Back in May, 2007, I tallied all the receipts that I had for home improvement supplies from the previous half year.
The results are in for this year, and with an additional year of data, the results are more interesting. As before, this is only receipts that I saved (I try to save them all, but don't anguish over a few lost ones), big box stores mostly, and includes all projects (Cub Scouts, helping the elderly neighbor, etc).
I tally $4555.05 spent between 9/9/2006 and 10/5/2008, a period that encompasses the previous reporting period. That's about 2 years even, making my average spending per year about $2250.00. This figure doesn't include the table saw purchased this year or the compound miter saw purchased the year before, occasional hired help, lunches for my buddies who help, or any of that. I still think it's a useful starting off point for budgeting purposes.
Other trends showed up in the data:
1. In April I have the lowest number of purchases: 0 in 2007, 1 in 2008. I guess I'm focused on taxes.
2. June is the second lowest number of purchases each year: 2 in 2007 and 1 in 2008. I seem to recall that there's been a confluence of school ending, vacation, business travel, etc in the last two Junes.
3. I've spent pretty consistent amounts year to year. However, this might be misleading, since I'm not consistent on how I treat big ticket items not purchased from the local big box emporium: I included my French doors in 2006 but not my table saw in 2008.
4. I spend most of my money at Home Depot. This is because it's close and it's between home and work.
5. There are 92 purchases over the two years, or an average of just under one per week.
6. Each purchase was on average about $50, but this isn't representative of my typical spending habits as the standard deviation of the average is about $62 (excluding refunds).
The graph of my spending rate could be interesting to present if I hadn't hobbled myself by using Google Docs to tally this all up. Their graphing capability stinks.