Show Me The Money!

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.ย  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 onย  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.ย  I also bought him a new bed because now I have someone to share the bed with me aside from the dog. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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???!)


8 Responses to Show Me The Money!

  1. Your electronics spending pre-Kansas is adorable, hah! I picked up a FPU book at the library last night and thought of you… thanks for sharing your insights along the way–

  2. That’s pretty amazing! It will be awesome to recoup some of that. $371/month is not chump change.

  3. All in all, except for food, the change isn’t that bad… But together, it is quite startling. Mostly the food & the miscellaneous purchases hits you the hardest I think. Something to be more conscious about in the future.

  4. Jessica says:

    Sadly, that always seems to be the case. We think we’ve got it under control. Then it’s like * head slap *. But at least you’ve noticed now and not 20 years in the future.
    Do you have meal plans set out that can help you? I’ve heard that helps. Also, I’ve found that when going with my husband I spend much more than intended. He likes to just add things. That stinker. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Serendipity says:

    My misc always goes up when I go hog wild on the eating out part. I try to limit it but it’s so hard sometimes. I always think I have it under control as well and then when I run the numbers I get shocked. But now that you know, you can fix it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Pingback: New Budget! «

  7. TMcImmy says:

    Eating out is by far our biggest budget challenge. Especially as a couple, it seems much harder to regularly say “let’s just forage for whatever we find in the kitchen”. If *one* of us really wants to eat out, it often ends up meaning we both do.

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