Yearly Spending Breakdown: This Year vs. Last Year (With Graphs)

person holding calendar at January

Photo by Brooke Lark via

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should if you’ll get value from it: @wrachelwrites), you’ve seen these graphs which break down my yearly spending by percentage. I added up exactly what I spent last year (thanks to my budget records, this was easy to do), and made another graph detailing where I plan to spend my money this year. 

2018-2019 vs. 2019-2020

Note: these are based on the school year, because I didn’t start earning a paycheck (or budgeting consistently) until September 2018.

It’s crazy to see how much of my take-home pay had to go towards debt last year– I’m simultaneously proud of my discipline and grossed out at the whole situation. But having built that muscle, I am able to this year put away 43% of my income towards savings and investments, while keeping my transportation and miscellaneous costs around the same percentage as before.

Al categories went up a little, even if the percentage stayed the same, because my income increased. Obviously, food spending is going up a little because I love it so much 😉 but the biggest discretionary change is clearly in my housing costs. I went from paying $515 plus utilities to paying $900 plus utilities, the most significant lifestyle inflation that I have created for myself. You can read about why I would make such a pricey decision here. I don’t regret this inflation at all, but my goal is to keep my housing costs around the same amount for the next few years, because I see how much this one category can effect my long-term goals.

Overall, I’m really proud of the way I have set up my financial priorities– seeing it at a glance in this way has shown me that I truly am following my values with my spending, even when setbacks discourage me. I’m looking forward to seeing my real numbers from 2019 and my planned ones from 2020.

If you keep a budget, I highly recommend looking at your expenses this way to illuminate the reality of your spending.

If you’d like to use my free budget template to keep track of your spending, click below 🙂

Get my budget template


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