What do you spend your money on?

A big challenge for most of our wallets is figuring out where the money actually goes. Everyone of us can ramble off a list of the basic bills we pay. It’s the little things that run our bank accounts dry and keep us from saving for the things we really want. The challenge is to start keeping track. This does not have to be a huge event. I went for the save your receipts policy. Every purchase I made I saved the receipt. At the end of the week I took them all out of my wallet and went through to see what I spent money on without thinking about it. Do you know what this little exercise taught me? It taught me to think about those little purchases because they were adding up big!

I already posted that I have started packing my lunch, drinks, and snacks. I also realized that we were spending too much on unintentional grocery purchases. The things we didn’t really need but bought on a whim. We now stick to a strict shopping list and bring an envelope of the coupons we intend to use. I bring the extra coupons in a separate envelope incase I stumble upon a great deal that was not advertised. Our stores do occasional markdowns that you do not know about until you get there.

The one thing that shocked me was how much we spend on late fees at the public library! We all think of the library as being free but those late fees can really nail you if you forget to renew or return things. We were spending at least $4 a month in late fees. Just by returning our books and things on time we will save $48 a year!

We occasionally stop for a quick dinner, buy a toy or clothing item, or go on an outing without considering our budget. We have now decided to make a budget section for these kind of things. That way we know we can do them from time to time but we have to consider them in regards to our budget because when that money is spent we are done for the month.

Please remember that your bank account is not an endless well (If yours is so large it feels that way then you don’t need my advice).

5 Replies to “What do you spend your money on?”

  1. Wow, my adult daughter recently called me for help with, among other things, a $90 late fee at the local library where she lived, and it shocked me that anybody earning a student’s wage and trying to afford life would incur a cost such as that when it is SO EASY to avoid! I think that paying attention to all the things you list in your post from the time you are a young adult, onward, will put a person far ahead, yet so few people seem to notice the squandering of perfectly saveable money that they do on a daily basis. Life gets waaaay more expensive and you get so much busier (getting to the library’s not that hard if you’re only looking after yourself!) once you begin a family, as you know–and have to do everything for 3, 4 or 5 people.

  2. Eating out is one of the biggest expense killers. I eta out on the road all the time because I have no choice, but when I am home I cherish my kitchen so much. Cooking is a greta budget skill to have!

  3. I have started tracking my ‘spend’ expenses recently and it is helping so much to seeing where my money is going (takeaway coffee anyone!!?) and I plan to make this tracking a habit and stick with it even after my debt is paid off – which is my current mission! Thanks for the post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *