Well 2011 is almost gone and 2012 will be here before we know it. Typically I do not do the whole New Years Resolution thing as I believe that when you feel something needs to be changed, why wait for the New Year to do it?
This year however my incredible knack for procrastination has allowed me to make a New Years resolution regarding moolah. It's time to get a handle on me money-spending and pay down my debts!
For the past 3-4 months I've been keeping track of practically everything I spend money on. Hanging onto all receipts, noting all bill payments, even vending machine purchases! My purse has since become a bottomless pit of paper and yuck at any given moment. The goal of this little project? To actually see where most of my money is going of course! And what did I learn from this?
I spend an obscene amount of money on FOOD!
My list of catagories for each purchase reads like this:
You get the picture.
May seem like a hassle to keep track of everything that you purchase over the span on a month (I did 3 months but I'm an overachiever) but I'll tell you it is really helpful to know just where it's all going in the first place so you know where to make the proper changes.
My first attempt to set up a budget resulted in my staring at a blank Excel spreadsheet for 5 minutes then giving up and switching to Facebook. When a friend suggested that in order to prepare her budgets she periodically keeps track of all spendings in a month, a little lightbulb went off in my head. Of course!!
~Blushes while pretending she knew it all along~
So the next step will be to sit down with all my awesomely created spreadsheets and figure out a decent average to keep as my budget for every catagory. The hope for this process will be to keep it reasonable and realistic.
Let's be honest. There's no way I'm eating cans of tuna and ramen everyday for the forseeable future no matter how tempting the money savings might be.
I really don't see how this could fail unless I just completely ignore my budget altogether. Hoping by 2013 I will be a student-loan and credit card paid off free kind of girl.
Will continue to keep updated on this part of the experiment.