Pants down! MP family's 2020 Swiss spendings!

Between my book and the blog posts, I receive many admiring emails. Readers think I'm some kind of infallible hero who manages his finances and his life in a masterful way.

While I like this image, this idealization carries the risk that you, dear reader, will feel guilty if you fail to follow or implement this or that frugal practice.

That's why, even though it stresses me out every year to publish this article, I make sure to publish all of our expenses so that you realize that I am far from perfect. And that no one is. And that therefore, you can breathe and take all that FIRE stuff a little more easy.

That being said, as I explained to you last year, I changed my budget categories in 2020 so that I could more easily compare my expenses with the Swiss statistics.

If you're new here, and you're wondering how it's possible to be able to know all of your annual expenses in such detail, look no further! The answer is called YNAB.

Enough blabla, pants down now:

Category 2020 amount (CHF) 2019 amount (CHF) Comments
Food 21'126.60 18'043.89 Details below
- Groceries β€Œ17'941.27 13'971.15 I put this increase on the account of COVID: we ate a lot more at home, the children also consume more with age, and we unleashed the budget a little more post-confinement...
- Restaurants β€Œ2'748.63 2'637.65 We're staying with the same numbers, with a strategy of "It's the exception rather than the rule"
- Lunch at work Mrs. MP β€Œ313.60 771.55 Thank you COVID :)
- Lunch at work Mr. MP 123.10β€Œ 663.54 Thank you COVID :)
--- --- --- ---
Housing 17'860.22 17'676.06 Details below
- Mortgage interests 9'328.80 β€Œ9'328.80
- Maintenance and repairs 427.20 β€Œ393.60
- Concierge 451.20 416.60
- Electricity 744.95 749.15
- Water 163.80 β€Œ152.15
- Building insurances 574.20 β€Œ528.35
- Maintenance abos 590.40 β€Œ543.20
- Banking fees 36.00 β€Œ35.00 If only we could go to Zak :)
- Renovation fund 492.00 454.00
- PPE management fees 754.20 β€Œ694.35
- Heating and hot waterβ€Œβ€Œ 1'933.8β€Œ β€Œ1'781.4
- Purification and water taxes 590.00 648.50
- Garbage tax 300.00 β€Œ100.00
- Property taxes 464.80 β€Œ464.80
- ECA β€Œ34.50 β€Œ40.60
- Furnishings 412.82 1'211.41
- Other one-time costs β€Œ561.55 β€Œ882.65 Payment of excess expenses from the previous year
--- --- --- ---
Telecoms and tools 3'512.23 1'538.58 Details below
- Mobile and home internet abos β€Œ2'033.40 1'346.40 Cf. our setup in this article. Also, we have renewed our phones after hard negotiations, and the costs are included in our subscriptions
- Online computer backup service 72.00 β€Œ72.00
- Software, online abos (e.g. YNAB), etc. β€Œ117.83 120.18
- New laptops et smartphones β€Œ1'289.00 0.00 Computer change planned in the budget :)
--- --- --- ---
Transports 4'649.60 9'945.46 Details below
- Auto insurance 323.30 β€Œ323.30 We changed our car insurance to save CHF 2'253 over ten years. All the details in this article
- Car tax 103.10 β€Œ103.10 The advantage of driving a car like ours
- Swiss motorway vignette 0.00 β€Œ20.00 "Free" vignette last year thanks to an offer at NestlΓ© if you bought a certain amount of groceries
- Vehicle technical inspection 0.00 β€Œ130.00
- Car expenses and repairs 541.75 3'435.16
- Gas 1'485.04 1'757.40 Thank you COVID, but we did drive quite a bit (and the children's activities don't help β€” what an excuse ;))
- Tolls and parking 363.31 1'284.72 That's a pleasure! Hence the interest to travel in Switzerland and not abroad ;)
- Public transport β€Œ1'833.10 2'891.78 Thank you COVID!
--- --- --- ---
Medical β€Œ18'158.40 17'879.58 Details below
- Health insurance HIA 9'014.40 8'745.60 Our basic insurance for the four of us at Assura, as recommended in this article
- Supplementary health insurance LCA 642.80 622.80 Complementary for alternative medicine, and dental insurance for children (fortunately we took it for orthodontics as recommended by all the parents in our entourage)
- Doctors and pharmacies 8'500.80 8'511.18 Almost identical to last year, it's funny β€” as a reminder, all these expenses are due to orthodontics for our children (a large part of which was reimbursed, but we still count that in the expenses because we had to take out the cash)
--- --- --- ---
Personal expenses Mr. and Mrs. MP β€Œ7'332.00 2'385.57 Details below
