Are you curious about how I spent every euro in 2019? I make a total breakdown of my spending in the general categories and also have some highlihgts in store for you!
The current time of the year is perfect for reflection. I am looking back on all the adventures and things I’ve done in the past year and I have to say I’m very grateful for everything that came my way. This year I went on some trips to visit friends, some more trips with friends, and on a 3.5 month mini-retirement with my partner.
This year was one of the best ones yet and I can’t wait to see what 2020 holds!
The Best Moments Of 2019 – Photo Highlights
I visited friends in Germany spring 2019, when the blossoms where beautiful!
I went to more travels to Belgium and had a work trip to Barcelona.
In July we went to a Belgium festival and we saw P!NK, Muse, Mumford & Sons, Lizzo, and many more!
We went to paradise for 3.5 months in Curacao, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Orlando, Florida.
We climbed vulcanos and slept at 3600 meters (11800 feet), where we saw this volcano erupting every 20 minutes. Magical!
There were countless sunsets we could enjoy and every one of them was beautiful and unique.
We saw even more beaches, every one of them reminding me of the paradise that I am dreaming about!
We saw many Maya ruins, every time in awe of the civilization that they had built and the impressive temples they constructed.
Lastly, we were very happy to go to Universal Studios and Disneyland, where you get to experience the magic of Harry Potter and countless other incredible movies up close!
2019 was such a great year and I have enjoyed it immensely!
Now let’s go into every euro I spent in 2019, that’s what you’re here for after all.
Every Euro I Spent In 2019
When I was analyzing every euro I spent in 2019, I have to say I am positively surprised by my 2019 spending. I’ve only spent €8,200 this year. Let’s dive into how I did:
I’ve spent €8197 this year, which is absolutely less than I would have imagined thinking about my mini-retirement where I was traveling around the world.
It is slightly lower than last year, where I spent around €8591. This means I’ve spent about €394 or 5% less this year compared to last year. No lifestyle inflation for me this year!
Given my mini-retirement and the fact that I traveled the world for 3.5 months, I am positively surprised. I thought I had spent a LOT more money than I did.
I am happy about my spending to be so low, while I was out there living my best life and have a lot of fun. I felt like I was splurging throughout the year because of all the fun activities that I was continuously doing!
For the details of my monthly spending, you can see the detailed monthly reports here.
I am very excited to dive deeper into every euro I spent in 2019.
My monthly bills make up 33.8% of my spending, with €2774 total or €231 monthly.
It should be noted that this is lower than normal due to the fact that I did not pay rent or utilities for the last 3.5 months of the year!
- Rent: €1870 or €156 monthly – Until September 2019 I lived in a shared apartment, after that I stopped renting at all and had zero expenses. That’s why this number is so low.
- Utilities: €510 or €43 monthly – On average I pay €60 per month, this includes internet. Here also the sidenote that I was not needing to pay utilities for 3.5 months.
- Insurance: €35 or €3 monthly – Travel insurance is important to me because I am out of the country a lot and tend to lose things.
- Phone plan: €96 or €8 monthly – Mostly I buy my phone separate and I get a sim card with a phone plan on it. This means that the longer my phone lasts, the more my costs are spread out.
- Additional taxes: €233 or €19 monthly – The tax agency made a mistake in 2018 and I should pay back this amount in 2019, nothing too exciting.
- Other monthly charges: €31 or €3 monthly – This includes my credit card fee and my monthly bank fee. Since I’m 25 I need to pay a monthly fee for these things, I’m still trying to find a get around. Any suggestions, let me know!
My food makes up 9.1% of my spending, with €674 total or €56 monthly.
This number is also lower than usual since I did not split my travel costs into food, lodging, and transport. I was planning on doing that, but with every payment being cash it’s not super convenient. So also no expenses here in the last 3.5 months of the year.
- Groceries: €532 or €44 monthly – When I’m traveling, I’m not splitting this cost. Counting on for the time I was in the country, my average month is €61. Read more about how to keep your grocery costs below $70 monthly.
- Eating out: €142 or €11.83 monthly – This is a number I’m really happy about. Normally I would say yes to every dinner that came by and every friend that wanted to go out to eat. I was a lot more intentional with that in 2019, trying to have dinner at home or go for a quick bite. In 2018 I spent €845 on going out to eat, that’s a decrease of 83%!
Surprise, travel makes up 33.4% of my spending. This is €2738 total or €228 monthly.
I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to travel and I had the best time while abroad. I’m now in the process of switching back into work mode, which is quite the transition.
Writing about my travels takes me back to it, so expect lots of mini-retirement and travel articles in the upcoming months!
- Travel: €2255 or €188 monthly – At the beginning of our travels I very optimistically wrote down everything we spent. That wore down very within weeks. I kept forgetting to write it down, which made me realize it’s okay to keep this down to the general category. Usually, we spent $8 per night on accommodation because it’s so affordable. Besides that, we cooked a lot and went with the public busses when possible.
- Flights: €483 or €40 monthly – This includes flights to Bogota, Panama City, and Orlando.
My medical expenses make up 12.8% of my spending, which is €1050 or €87 monthly.
- Health Insurance: €983 or €82 monthly – In order to get a discount and not to pay too much wealth tax, I pay my health insurance yearly. I take the maximum risk (€885) and the lowest coverage since I barely use health insurance. This means that the first €885 of the healthcare costs I need to pay for, the rest will be covered by my insurance.
- Dentist: €67 or €6 monthly – My teeth have been doing great in 2019 and I’m happy about that. Hope no unexpected things will arise in 2020.
Lastly, my happy things make up 11.7% of my spending. This is €962 or €80 monthly.
- Entertainment: €407 or €34 monthly – This consists mostly of €395 for concerts and festivals. This is a big part of my annual spending but it gives me a lot of joy. Upcoming year I’m going to see among others Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns ‘N Roses, and Post Malone. I wouldn’t want to miss that for the world!
- Blog (Education): €251 or €21 monthly – I love learning and I love figuring out new things. This consists among others of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and some annual fees.
- Gifts: €204 or €17 monthly – For 2019 I wanted to be kind to others and make giving a bigger part of my life, it is still to be improved for 2020 but the start is there!
- Public Transport: €69 or €5 monthly – I categorize this among my happy things because I only take public transport when I’m going somewhere fun, like going to my friends or going to a concert. This expense is still very low and expected to be higher in the upcoming year.
- Personal Care: €32 or €3 monthly – This includes all kinds of care products that I use throughout the year.
My 2019 Savings Rate
In 2019 I had three months without income, which was because I took a mini-retirement to travel through Central America.
I still managed to get a savings rate of 67% yearly, which is much more than I could have ever hoped for!
My 2019 was an amazing year and I’m looking forward to 2020. I’m setting the bar high and going for my dreams in 2020!
How did 2019 go for you? Did you meet your (financial) goals?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.