Where my money went in 2015

where my money went in 2015 // stephanieorefice.net

If you are financially conscious at all, you HAVE TO use Mint. That’s not an affiliate link or anything, so don’t go thinking I’m saying that to make some dollars.

Mint has it all – website, app, budgets, goals, updated credit reports… it’s amazing. I look at my Mint app at least 3 times a day, even if I’ve been sitting at my desk at work.

Today I realized that I could see where I spent all of my money in 2015, which is something I’d written about wanting to know in a post called Where does all your money go? To access the tool to see where your money went, go to Mint.com > Trends > Spending > By Merchant > Last 12 months

I didn’t start using Mint until April or so of this year, so this isn’t ALL of 2015, but let’s take a looksie.

#1.  Car Payment
#2. Dental Credit
#3. Target (Nearly $1,300! What the crap!)
#4. Putting money into emergency Savings
#5. Groupon (I bought a DSLR camera)
#6. Southwest Airlines
#7. Dentist

Obviously, this is the sum of all of my spending. It doesn’t account for “other,” which was actually 44% of what I spent this year. This is what I consistently spent money on.

Can I just say that $1,300 at Target is ridiculous. I can’t even point to one “major” purchase that would account for that bill. It was $1300 of “that candle smells sooooo goooooooddddd” and “I need body wash” (and then accidentally buying lotion ugh). In October I had this idea to only go to Target ONCE a month, and I’m bringing that back. But everyone have grace for me in February because you don’t even know how much I love Valentine’s Day things.

Consistently, I paid the most money on my debt and travel and things like the dentist. There wasn’t one huge major purchase in my life (except the camera! that was kind of spendy).

But you know what I realized when I was looking through where I spent my money?

I spent $340 on interest charges. 
Um… no thank you. I cannot wait until my credit card is paid off and I’m not paying someone else to let me spend money I don’t have. That mindset is freaking gone.

I also spent $192 on Julep. You know, that nail polish subscription box? Haven’t I already declared loudly that I DON’T NEED ANYMORE NAIL POLISH! And yet it seems like every month I get a confirmation of Julep box and I think “MOTHER #@$(*&@%(!!! I FORGOT TO SKIP THIS MONTH!” You know what I just did? I just cashed out all of my reward points and attempted to call to cancel my subscription (they were closed, but I’m going to call back). That’s $192 worth of mother @($*&$ing nail polish. NAIL POLISH, PEOPLE! FREAKING NAIL POLISH! GUESS WHAT! I FREAKING BITE MY NAILS!!!!! UGH!!!!! AND. Chatbooks. I don’t even know how or why I keep getting Chatbooks in the mail, but it adds up to $8/month. Canceling that RIGHT NOW. That is almost $30/month. That $30/month plus the interest charges means that I basically threw $700 away last year.


Okay so if you use Mint, I dare you to go look through where you spend your money and see if there’s anything that pisses you off enough to make changes. Let me know. I think getting pissed is a good thing because it’s a fire under your booty. Soon we’re all going to be debt free and well-invested and then we can all pay cash to have a retreat in the freaking woods where I’ll bring ALL THE NAIL POLISH WE NEED.




  1. January 4, 2016 / 7:21 am

    I’ll take this dare! God knows I need a Target sticker shock.

    • January 7, 2016 / 8:02 am

      Thank you so much for inspiring me to do this!!

      • January 7, 2016 / 11:21 am

        YAY!!!! it MADE MY DAY to see that you had done it!! i feel like seeing where your money goes on a monthly basis is cool but to see what happened over a YEAR is so much more telling of your spending habits.

  2. January 4, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Target is so dangerous! For me I know it would be Starbucks that would make me mad when I looked back and saw the ridiculous amount of money I probably spent there over the past year. And I bet sooo many people can relate with subscription boxes– it doesn’t seem like much until it just adds up without you realizing.

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:23 am

      target marketers literally sit up at night and try to think of ways to take my money, i’m fairly certain of it. my thing about starbucks is that (aside from being careless with subscription boxes apparently) it’s my only indulgence. well no that’s a lie. travel. travel and starbucks, but travel seems like emotional health so it doesn’t count….. right? πŸ˜‰

  3. Jasmine @makingrestorations
    January 4, 2016 / 8:45 am

    I must be the only person that doesn’t like Mint, mostly because of the “other” category but we do track everything in an excel sheet. It sounds like you’re being too hard on yourself because at least you are aware and trying to make a change. With the average credit card interest rate being 17% last year, I don’t think $300 is horrible. Not good, but not horrible. Yes to canceling the nail polish subscription, but it’s ok to reward yourself occasionally to prevent from feeling overly restricted and spending a ton. I feel you on Target though. I’m trying to stay out of there completely this month as a part of the no-buy challenge we are doing. As far as I can figure the dollar spot is the worst

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:24 am

      yeah the “other” category sucks…. i was going to use it to budget but i just suck at keeping budgets (which is probably the real problem). THE DOLLAR SPOT IS TOTALLY THE WORST/best πŸ˜‰

      i think the only reason the interest kills me is because i was careless in paying off my debt for so long that it definitely could have been lower, you know?

  4. January 4, 2016 / 8:54 am

    That’s why I’m too scared to do subscription boxes! I know I would totally forget to skip. I’ve heard so much about Mint and keep thinking I need to try it but I still haven’t. Need to do that now!

