Unraveling Money – My Exploration of Personal Finance and Productivity

June 2, 2009

My Expenses – Adding it all up – May 2009

Filed under: Keeping Track of Expenses — unravelingmoney @ 11:31 pm

Here comes the moment of truth – my personal balance sheet for the month of May. I’ve kept pretty good track of my expenditures this month, and to back me up I have Mint.com and Wells Fargo – they do a pretty good job of categorizing as well.

After completing this exercise, I intend to define my personal savings plan and finish setting up my ING savings/sub-savings accounts as planned. If there is one thing that this month has taught me, it’s that one absolutely needs a “stupid mistakes” fund.

Expenses

So – I somehow managed to spend ALMOST $9,000 in May. OMG. I can hardly believe it. My income was $8,480 – which includes expenses payouts from previous months as well. Ok, when I look at it that way, I guess it’s not TOO bad especially when you consider that $1,353 of my expenditures were expenses I’ll get back, I paid about the same to my credit cards (just a coincidence this time, I promise), I saved a small amount and I donated a small amount to charity. Regardless, I need to find ways to increase my income as well as cutting back on spending.

Going through this process was EXTREMELY valuable for me and I’m going to make it a habit every month. It’s very clear to me that I need to cut down on eating out and non-essential shopping immediately. I feel like I have already slowed way down on this – and my Mint.com account shows the same – but I need to do a better job. I still have a lot of credit card debt to pay off.

Next step – define my savings plan and get all of my accounts set up correctly.

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3 Comments »

  1. Cathy Curtis led me to your blog from Facebook. I know Cathy professionally in that I’m a financial counselor (not a financial planner.) You’re doing a great job; however, I have a suggestion. Rather than looking back through the rear-view mirror as to what you spent for the month, plan at the beginning of the month what you are going to spend in each category, and then track how you’re doing during the month. For example, if you plan to spend $250 towards eating out, you’ll see where you are soon reaching that point, and make the choice not to eat out the remainder of the month. Now, the tool I use w/clients is called (EDITED OUT BY BLOG OWNER) which has this feature. I think you would find it a $59.95 well spent. It can be found at (EDITED OUT BY BLOG OWNER) On to read the rest of your blogs!

    Comment by Anne M. Ferguson — July 4, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

    • Thank you for your comment, Anne. Unfortunately, you’re not being totally honest about the product that you’re promoting – you are listed on their site as a counselor to work with, so you have some monetary interest in their success.

      However, I fully agree with your idea/concept, so I’m letting the comment run, edited. I do have a budget – but I haven’t been displaying my spending in context with the budget, which might be more helpful. I also have an emergency fund in savings, which is intended to fill the need when something unexpected comes up, such as a car repair or similar.

      Additionally, Mint can help keep track of spending in pre-defined categories, for free.

      Here is also a more comprehensive list of budgeting/personal finance tools.

      I am all for budgeting and keeping a spending log, and I’m all for getting out of debt as quickly as possible and making the changes stick. However, I bristle when I hear about people selling to the market of people trying to get out of debt. We need to spend less, not more – and any free data manipulation software provides all the tools you need. You could even use a piece of paper if it came down to it.

      Comment by unravelingmoney — July 5, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

      • I do want to clarify that I have NO financial interest in the MoneyMinder product. I use it as a tool w/my clients and am trained for that purpose; however, it is purchased from Financial Recovery Institute, and I do not benefit in any way from its purchase.

        I have seen the lists of products and am familiar with them; I suggested the product merely to be constructive and helpful,and it has been very beneficial very many people because of its features.

        Comment by Anne M. Ferguson — July 6, 2009 @ 7:57 am


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