- Clothes and shoes Mrs. MP 976.03 573.69 No thanks to COVID, with more time to surf online...
- Beauty and care Mrs. MP 2'329.21 446.03 As noted by many female readers, as age advances, expenses in this area increase
- Sport Mrs. MP 317.00 n/a Sign up for a group activity because she needed to be with people!
- Freedom budget Mrs. MP 2'875.09 1'204.10 All the information on this category is detailed in this article
- Clothes and shoes M. MP 560.87 161.75 Renewal of summer and winter shoes, as well as hiking shoes. We should be good for at least 2-3 years for the former, and 10 years for the latter
- Sport Mr. MP 32.00 n/a Bike helmet
- Freedom budget Mr. MP 241.80β€Œ n/a New headphones for remote work, and Netflix for when there's a show I want to watch (no thanks to COVID :))
--- --- --- ---
Gifts β€Œ2'229.74 1'017.16 Details below
- Gifts 2'229.74 1'017.16 If you take out a big gift to celebrate a special event for Mrs. MP and I, we still spent quite a bit more in this category. Is it the deconfinement effect and all the people we were invited to between the two waves?
--- --- --- ---
Birthdays β€Œ1'840.48 2'156.75 Details below
- Birthdays' presents 1'840.48 2'156.75 More or less stable. Perfect :)
--- --- --- ---
Christmas β€Œ1'068.87 989.65 Details below
- Christmas' presents 1'068.87 989.65 More or less stable. Perfect :)
--- --- --- ---
Children 7'488.82 9'760.53 Details below
- Childcare 3'982.45 β€Œ6'353.35 Thank you COVID!
- Clothes and shoes kids 873.22 700.04 More or less stable.
- School supplies and outings 23.25 415.01
- Extra-curricular activities and supplies 2499.90 2'257.13 The respective activities of the toddlers, with the necessary supplies for each one
- Kids' hairdresser 110.00 35.00 It increases (too much for my taste ;))
--- --- --- ---
Entertainment and vacation/leisure 5'470.55 9'151.55 Details below
- Leisure and tourism (museums, baths, etc.) β€Œ2'546.58 1'425.4 We went out more on weekends than on long vacations
- Entertainment (movies, books, Teleboy, etc.) 183.97β€Œ 189.00
- Billag/Serafe 365.00 β€Œ365.00
- Holidays β€Œ2'375.00 β€Œ6'050.97 Not as big and not as far, but just as cool!
--- --- --- ---
Taxes 19'114.80 20'275.25
- Taxes β€Œ19'114.80 20'275.25
--- --- --- ---
Miscellaneous 3'810.11 2'486.66
- Miscellaneous β€Œ3'613.61 2'292.96β€Œ Exceptional administrative costs as well as a private event. Without that, we were in the same ballpark as 2019 so that's OK
- Private liability insurance 196.50 β€Œ193.70
--- --- --- ---
TOTAL CHF 113'662.42 113'306.69 The 2019 amount is to be taken with a pinch of salt as I changed my categorization, so it's possible that some transactions are not counted (such as exceptional professional training). For 2020, we are still too high compared to my psychological limit of 100kCHF, but hey, the numbers don't lie! (even if without orthodontics we arrive around 108k, but with "but" we would remake the world ;))

After creating this whole summary table, here's what I get out of it:

  1. It's cool to see that our level of frugality is stable, and that we're not getting carried away with spending in the 150k range or more
  2. Childcare expenses are gradually going down, but our taxes will also go up accordingly because we'll be able to deduct less
  3. Children are progressively more expensive in terms of food (they eat so much!), clothes, and haircuts ;)

And rather than playing the game of what we could not have spent here and there, I'm more interested in getting your feedback on the categories where I inspire you; and conversely, where you have ideas for drastic improvements compared to the current situation.

I'm looking forward to reading you in the comments below!

And else, how went your spendings in 2020?


"Your articles are great MP, but there are so many that I don't know where to start to achieve my financial freedom. What would you recommend?"

After 1 year of deep work, here is my answer condensed in a single work:

 4.53 (135 ratings)


* These products and services are affiliate partners of the blog. If you click on them, you won't notice any difference but the blog will earn a small commission and I sincerely thank you for this.


Join 5'217 subscribers who get new posts for free, right to their inbox!
(no spam, unsubscribe anytime in one click)


Comments powered by Disqus