My hubby and I look at our finances often, but if I’m being honest, lately we’ve just been kind of lazy. We look at our checking account balance and since it’s been positive, we’ve assumed we’ve been doing okay. Just this week, though, I decided that I wanted to know EXACTLY where our money’s been going, and man, after taking a look at EVERY SINGLE transaction over the past couple of months, I want to cry. We’re basically eating our money. SO MUCH of our variable expenses have to do with food, so it’s time that we change that. I showed my super-annoying spreadsheet to my husband last night and I think for the first time he finally realized where all of our money’s been going. I guess it’s easy to look at your account balance and figure you’re doing okay if you have enough money to pay the bills. But when you really investigate how your money’s being spent, that can sometimes be an eye opener. While we’re not doing terrible, we’re still doing a lot worse than we should be, so this is a great opportunity to formulate a plan, cut back on spending, and start saving a whole lot more. Really excited to see what we can do from here on out!
Wow, that sounds like a real turning point, Kayla. Congratulations. I know exactly what you mean. The first time I did a spending tracking exercise, I was blown away and mortified to see where most of my money was going. (Wardrobe, eek. This was a long time ago…) I’m a visual person, so seeing my spending presented to me as a pie chart with a giant slice labeled “shoes” made a BIG impression. 😛
I’m struck in particular by your sentence, “It’s easy to look at your account balance and figure you’re doing okay if you have enough money to pay the bills.” Because that’s how it was for me, too. But when I saw where my money was actually going, I realized for the first time that it wasn’t enough just to be able to pay the bills. I wanted my money to go towards the things that mattered most to me. I started to save more, so I could travel more and look into becoming a freelancer… Spending less on stuff like clothes became easier when I knew where I was going to put those resources instead.
Anyway, congrats again to you and your husband on your breakthrough. Excited to hear where you take it from here!
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