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Jun 22, 2019 10:41:47

Interrogating categories of personal "fixed" costs

by @rosieodsey PATRON | 699 words | 🐣 | 222💌

Rosie Odsey

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In the past few days, I've been able to reduce my monthly costs by $301.14. I've grouped similar costs and I'm interrogating them as totals. Today, I'm looking at my personal fixed costs. This doesn't include any discretionary spending or variable costs.

Feel free to do a cross-examination.

(Note: All in AUD. Take off about a third for USD. A lot of stuff is way more expensive here but also our health care is pretty covered and we have minimum wage. The point is to avoid direct comparison.)

Personal fixed costs total $2336.11 per month

House and home $1044.24 monthly

  • Rent $891.41 monthly
  • Cleaner $45.00 monthly
  • Home internet $44.50 monthly
  • Electricity bill $100 quarterly
  • Fridge and washing machine $30 monthly

This makes up around 45% of my personal fixed costs. I'm OK with these amounts. If we had to, we could get rid of the cleaner.

Health $617.84 per month

  • Health Insurance $197.37 monthly
  • Psychology $143.00 monthly-ish
  • Dance $60.64 fortnightly
  • Physio $53.60 monthly
  • Probiotics $50 monthly
  • Podiatry $56.00 quarterly
  • Doctor $42.95 quarterly
  • Dentistry ~$50 bi-annually
  • Clue $13.99 annually

This makes up around 26% of my personal fixed costs.

I didn't realise that it was so high. Health Insurance takes up about a third. I guess it makes a lot of sense - health is pretty important to me and I spent a lot of my life not caring about these things. To maintain myself, I have this whole team of people I see that move my health into a better place. Given the risk I take on in many areas of my life, I'm super risk-averse with my health (the downsides are so massive). If anything, I could consider cutting back psychologist visits to bi-monthly now that I've reached a certain level of stability. Due to sick leave and travel, I'm currently on a three month break from appointments and I don't feel like I've been less stable as a result. I've added it to my calendar.

Debt $396 monthly

  • Loan repayment $131.00 monthly
  • Debt repayment $110.00 monthly
  • Debt repayment $55.00 monthly
  • Debt repayment $50.00 monthly
  • Loan repayment $50.00 monthly

This makes up around 17% of my personal fixed costs. I feel like it could be higher.

These are all minimums. The first and last bear no interest. I'm upping the second one to $500 next month.

Transport $110 per month

  • Public Transport $60 fortnightly
  • Fuel $45.00 monthly
  • CityCycle $5.00 monthly

This makes up around 5% of my personal fixed costs. I'm ok with this. It would be really difficult to reduce any of these. For the amount of mobility I get, I'm happy to pay this price.

Personal development and entertainment $97.54 monthly

  • SeaChange $21.17 monthly
  • The Happiness Project Experience $18.00 monthly
  • Duolingo $14.49 monthly
  • Medium $8.00 monthly
  • Patreon - Fearless $7.50 monthly
  • Stitcher $7.00 monthly
  • Writing accountability $5.50 monthly
  • Readwise $65.74 annually
  • Spotify $4.00 monthly
  • Google Play Music $3.60 monthly
  • 200 words a day $2.80 monthly

This makes up around 5% of my personal fixed costs. I'm ok with this but I've set aside some time to consider if I still want to be part of SeaChange, The Happiness Project Experience, and Fearless. These aren't just coursework, they're communities. It takes time and thoughtfulness to be part of it and I'll get resentful if I haven't defined what I want to get out of it. The journal prompts I'll use are: What do I want to get out of this program? How much time am I willing to put into it? Is this what I need right now? Am I giving the other small group members the attention and thoughtfulness they deserve? If I weren't in it already, would I pay to join? Do I still want to be part of it?

Savings $25 monthly

  • Sacred $25.00 monthly

This makes up around 1% of my personal fixed costs. I'd like it to be higher. I'm upping this to $500 next month. This upping (as with the one for debt) is based on a revenue target. I'll have to set a percentage instead of a fixed number if I don't meet that revenue target.

Supporting art $24 monthly

  • The Tim Ferriss Show $15.00 monthly
  • Patreon - Chaz $4.50 monthly
  • Patreon - Amanda $4.50 monthly

This makes up around 1% of my personal fixed costs. I'm ok with it. They can all be cancelled if things get tight.

Life management $21.49 monthly

  • Complice $17.00 monthly
  • iCloud $4.49 monthly

This makes up around 1% of my personal fixed costs. I'm ok with it. They both get used constantly.

--

I've reduced my personal fixed costs by $71.50



From Rosie Odsey's collection:

  • 1

    @rosieodsey curious: do you also measure how much it costs you (effort, time, tools used if any) to track all these expenses?

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 22, 2019 21:41:35
    • 1

      @jasonleow All of these are in a single Airtable. I have another document which calculates my runway. I probably spend 5-15mins per day. The routine is to check what fixed expenses came out, update the Airtable, and update the runway. I stopped per-transaction tracking in YNAB so this is much lighter on than I have been. My current system isn't optimised for efficiency, it's optimised for mindfulness. I think all but one are direct debit / autopay. I like to do things the slow way until my behaviours are a given.

      Rosie Odsey avatar Rosie Odsey | Jun 23, 2019 19:11:16
    • 1

      @rosieodsey nice. That sounds pretty optimised already! 👍

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 23, 2019 21:43:07
    • 1

      @jasonleow <3

      Rosie Odsey avatar Rosie Odsey | Jun 24, 2019 07:28:00
  • 1

    @rosieodsey Impressive breakdown! Do you use any piece of software to do your accounting?

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jun 22, 2019 04:49:22
    • 1

      @basilesamel For personal, I was using YNAB but it was far too manual to my liking. I may try Pocketbook again. For business, I only have invoicing software and was doing my accounts manually in Excel (I studied accounting). Oh, I also have Squirrel Street to handle my expense processing. Soon, I'll be changing this to Xero and using a bookkeeper or accountant.

      Rosie Odsey avatar Rosie Odsey | Jun 23, 2019 19:13:25
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