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where did my money go last year?

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Whilst I was working out my net worth, it occurred to me that I could consider all the money that I made last year and try to figure out where it got spent. Note that everything below is approximate.


Coming in to my bank accounts, in 2007 I had:

  • Job - £26,000 ($52,000)
  • Stock Option - £14,000 ($48,000)
  • Gifts - £1,000 ($2,000)
  • Employer Pension Contribution - £800 ($1,600)
  • Side Income - £650 ($1300)

A grand total of £41,600 ($83,200). Oh that is an awful lot of money, where on earth did it go?

where did my money go last year



  • Tax & NI on Salary - £7,500 ($15,000)
  • Tax & NI on Stock Option - £5,500 ($11,000)
  • Tax & NI on Side Income - £140 ($280)
  • Council Tax - £500 ($1,000)


  • Student Loan Payments - £1,000 ($2,000)


  • Stocks and Shares ISA (like a Roth IRA) - £1,000 ($2,000)
  • Work Pension (DC - like a 401(k)) - £400 ($800)
  • (Useless) Stakeholder Pension - £1200 ($2,400)


  • Cash ISA - £2600 ($5,200)
  • Other Savings Account - £500 ($1,000)


  • Deposit - £10,000 ($20,000)
  • Fees and Moving Costs - £3,500 ($7,000)
  • Furniture - £140 ($280)
  • DIY Tools and Supplies - £350 ($700)
  • Rent - £2,250 ($4,500)
  • Mortgage Payments - £3,000 ($6,000)
  • House Insurance - £560 ($1,120)

Miscellaneous Bills

  • Phone (inc Internet and Mobile) - £550 ($1,100)
  • Gas and Electricity - £700 ($1,400)
  • Disability Insurance - £300 ($600)
  • Charity - £350 ($700)


  • Brussels - £300 ($600)
  • Washington DC - £700 ($1,400)


  • Total - £450 ($900)


  • Total - £100 ($200)

Spending Money - this includes clothes, groceries and random stuff

  • Total - £4,500 ($9,000)

People that are handy with a calculator will note that I spent just under £6k more than I earned last year. The extra money was withdrawn from my savings and is basically the money above my stock options that I invested and spent in buying a house.

I’m not sure what I’ve learnt from this as last year was such an unusual year for my finances. I think that I need to track my random spending to see if I can cut it down (which I’ll be doing by using a cashback debit/credit card). I’m also planning to increase my savings and investment money, assuming that I get any sort of pay rise in April.

Would anyone like to suggest where I might like to spend my money in 2008?

Edited to add approximate US$ conversions 

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10 comments for “where did my money go last year?”

  1. Hi - You spend a huge amount on tax and housing. I’m guessing you live further South than me, because of the high mortgage payments. Mind you, house prices also soared here too.

    I don’t know your circumstances, but if it was me - I would be tempted to rent out a spare room in the house - if you have one. That way, you could recoup some of the mortgage money you’re shelling out and invest it in something else.

    Posted by Catherine L | January 3, 2008, 1:10 pm
  2. You have charts in your post!

    I’m jealous.

    Posted by rocketc | January 3, 2008, 1:30 pm
  3. agree with Catherine L- make your housing investment work harder. The Rent a Room scheme will let you ‘earn’ just over £4k tax free for providing a furnished room. You don’t necessarily have to have a permanent lodger; getting foreign students in for shorter periods is both more lucrative and more personally rewarding. You definitely aren’t so far south if your council tax is only £500!

    You’re also not using your full ISA allowance! OK, you’re putting a lot into pensions which do attract better tax breaks, but it does mean surrendering control of your money. (for me, I’m happier, and my calcs suggest I’m better off, loading up ISAs rather than locking away in a pension.)

    Gas & electric look high- have you shopped around? Have you checked that you are being metered correctly? (both consumption, and also, if your gas meter has been replaced in the past few years, check you are paying in metric; I’d been charged thrice because the gas co was applying an imperial conversion factor to already metric units.)

    Your insurance seems quite high too. You don’t mention mortgage insurance (eg, critical illness). not strictly necessary, but a nice-to-have.

    You aren’t spending enough on having fun! Your holidays & random spending, at around £5k, is only around 15%.

    Have a great new year!

    Posted by Pippin | January 3, 2008, 2:59 pm
  4. Hello Plonks,
    I know this is a Englisher’s blog but you probably have a lot of American readers as well. Anyway you can add U.S. dollar denominations to your numbers? Just my suggestion :)

    Posted by Money Blue Book | January 3, 2008, 3:27 pm
  5. I have to say that the category “Random” was a favorite of mine from your post.

    I imagine a big whell spun at the end of the month…”Here’s a fiver for the postman!”

    Posted by RacerX | January 3, 2008, 5:11 pm
  6. @Raymond:
    I’ve added approximate US$ conversions for those that are interested.

    Random is a great category, but it didn’t end up with a fiver for the postman in it.

    @Catherine L:
    The tax and housing are particularly high because I bought a house, and had to pay a lot of tax and NI on my stock option. Also, I rounded all the numbers for ease of calculation, I may have paid slightly less.

    Posted by plonkee | January 3, 2008, 7:10 pm
  7. Sadly I don’t get any stock options.

    Like your break down.

    Posted by Llama for brains | January 4, 2008, 5:01 pm
  8. I see - I was thinking your mortgage payments were a whole heap more than they are.

    Aside from renting a room - probably the best thing you can do is to increase your blog readership, and find ways to make money from your blog. And don’t forget, you’ll be able to put any expenses incurred from your blog against tax - including hosting, marketing, research etc.

    Posted by Catherine L | January 5, 2008, 11:56 pm

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