Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Expense Diary

I wanted to think of something to help me keep track of everything that I am spending. I decided to go with just a simple memo book. I started it today, and simply wrote down everywhere that I spent money and how much I spent. At the end of the day I looked at the list and highlighted every thing that was not a NEED. That doesn't mean that everything that will be highlighted is bad (I know for me that I need some extras every now and then), but I really wanted to find a way to help me realize how much I am spending on things that I do not absolutely need.

I am a visual person, so for me, I think that this will be a good way for me to see what I am spending everyday, and I think that it may help me to set goals on a daily basis. Doesn't it always seem that the little things are the things that add up the most? They do for me anyway.

So this is what my Diary looks like, it is simple and it fits in my purse. If any of you want to test this method out with me, I would love to hear your feedback and comments. I am going to try this out this week and then I will write a follow up and let you know how it is working for me.

I didn't do too good on the first day.... $9.87 in 'non neccesities' (I guess it could have been worse though)


Mrs. Deaver said...

I definitely think this is a good idea. $9 a day of non-necessities adds up to just short of $300 a month of wasted money! That's a lot, with $300 a month you could pay for your internet, your cable and your car insurance. Or you can pay off a bit of your CC debt or other debt.

I had about $3000 in CC debt when I got married, so we just cut up the card. We then paid off the debt and closed the account. I can't manage having a CC, so we removed the temptation from our lives and we just live on what we make each month. I think that's very helpful in making sure you live within your means! If you find that you're using your CC a lot to pay for this sort of stuff, leave it at home and don't take it with you.

katie said...

Something that I do that really helps us is we use the envelope system. When things got out of hand, we budgeted and then pulled out the cash and dispersed it to different labeled envelopes.It has worked so well for us! I like the challenge of only spending what's in the envelope. I especially love when I have cash left over for the month because that's money I can put towards bills or save for a special occasion. It sounds childish but we have been able to stay on top of our finances because of it!

Celeste said...

This is a good idea! I think I'll try it for sure! This is also something that Dave Ramsey suggests in his book Total Money Makeover. That book is a blessing!!!

Jen Morrison said...

It's amazing how much money is wasted. Did you see Oprah where everyone gasped when Orman told everyone to go a day without spending money? Disgusting to see what is all wasted. We are very tight with our money and can go a long time without buying stuff. In fact, one summary statement from our credit card for 2008 showed only 1 restaurant on it. While I know this won't work for everyone, we find it not necessary to go out to restaurants and a treat is the dollar movies or an ice cream cone when I score a buy one get one free coupon.