Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New challenge: Record everything I spend

I just read this post at Moms are Frugal and it inspired me to - starting Friday - record everything I spend my money on in a two-week period.

Who's with me?

I only pay with cash unless it is an online purchase, so I don't spend beyond my means, but sometimes it seems like the cash just disappears! I wonder where it goes and why it didn't last longer.

When I first started changing my spending habits about 7 years ago, I did this with grocery store receipts and was SHOCKED at how much I spent a month on groceries. I have gone from $800 a month at that time to about $300 a month now.

Maybe I can do the same with general spending - on eating out, treats, clothes or toys or movies or whatever. Anybody who is in the same boat and wants to do this challenge with me, hop on and we can compare notes two weeks from Friday.

I am really curious to see what I learn from this, what trends I discover or things I didn't even realize I was doing. And the goal is to be more intentional with the cash I have and perhaps start a little cash savings fund for a special trip or something I really want. 


14 comments:

  1. It's shocking to see where it goes, isn't it? I used to do this when I had a higher income, but have stopped. I will have to work on my budgets soon, so I think I'll begin to do this again to make myself accountable for my funds.

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    1. Well, I'm on day 3 and it is already interesting, LOL! I need to do this every month and see what trends their are. I want to stop letting it drain away and start saving some portion for a larger purchase, like a sewing machine or boots.

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  2. I think this is a great idea. Even with the best of intentions for our spending we find money leaks. We'll be doing this too.

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    1. It will be interesting to see if you notice any trends or areas you want to change. I'm not sure yet how it will shake out for me yet :)

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  3. Awesome idea! I really put a halt to frivolous spending a few months ago, when Rory's dad left and cut us off of all funds. It is amazing what you can do without. I already keep a tab of every penny... Good luck, Stephanie! :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. Well, you had a drastic situation where you HAD to change immediately. Wow, that's tough. I still can't believe he did that.

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  4. I bought Quicken recently to better track our expenses. It's quite eye opening seeing how much we spent when I was working and since I quit in June. Our grocery/eating out bills have almost been cut in half and I find it a fun challenge to make do on what we have, clip coupons and get groceries and other necessities at a good deal. I need to update Quicken to properly categorize all our credit card expenses for the year but two weeks should be enough time for me to complete it. I wouldn't mind comparing notes at that time. Good luck!

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    1. The grocery deal surprised me when I first changed my habits and went from $800 a month to $300. Now I think, what on earth could I possibly have been buying? I can't remember but $300 does us just fine. I've never used Quicken but I've heard it's great.

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  5. We have been doing this for the past year and it has really helped me to be much much much more aware of my spending habits and all that good stuff. It's just like when you want to lose weight, you've got to realize your true eating habits in order to make a change. This method helps keep me accountable and honest with myself.

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    1. How great you're a year into it! It's neat when you see progress and changes and improvement over time. And even better when you meet a particular goal. I haven't had a goal in mind, but I'm trying to decide what I might like to do with extra money. Great analogy to weight loss! So true!

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  6. Since I am a stay at home and spend most of my day web surfing, things got expensive around here quick. The hubs got smart and finally got me my own personal Prepaid card that I could use any way that I want. I hate being on a budget! But by doing this I am now really aware of my spending habits, I totally don't want to use my card for anything. {Who knew, putting me on a budget would curb my shopping/ spending habit.}

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    1. LOL, buying online can be SO easy to do! We all live and learn. Budgets are great tool, but not particularly fun, LOL!

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  7. I need to do this! Thank you for the encouragement!

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    1. You're welcome, I'm glad it helped! With the holidays, I sort of got away from it so now I need to get back to it!

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