Am I a Hypocrite? PKamp3’s Spending in 2011

Let’s call this post PKamp3’s financial confessions!

In response to a Dollar Challenge by fellow Personal Finance writer Corey at 20’s Finances, we’ve decided to give all of you curious folks out there in the Internet a view of your humble host’s finances. This is a great idea – some of you put a lot of stock in what we say here, but if our ratios are out of whack why should you believe us when we make suggestions on what to do with your money?  Since this challenge went out to other PF writers, it’s also a decent opportunity to see how we compare to other writers around the web.

As a condition of the challenge, all numbers included in this post are post-tax (For the record, more goes to tax than savings.  Thanks California!).  Without further ado, here are our non-GAAP 1st quarter finances, audited by the firm of

PKamp3's First Quarter 2011 Spending

PKamp3's First Quarter 2011 Spending


And a chart for readability.  (Numbers are ‘per dollar’ spending, post-tax.  Read: percentage)

PKamp3's Finances at a Glance

Spending per Dollar, 1Q 2011 (PKamp3)

Health and fitness is low not because I skip the gym, but because the gym is a work perk.  Auto & Transport is high because my car was twice broken into… and in a convertible that means you need a new roof.

Why The First Quarter?

The last 2 quarters of the year have seen a house purchase and massive spending on home improvement.  Oh yeah, I also got married in August.  Those were not typical quarters in the PKamp3 household.  Savings dropped below 8%, and Home is above 50%, mostly at the expense of Auto & Transport, Savings, and Shopping.

At least my car is safer, right?



    • says

      Great prompt – really makes you wonder how you “stack up” against other people around the web. I’m interested in what the final numbers look like. If it’s normalized we can look at “the average blogger spent x% on housing, y% on savings” – that will be the real magic (ignoring selection biases, but at least it’ll be a good rule of thumb).

  1. says

    Mine would look similar if we cut out the charity and savings. Those are taken out before the paycheck hits out checking account, so they are not counted as spending. I have to tally up our spending.

    • says

      Yeah my chart makes me look bad charity wise. We donate time, but most of the monetary portion would show up in Q4 (right before the tax year ends, heh). Definitely interested in seeing what other people come up with… you should calculate yours as well, it’s interesting to think of it in dollar terms.

  2. Anonymous says

    Congratulations on your recent wedding! I got married in April 2010 (ahhhh memories:)).

    Good job on your savings category, and way to keep your housing costs reasonable.

    • says

      Thanks! It’s definitely still fresh in my mind, haha. We’re still getting gifts.

      The savings dropped quite a bit during the wedding run-up and during the home purchase. For a few months housing costs have been above 50% (and that’s with doing 95% of the work ourselves), but it’ll go down when we stop spending so much on the “fixer-upper” aspects, and I hope to follow this post up. Thanks for stopping by!

    • says

      Thanks Hunter – I’m slightly embarrassed by how much it dropped in the new house, but I know a lot of this spending has to be done only once. I do appreciate the opportunity to open the books… enough people read the site that I’d prefer they knew who they were taking advice from! Thanks for the comment.

  3. says

    Pie Chart makes spending percentages easy to identify, nice job!  I don’t remember if I congratulated you Paul on your recent wedding so – all the best to you and your wife!  Makes your spending all that more impressive with cost of weddings these days!

  4. Sullivab3 says

    the pie chart really puts things in perspective… is it possible to put up a template so we can compare?  It definitely helps when can compare with others and adjust accordingly.

    cool post

    • says

      Wish I could, but all the magic of the post comes from I merely exported the categories from there by going into spending. I then annualized my payments to car insurance (my 6 month payment hit in the 4 month period) and added the one account Mint couldn’t touch.

      The other problem is a template would assume that my finances are the way to do it – certainly, lots of people will be paying a lot to debt or saving more for retirement if they need to catch up. I do feel I’m in good shape, but if I had no savings at 50 years old I would certainly want to increase my savings past 25%… but YMMV.

  5. Andy Hough says

    This is an interesting way to look at your expenses.  I keep track of my monthly expenses but have never broken the categories down by expenses. If I’m not too lazy I’ll do that this month.

    • says

      I was sort of lazy – export from Mint and toss it in a Spreadsheet program. Quickest way I could think of!

      Thanks for the comment!

    • says

      Haha… me too. ‘Taxes’ is actually our largest expense. However, the challenge was post tax to keep it fair, heh. Thanks for the comment!

  6. says

    Love the graphics, Paul! Isn’t it interesting to see how people compare — and to imagine the cost of living differences based upon demographics?

    • says

      Thanks Lisa!

      I considered, for a second, including my taxes as sort of an annoying passive aggressive political rant (considering I spend the most on those, heh). It’s probably better that we did it this way!