Spending Reports No More

Usually, this post would feature our May spending report.

However, we’ve recently decided to stop publicly chronicling every dollar we spend.

Over the past couple of months, I have been giving this blog a lot of thought. For those who follow us on Twitter, you may remember a few of my contemplations, such as whether to increase to two posts a week (still undecided on that one, what do you think?).

I always want to try and make this blog better, more informative and more enjoyable to read. While we don’t have an enormous readership here, there are definitely people who come back every week, which we so appreciate. We assume they’re doing that because they like the blog!

I’m no longer sure how useful the spending reports are in that quest to produce an enjoyable and informative blog.

There are no rules about how to spend correctly. I didn’t want the publishing of our expense reports to be in any way intepreted as “this is how you should spend”. It is very easy to misintepret someone else’s spending when you don’t have all of the information. We don’t want to make any reader feel like they’re spending too much on certain things by reading our spending reports. That’s definitely not the blog we are trying to create.

Instead, we think it’s more helpful to track savings rates. The only way to retire early is to have a higher than normal savings rate (or ridiculously high earnings, but that’s not always controllable). Let’s say we’re achieving a savings rate of 60%, does it really matter if the other 40% we spent was done on groceries, take out or petrol? We don’t think so.

Our situation is unique- just like everyone elses. We have to spend money on some things that other’s don’t and we also don’t necessarily have the same required spending that others do. We all need to spend according to our life situations and our values.

However, everyone interested in early retirement is presumably achieving some sort of savings rate. For some, that will still be low as they get out of debt or get used to this new mindset. For others, it will be really high and consistent. We’re definitely somewhere in between and our goal is not to spend less money on petrol specifically, but rather to achieve a higher overall savings rate. So that’s what we’re going to track.

Some of our spending is definitely worth sharing!

We do think it’s valuable to talk about things that save us money, like our mobile phone plans and our little car. Hopefully that provides inspiration to our readers to investigate these things for themselves. We will continue the monthly check ins, reporting on our savings rate and what affected that throughout the month. Hopefully, we can all learn through this process and we, as well as anyone playing at home, can increase our savings rate and make them as consistent as possible.

Do you track every dollar you spend? Do you think it will still be beneficial for us to publish our savings rates? Share below!

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15 Responses to Spending Reports No More

  1. LadyFIRE says:

    Darn πŸ™ I’m a spending-voyeur, I absolutely LOVE reading everyone’s end of month expense reports. I actually find people reporting a high savings rate without including their cost / income to be frustrating because I can’t compare it.

    I.e. if you have a savings rate of 60%, then it helps me to be able to see if that’s 60% of $2k or of $4k. It helps me benchmark my situation against yours and see if they’re comparable and get inspired.

    Not saying you HAVE to keep them for my benefit though :p I’ll miss them though.

  2. Pia says:

    I don’t track every penny. I did think about it, but the process seems so arduous. I like the idea of tracking savings much much better!

    • Hi Pia, thanks for stopping by! Yes, it can be arduous, particularly if you do it manually. We use PocketBook and it makes it less arduous, but I still need to do a little bit of work at the end of the month. I’m glad you’re looking forward to the savings rate method!

  3. I was a little sad that there wasn’t a savings rate at the bottom of this article :p. I’m excited to see how you guys layout the savings rate posts, will we see one for May?

    Mrs DDU

  4. Mrs. ETT says:

    I’ll confess that I like spending reports. Although we are all unique, it can be helpful for me to see that someone else is only spending $X on mobiles, whereas I spend $Y. But do I need to see that every month? No.

    Also, I do sometimes feel bad when reading spending reports. “How come we can’t get our spending that low? We’re doing it all wrong, we’ll never get anywhere, self-flagellation.” After indulging, I pull my socks up and give myself the talk, but it is an unintentional consequence of spending reports.

    Finally, of course, I don’t report all of our spending!

    I also thought this is a powerful argument – “Let’s say we’re achieving a savings rate of 60%, does it really matter if the other 40% we spent was done on groceries, take out or petrol?”

  5. I’m glad you posted about this. The same thing has been on my mind lately and your suggestion of using a savings rate is a great way around it.

    PS. I arrived to your blog to be hit by massive nostalgia…immediately recognised that fort and beach πŸ™‚ I grew up very near to Newy – many a good summers day spent mucking about there. There is so much to miss!

  6. I’m happy that you’re doing what you think is best for your blog – that you stopped and thought about the value of your posts. Content creation is hard work and sometimes it’s easier to stick with what you’ve already started, but you’re going away from that because you’re ‘no longer sure how useful’ the reports are. At the same time, I’m sad because I do enjoy reading them! But I support your decision 100% and I’m looking forward to reading the savings rate updates!

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