A few notes on 2011:
- Housing costs spiked because I had to replace my water heater and bought some small pieces of furniture.
- Shopping spiked because I spent around $2,500 on two new suits plus shoes and a purse in December in preparation for my interviews. I hadn't bought new work attire in over a year and had lost some weight; I wanted to look tailored and fresh. Obviously shopping needs to DECREASE and I think I can say for certain it will be lower in 2012 than it was in 2011.
- Transportation spiked because I had to spend $3,500 on maintenance on my old car and then because I had to buy a new one when I totaled it (I put down a net $2K in on the car under "auto payments" in December)
- Giving dropped because it was unusually high in 2010 due to a volunteer trip I took and several large one time donations I made. I plan to increase it in 2012.
- Pet spending should drop now that I do not intend to purchase another dog; I had puppy start up costs in 2010 and 2011.
And here is my income, for reference:
Please note that net rental contributions/distributions is NOT actually representative of the amount of rental cash flow I experienced in those years. It just represents how much cash flowed between my personal checking and my rental checking accounts. For instance in 2011 I contributed $42K to my rental property accounts but about half of that was my decision to pad my rental accounts with the $24K gift I got in December.
Speaking of that gift, it was an annual exclusion gift from my grandparents. For the first time, they gave the checks directly to us rather than putting them in trust (which they used to do annually but haven't done in a few years). I got another check in January, but that is supposed to have been the last of their giving until they do so in death.
That's about it; the charts are pretty self explanatory I guess. I'm hoping and expecting 2012 to be a LOT better. I should make more, I should spend less, I should save more, and my rentals should cash flow more (2011 was TERRIBLE with about a $20K negative cumulative cash flow as the perfect storm hit on all fronts).