I Must Be MAD To Do This But…

The last few months, InStyle magazine has given three of their editors a budget, broken down monthly, on what they can spend on fall fashion. It got me thinking about a very simple question a lot of us ask ourselves: where does all my money actually go? Well kids, I’m about to find out…

Starting January 1, 2011, I’m going to keep track of every single dollar I spend. I’ve already created Excel spreadsheets with separate sheets for monthly bills like credit cards, student loans and rent; groceries, personal care items, household items like paper towels, etc., and laundry fees (for when/if I have to pay for laundry again); clothing, shoes and accessories; entertainment, for restaurants, bars, vacations, etc.; and miscellaneous for any bigger ticket or one time purchase items, like the new bed I’ll need whenever I move out of my parent’s house. And finally the ever scary expenses versus income category. I just had a slight coronary typing that.

Each sheet is broken down into categories and months, so it’s easy to see what categories are the most expensive and hopefully lend a hand in seeing where cutbacks can take place. There’s also a place to keep track of my savings account balance to see how maybe paying off a credit card can pad it a little. Well that and to make sure I actually remember to put money in the damn  thing.

To be honest, this scares the absolute crap out of me. But it’s going to be a great learning experience to see what my money is really getting me. And maybe it’ll make me think twice about that new pair of boots or that extra drink with friends. I would love some feedback on this. God knows I’ll need the support once the New Year rolls around!

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3 comments

  1. I’ve done this (using Quicken) for the past 7 months and it really does help. It’s empowering and a bit sobering – lol! Good luck, it will be a great experience!

    1. Thanks for the support Jenny! I figured out a long time ago I’m a visual learner, so hopefully seeing it on a computer screen will help curb some of my unnecessary spending!

  2. I LOVE spreadsheets!!! I would be interested in seeing yours, not with your numbers, just would like to see the set-up. Yes, I am geeky like that! If you like spreadsheets as much as I do, you will want to look into downloading ASAP utilities. Just google it, I LOVE it!! Love you and enjoy reading your blogs when I actually have time. I hope you can take a 20 min vacation to visit us soon, it would be easy on the entertainment budget because I would feed you, we already have alcohol on hand and I would give you a nice place to sleep at night. I really miss getting to see everyone and hate the reason we are stuck at home! Maybe this summer we can get tickets to the Cards/Royals game here. Tell your mom and dad we love and miss them too!

    Your cousin,
    Sissy Turner 🙂

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