Peace Out and In

Finding Peace By Making Money & Life Decisions Deliberately

Finances, How Free

Where does 55K go?

My salary is approximately 55,000 per year. Fifty-five thousand dollars a year seems like a lot to me, but it goes so quickly.  I want to see where it goes monthly.
55,000 dollars a year / 12 months per year = 4,583 per month
Out of that 4,583 a month, I contribute 500 a month to my 401 (k).
We’re down to 4083–still looking pretty good.
Federal and state taxes that are withheld per month: 526 (I usually get a tax return as well, but I do’nt know how much that’ll be this year, so I”m going to stick with this amount).
4,083 – 526 = 3,557
My next expense: medical insurance 493 per month. We’re down to 3,064. Three thousand still feels like a nice chunk of money, but there are more expenses.  Retirement. Besides my 401 (k), my employer takes out 340 a month for my retirement, so we’re down to 2,724–getting a little lower.
Then, I put 1,911 per month into my and my husband’s shared account for mortgage, bills, food, copays for doctor’s appointments.  2,724-1,911 = 813.
Wow I have 813 going into my personal account per month? That doesn’t seem right. It seems like I usually have 250 extra per month.
Oh, this is a relatively small one, but union dues.  I forgot that. Union dues– plus some other retirement thing that I’m going go have to look up because I don’t know what it is –adds up to 85 per month.  813 – 85 =  728.
Also, I’ve been paying an extra 250 per month towards the mortgage, so that leaves 478, which still is higher than I thought it was. Yeah, I usually only have about 250 left over.  Where’s the other 228 go?
Hmmm, another money mystery to solve.
Besides that relatively small discrepancy, that is where 55,000 a year goes.
In bullet point view:

  • Taxes: 526
  • medical insurance: 493
  • Union dues: 85
  • Retirement system: 340
  • Before Taxes, 401 (k) contribution: 500
  • Mortgage, bills, food: 1,911
  • Extra towards mortgage: 250
  • Money into personal account: 478? 250? This is the mystery.

In chart view:
Besides the 228 dollar discrepancy, looking at where my money goes has brought up some other questions:

  • How would I like to spend my money/Is my money going where I want it to go?
  • How similar or different is my spending to others’?
  • Now that I see what my employer contributes to retirement, do my quarterly statements reflect this?
  • Am I wasting money?
  • If I had more money, what category would I put it in?

Well, we finally know where 55,000 can go, and I’ll certainly work on answering the above questions in the future.
Peace out (and in)!


  1. nice job tracking everything! It takes a lot of work, but definitely helps to have a good understanding of where every $ ends up

  2. Definitely. Knowing that 55K (which, to me, is a lot of money) goes so quickly also helps motivate me to save more and put more into retirement because then the money isn’t “gone.” It’s put aside for later.

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