Show Me The Money!
February 18, 2011 8 Comments
I mentioned yesterday how I went to PFU and found out that because of how I set up my budget $327 is “wiggling” out of my wallet and I have no idea where it is going!
I went big time and decided to compile my spending for the past year. This includes expenses pre-moving to Kansas and post-moving to Kansas to compare my spending habits. Recall that from January to August, I was also not eating out. In August I moved to Kansas. It was midway through the month, so I averaged August’s numbers into the “pre-moving to Kansas” numbers.
Okay… here is the damage:
Alright, in case you don’t want to check out those numbers, let me sum this up for you:
1. While on my “No Eating Out” challenge I averaged less than $200/month on food. In Kansas, without this challenge (and plus a boy and a sister, I might add) I spent on average $371/month on food. Holy Hell. That is a LOT of money on food now that I’m off this challenge.
2. My gas consumption has not changed a lot. This isn’t too surprising. I live about the same distance from work as I did before moving. I visit people about the same amount as well.
3. I spend a lot of money on miscellaneous things! This includes clothes, toiletries, co-pays, medicines, etc. I budget $65 per month for things that fall under this category. Which worked before Kansas, but doesn’t appear to be working post-moving to Kansas. I’m assuming the main reason for this increase is that I have had to buy nice, warmer, work clothes instead of my plain t-shirt and sweatshirt I wore at my old job. So there are some clothes purchases from Old Navy and The Limited snuck in the Kansas totals.
4. Somehow I now spend more on my pet supplies now than I did before Kansas. I guess I do like to splurge more on “little toys” for Jack when I get him food. This has to stop. But I do it because he doesn’t go to daycare here like he did pre-Kansas. None the less, I need to fix this. I also bought him a new bed because now I have someone to share the bed with me aside from the dog. 😉
5. My entertainment costs have gone up moderately. But, if you look at my budget, you’ll see I don’t even PLAN for entertainment costs. Not that you can see this in the numbers but what I spend money on entertainment-wise has also changed. Pre-Kansas mostly I would spend entertainment money on movies. Now I spend entertainment money on board games – which I should start paying for with money earned from Swagbucks.
6. I don’t spend a lot of money on Electronics. I probably should have just put this in with the miscellaneous. It would have amounted to about the same thing.
Okay…so here is a pretty bar graph of my average spendings pre-Kansas and post-moving to Kansas:
It is pretty obvious that the main flaw in my budget since moving to Kansas is food consumption. Everything else I would consider at this point to be at a manageable level, only minor tweaking needed. But spending $150 MORE per month on food than I was previously? That is just outrageous.
I definitely need to switch to envelopes and try to get this increased spending under control! First step? A new budget. But you’ll have to wait for it…
(P.S. – You have to understand, this is totally nuts to me. I thought I had everything under control. I thought I was telling my money what to do. And then suddenly someone (Dave Ramsey) shows me a different way of looking at things and all of the sudden I realize there are HUGE flaws in my system. I feel like someone has hit me over the head with a financial frying pan. It seems so painfully obvious now how out of whack my finances are but until yesterday I thought they were perfectly fine. WTF???!)