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:25 am

      i decided that i’m going to just straight up CANCEL anything that allows you to skip. if i’m constantly skipping it, why do i need that extra stress in my life? mainly what i mean is i can’t let go of birch box. πŸ˜‰

  5. January 4, 2016 / 8:58 am

    I finally got my budget figured out so I need to go back and reconfigure Mint. I’m sure fast food and JoAnn will be what we spent way too much on.

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:26 am

      joann. that seems like such a better place than target because at least you’re most likely getting SUPPLIES and not CLUTTER, yeah?

      • January 7, 2016 / 12:36 pm

        TECHNICALLY yes. But I have so much yarn that has no plan yet, so right now it’s just clutter.

  6. January 4, 2016 / 9:13 am

    it’s not funny… but i find it kinda funny that you spent more at Target than emergency savings!!! if i had used Mint, it would probably tell me something similar so i’m not judging! PLUS i know you are rocking this debt repayment thing & being really intentional about your money so you rock! πŸ™‚

    • January 4, 2016 / 9:15 am

      also, i signed up for Julep to get the free first box (haha i’m horrible!) and then i canceled it. they were closed when i called too but i left a message with my name and account info & they closed it for me! so i didn’t have to spend time on the phone… just leaving a short message! πŸ™‚ #introvertlife

      • January 7, 2016 / 11:27 am

        so smart. so freaking smart. i should have done that, ESPECIALLY because i signed up through swagbucks to earn extra swaybacks and i could have earned money + free nail polish. ugh.

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:26 am

      dude me reading you say that kind of made me groan inside because it’s so true BUT IN MY DEFENSE… most of my tax return sat in my savings until i drained it to pay off my dental credit. so had that not happened i might have more in my savings AND i’m only just now starting to get diligent about that.

  7. January 4, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    I actually use Learnvest and I love love love being able to track my spending by category like that too! LearnVest is a real investment ($20/month), but it has been so so so worth it for me. I don’t have a referral link because they don’t do that, but I’m happy to show you how amazing it is with pics and stuff.

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:28 am

      i saw your post about it!! i think that i basically spend money in a few areas – coffee, groceries, gas, thrift stores & target. and i don’t actually think any of them are excessive in terms of like normal life, but if i’m desperately trying to get out of debt and declutter my life i need to stop with the random purchases.

  8. January 4, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    I have never wanted to track my spending before, but this post totally makes me want to! Probably because I don’t track so that I can remain in denial about where my money goes…

    Either way, looking into mint now. And, don’t feel too bad about that money spent at Target. Life needs happy moments. Target is just one giant happy moment factory.

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:29 am

      bahaha “target is just one giant happy moment factory” is so freaking true. i love it. i think it’s good to know where it goes just so that you KNOW and can say you’re ALLOWING yourself to spend your money however its being spent, you know? it’s not just kind of fading away.

  9. January 5, 2016 / 9:33 am

    I absolutely LOVE mint! I just went through the trends for last year to help me make this year’s budget. I did the trends by category, but now I want to see merchants. I’m going to go out on a limb and say my top one is Kroger (dumb groceries)…. (And I just checked and it was – but I don’t think it was adding up my rent checks the right way. So actually, rent.)

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:31 am

      i feel like payments and rent and that kind of stuff doesn’t count. i mean, it does. it’s dollars out. BUT it’s not something that you can like… be resourceful with. i pay $400/month on my car, there’s no being frugal about that or sacrificing it for the greater good, haha you know? but like groceries you can coupon and target you can… uh… avoid. or attempt to πŸ˜‰

      but mint. SO GREAT!

  10. January 5, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    I used Mint wayyyy back in the day & I can’t remember if it categorized my spending? I didn’t keep it but now I’m kind of thinking about it again! It would be interesting to see what I’m spending my money on that’s for sure. And don’t feel bad about your Target purchases, pretty sure I’m well over that amount, haha :).

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:38 am

      you kind of have to go through and categorize your spending as it happens. which was really annoying to me, but in the end helped me look at where my money went. there’s something so empowering about having a clear idea of where your money is going instead of being like “wait where is that paycheck?” haha

  11. January 6, 2016 / 2:56 am

    Really interesting post! It is useful to go back and look at what cost you money over the past year! I don’t use mint, but I write down every dollar spent in an account book…which means I get regular math practice, haha!
    For 2015, our biggest expense was buying a car, by far. Second biggest expense, buying international health insurance since we don’t get any health insurance through our jobs anymore. Third, plane tickets. Fourth, buying a washing machine and a refrigerator. This was more of a spend our savings year than a saving one. Thankfully, though, everyday expenses have been pretty low. Our rent and utilities are reasonable and we don’t splurge much. Food is the biggest splurge because I have a husband who has the appetite of 5 normal people. Dinner out for me: $2 (at a local Malaysian restaurant, where I eat one meal and one drink like a normal person). Dinner out for him: $12 (at the same restaurant, he just eats insane amounts of food). haha!

    • January 7, 2016 / 11:40 am

      bahahaha your husband is like a teenage boy! the first time i ever went to taco bell with a teenage boy, my two younger cousins, i was like HOW MANY THINGS DO YOU FREAKING ORDER FROM HERE?!?!?!

      it seems like a lot of your spending was big, important items instead of a whole bunch of dumb crap piling up, you know? AND… it took me awhile to realize this but that’s exactly what savings are for so even though it probably didn’t feel awesome… you were kind to yourself when you started saving that!

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