Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eating My Paycheck

Since resigning from my lucrative job, I thought it best to look and see how we were doing, financially.

We have a budget written on the back of a used envelope somewhere, but it's scarcely enforced and I really couldn't even tell you where that envelope is. Plus, using debit cards, credit cards, checks and cash, it's hard to keep track of what we're spending and where, anyway. to the rescue. I only discovered it yesterday. It links your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, property, etc. and categorizes your spending each month. It also allows you to set financial goals (Dream House), and makes and automatically tracks a budget (fully customizable, and you can enter cash expenditures each day). Then it generates a neat little pie chart to show you where your money is going. And it's FREE, without the "pay $9.95 a month to unlock additional features" jazz.

Other than a whole category for library fines (let's just not go there), I was doing great until the pie chart. Last month, we spent almost as much in groceries as we did in rent!! It was shocking, actually. I tried a million ways to justify it... "well, my sister was here all month and I wanted her to eat well... we were doing cherry harvest and I bought some extra treats... our rent doesn't cost much!"

And, dear readers, I kid you not... one of my excuses was, "I bought two big packages of toilet paper instead of one." Yeah... that one right there is gonna break the bank.

So I looked at the month before. SAME THING!!!! We're eating our money!! And we don't even eat out! And I wasn't buying meat, and I rarely buy name brands! What the heck?

I don't know about you... but I think it's time to cut that extra package of toilet paper out of the budget.


Karen said...

I like to find recipes that use cheap ingredients we keep around, like vinegar and spices, rather than the fancy things. And I search for on sale and coupons, etc. Anyways, I have a delicious recipe for "boubon" chicken that I only had to buy rice and chicken because the rest of it we keep stocked. (This is what I do at the end of the month when our budget is running out.)

A thought: My mom would pay cash for groceries so she'd know exactly what she was spending and how much she has left. I do something similar, I only use my debit card for groceries and keep the budget amount in there (plus a buffer that I'm not allowed to dip into).

Tori said...

I feel the same way about groceries. We eat at home, I make most of our meals rather than eating pre-prepared meals, I use coupons and buy store brands...and it still seems like we spend an awful lot on food.

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