Every few years (2020,
2014) I like to look over our
spending and write something up publicly. General advantages of being
This gives something I can
point people to if they have questions about some aspect of how we
Since almost everything we do either earns or costs
money it can be a good overview of our current life situation.
It helps others get a sense of how much things cost.
It lets us see if our spending is changing in ways we might not
Let's start with the monthly numbers in the same format as last time. They're either for the
whole of 2021 (ex: housing costs) or what we were doing at the end of
the year (ex: childcare), whichever gives a more consistent picture.
I'm still using the same amortized approach for housing I started in
Comparing to previous years:
One thing that jumps out is the large increase in taxes, but it's
about what you'd expect given the increase in our income and the
effect of progressive taxation. Here's the last ten years of income
and taxes (note separate left and right axes):
When I write this post in 2024, what do I expect to be saying?
Donations will be down a lot, because I'm no longer earning to
give. I haven't decided yet what rate I want to donate now, if at
all. I switched roles because I thought my new work would be more
valuable than my donations had been, and I'm now making about a
quarter of what I made at Google, so there's a sense in which which
means I'm effectively 'donating' 75%. While GWWC doesn't
count this I'm not convinced that's the right way to handle it.
Still thinking on this, and on what sort of EA culture I'd like
Savings will be down a lot. Most of our savings were for
retirement, and we now have about $600k saved. If we earn a real
annual return of 2% over the next 30y (pretty conservative) and retire
at 67 then withdrawing 4% a year would be $42k. Combined with us
owning our house and being able to rent out parts of it, I'm not
planning to put more into our 401k for now.
Taxes will be down a lot; our income will be much lower.
Housing should be about the same. One of our housemates is
moving out, but we'll be looking for another.
Childcare should be similar to this year, and will be the
largest component of our budget. Our former au pair is now back with
the kids as a nanny, and while she's wonderful it's a much more
expensive arrangement. It's possible that at some point she might
move on, or we might need to switch to something else to save money.
This cost should go down in Fall 2026 when our youngest starts
Kindergarten, though at that point it's only six more years until 2032
when our oldest starts college.
Other expenses should be similar, though they will be a larger
fraction of the budget and we may focus on them more.