending, if you ‘separate’ the spending from your husband’s account. Is that just for the blop post or do you have somewhat separated finances?

  3. I’m also impressed how stable your spending is. I did one of these reports and already forget the major takeaways. We spent wayyyy more on auto this year, but we bought a new-to-us used car in cash, so that was a BIG hit. Groceries went down a bit percentage wise, but the dollar figure spent went up. Food is so expensive these days.

    And I love this fitness investments for both you and Jon <3

    1. Food is so expensive. I am honestly surprised that our spending has been so stable overall… and thank you, I am so proud of Jon for getting back into the gym!

  4. I can only agree that your spending is really stable.
    Ours has been so much in turmoil with the moves in 2022 and 2023 and rent was almost trippled. Granted we had very Lowe rent prior to moving since we were in the apartment 16 years and we were aware it will be up but that was worth it to us. The 20% increase with the second move was not intended and does start to give me some stomachache to be honest.

    I guess overall the spending looks the more or less the same but everything just goes up and up and I can’t seem to increase my earnings in the same ways.

    1. Ugh, yes, you had a lot of turmoil in your finances the last couple of years… it’s hard when housing is so expensive.

  5. How one spends really says about the person’s values :) I love seeing people who spends on hobbies and keeping with healthy life such as good food and fitness. My biggest category has been travel for years and we are happy about it. Experience is what we live for. :)

    1. Coco, thank you. I really love your comment – it makes me feel much better when I reframe it like this and realize that our biggest spending categories are for important things like fitness and good food.

  6. I use YNAB too, so easy. Your spending certainly is stable. Since our FY runs July to June, I will look properly at our spending in July, but I know that our travel will take up the largest portion of our spending. Last year it would have been household because we had six months of renting, plus costs associated with our move and a few things we bought for the house.

    1. I am not surprised your travel category will be huge – you had such an epic trip!

  7. The year on year comparison is really interesting! And it’s also great that you feel good about your fitness spending increase. I think a lot of times theres a feeling that we should spend the same or less on things but investing in ourselves and our people pays back far more than money will. Thanks for sharing!

  8. So interesting! We had so many weird and one-off expenses in 2023, I don’t even know. So many things with the move, new vehicles, furniture, just everything. It was a big year for expenses, but it was also a big year for revenues, so *shrug* This year should be more “normal.”

  9. You do have stable spending patterns! Even the categories that did go up didn’t go up in any dramatic way. I will always be amazed at how little you spend on shopping/clothes. We have different values and that’s okay!

  10. Your pies are very stable year-over-year! Our biggest jump in spending was the car category as we bought a Rav-4 Hybrid. We did well on the sale of our camry so overall it wasn’t a terrible expense item and we really need 4WD living in Minnesota. Of course we’ve had barely any snow this year so we haven’t needed the 4WD but we did get to see how it did on snow when we got around 7″ last week and Phil was really pleased with it.

    I thought our childcare piece of the pie might decrease by more but Taco’s daycare is more expensive and Paul needs before and after care since school runs from 8-2:30 and we need to be at work around 7:45ish. He can ride the bus on Fridays as usually one or both of us is here to get him on the bus. I think before care is $9/day so it’s not bad and he’s often one of the few kids there and gets a lot of attention. And overall the care program is so awesome. They provided care on non-school days, too, so it’s nice to have childcare figured out. There are very few non-school days when care isn’t provided. We have just had to accept that child care is going to be a big line item until our kids are much older which is a ok with us!

    I’m glad Jon has had a great experience with joining a gym and working with a personal trainer! I worked out with a trainer in the months leading up to my wedding and loved it. Now it doesn’t really fit in my schedule but I’d like to go back to working with a trainer again some day!

  11. This is fascinating – thank you for sharing! I am tracking my spending in a very detailed (as in, line by line, item by item) way this year, thanks to examples from you, Stephany, and NGS! I love it so far – it’s giving me such a good picture of what I spend, on what, and where I might be able to scale back a bit. Thank you for being an inspiration! (I also, btw, buy nearly all of my food, don’t tend to eat out, and will do anything I can to eat it instead of waste it! More similarities there, my friend. :>)

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