Money is for Spending

Rant based on comments from another PF blog -

Money is for spending by definition.  You can spend it now, or you can spend it later.  You can buy physical good, services, exchange it for a bond, or buy part of a company.  You might hope those things you buy appreciate or produce more money.  But in the end money is a means of exchange, if it wasn’t meant to be spent eventually, it would be worthless.  If it wasn’t for the ability to trade money for goods no one would want money.

Spending on charity, spending on TVs, putting it away to spend later, passing it on to your heirs to spend… it all boils down to spending.  The big 4 money categories where you are supposed to put your money are 1) direct spending on goods and services 2) savings for short – medium term deferred spending 3) investing so you have more money for long term deferred spending and 4) charity – spending money to try to make the world a better place in some way.  Spending!

I shouldn’t say it bothers me when someone says money’s not just for spending, because I get what they are trying to say, but it might be better to say money’s not just for spending now.  Your money in savings and investments might provide the comfort that you will be able to spend what you need to in the future.  I’m only afraid too many people only see abstraction in the delayed gratification of saving and investing.  For at least some of these people it would be helpful if the ideas were reframed around… SPENDING!!!  yay!  No shortage of evidence that people love spending, most of America is addicted to that good short hit of adrenaline.  Maybe convincing people that they’ll benefit by spacing out those hits would be a first step towards some financial sanity.

Anyhow, when I saw someone all up on their “money isn’t just for spending” high horse it made me think about how many people aren’t helped by these platitudes and actually are smart enough to see that at some base level money is only for spending, so why should I listen to someone who doesn’t get that.

Income/Expenses – October 2014

From my recurring income series, Our net savings/spending numbers for October 2014:

Expenses were very low to begin with.  Some 50% of our spending was just the base housing expenses; another 5% went towards the bills.  22% went towards food, with our lowest food spending for quite a while.  Various spending on general shopping, etc accounted for the rest.  A decent month on transportation costs, largely thanks to a good month on the bike, only 9% of our total expenses went to transportation; I put gas in my SUV for the first time in four months.

With the Ms spending most of the last month traveling for work again it was a bit easier on the spending, but thankfully that seems to be coming to an end.  Between a decent amount OT for both of us and our better spending we managed to save 80% of our income this month.  that puts us at 72% on the year so far.  We have an expensive trip coming up though, so my projection has that annual savings rate dipping to about 67% come year end.

I’ll set a goal for November of 75%.  We’ll only squeeze in two paychecks each and probably little to no OT, though expenses shouldn’t be too high either.

Biking to Work – October 2014

trek12Today’s my last work day in October. I biked in 14 of the 23 days I worked, a rate of 61%.  Lots of rain and the shortening days are making biking more and more difficult.  I got pretty soaked a couple times.  I didn’t spend any money on my bike this month.

For November I plan to average at least 2 days a week.  Through these four winter months I’m committing to ride at least once a week no matter what, making for some nasty Friday rides…

Income/Expenses – September 2014

From my recurring income series, Our net savings/spending numbers for September 2014:

It was a pretty darn average month with a huge drop off from our extremely spendy August.  24% of our total spending was for travel and vacation related to our upcoming international trip.  Another 28% went towards the home and 20% towards food.  Various spending on bills, general shopping, etc accounted for the rest.  Another great month on transportation costs, largely thanks to a good month on the bike, only 5% of our total expenses went to transportation, and a good portion of that was upgrades to my bike reliability and safety.

With the Ms spending most of the last month traveling for work it was a bit easier on the spending, but certainly not the kind of work life balance we are looking for.  Between a decent amount OT for both of us and our better spending we managed to save 70% of our income this month.

I’ll set a goal for October of 70%.  With only a standard two paychecks we’ll still work some OT, but we’ll keep booking a lot of the travel for this winter.  As much as we’d also like to bring some of that food spending down, we’ll see…

Biking to Work – September 2014

trek12Today’s my last work day in September. I biked in 18 of the 20 days I worked, for a new PR of 90%!  Continuing beautiful weather in the NW has helped, although I did bike twice in the rain and get soaked.  Questioning whether that is worth it, probably not on the way to work at least because my shoes get drenched and it’s no good putting them back on.  I also spent about $80 on my bike this month, for a computer (mostly for training and my triathlon), a more powerful headlight, a couple spare tubes, and some tire liners which will hopefully do a better job stopping flats than those slime tubes.

For October I hope to average about 2 days a week, with the rain and the dark really taking a toll on the riding, but I’ll shoot to do better.  The dark isn’t as much of a problem as the rain, the rain and the dark together seem a bit too dangerous for my liking.

Income/Expenses – August 2014

From my recurring income series: Our net savings/spending numbers for August 2014:

Interesting month… we spent the most since we got married, thanks to finally purchasing two international airplane tickets and some other travel.  We visited the LA area; saw family and Disneyland.  Over half of our total spending was travel and vacation related.  Another 20% went towards the home and 11% towards food.  Still relatively good month on transportation costs, largely thanks to a good month on the bike.  Three paychecks this month for the Ms and a decent amount OT for both of us allowed us to save 55% of our income.

I’ll set a goal for August of 60%.  With only a standard two paychecks we’ll still work some OT, but we need to start booking a lot of the travel to go along with those tickets we bought.

As a side note I’m tempted to try to account for spending when events actually occur, even if we pay ahead of time.  Does that make sense?  Even though the money is actually getting spent now, from a month by month perspective it is really the activity itself which results in the spending.

Biking to Work – August 2014

trek12Today’s my last work day in August. I biked in 17 of the 20 days I worked, for a biking percentage of 85%!  Best month yet.  Absolutely beautiful weather in the NW has helped.  I was a bit disappointed because i seem to have punctured my slime tube to the point of no return, but it was only a tiny hole.  I’ll give it another check when I get some time.

In September I hope to average about 4 days a week, it will start getting too dark to bike home easily after late night sports; let’s say 75%.