I paid over $6000 for what?

Posted by 1 June, 2008

My wife and I have struggled to find a way to keep up with our finances in a way that we’ll stick to. I’ve tried Mint, Microsoft Money, Intuit, Wesabe and a few others. Trent over at The Simple Dollar has a quick write up on each of these websites excluding Microsoft Money located here. None of them really worked out. I need a system that is easy and a system that is in my face constantly so that I remember to write down the expenses. A lot of these online personal finance websites do a great job of automating things so as to make it easy for the user. The element that none of these sophisticated websites could help me overcome was the element of consistency. If it’s not in my face all of the time, I will not keep up with it and ultimately forget about it.

One aspect of keeping up with our expenses that I think has been helpful in a short amount of time is to write down all daily expenditures immediately. I find that it’s made me much more aware of the things I choose to purchase. I don’t want to fool you – I’ve always been pretty thrifty, frugal, a cheapo, whatever you want to call me, but I do feel more aware of my expenditures in the grand scheme of a month when I physically write it down. While a very basic concept, the habit of hand writing our expenses in a ledger has been a good experience so far. This is one of the many concepts we intend to implement in our lives as we follow the 9 steps laid out in “Your Money or Your Life“.

Below is a detailed list of the items we purchased in the first month of tracking our expenses. We are still working out all of the bugs and trying to figure out what suits us, but it’s a first good step. Mostly we wanted to make sure we were doing something proactive. In the book, “Your Money or Your Life“, it states that we should put up a wall chart and graph our expenses, income, and “capital”. Capital, in the book, is defined as money you invest into a bond or the like, that pays the owner interest monthly. The basic concept of the book is that by following its 9 steps, you will lower your expenses and the capital will increase over time to match or surpass your expenses, thus achieving financial freedom.

On this website, we will be displaying our expenses and capital each month.

Our expenses are list as such below for the month of April. We started the month on April 5th through May 4th because we were eager to get going after returning from vacation on April 2nd.

Total Spent

$6,677.09

Groceries:

$558.20

Eating Out

$365.34

Gas

$484.13

Household

$1,483.78

Business

$942.67

Clothes

$76.49

ATM

$60.00

Misc.

$92.18

Dog Expense

$41.99

Cosmetics

$170.00

Work Expenses

$156.64

Wife Work Expenses

$73.54

Utilities/Bills

$1,555.04

Insurance

$617.09


------

Don't miss the next article, add our RSS feed
If you enjoyed this article, please Stumble it!
Follow me on twitter

Categories : Personal Finance Tags :

Comments

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

(required)

(required)