So I spent an entire week tracking every cent that I spent. What did I learn? Quite a lot actually!
I don’t realize how many times I go to the store for just one thing, and come out with three or more. As much as I try to do just one big trip per week, there are always going to be a few things that I want to get fresh the day of. Think, fresh baked bread, salmon fillets etc. Well, each time I go in I end up coming out with more than just the one item. Ok not ALWAYS, but usually. Oh I forgot I need cheese, or bandaids, or chocolate. So instead of $2 it ends up being $11 or more. And if I do this three time a week, that’s $30 that I wasn’t planning on spending! I am going to try to be better about doing one shopping trip a week, and staying within that budget. I think that’ll really help trim a few bucks.
I never really think about bill paying. Let me explain. I pay my $300 vet bill (for example) but then when I look at my bank account I don’t know where the money went. Yes I’m paying down a bill, but it doesn’t feel the same for some reason.
Eating out adds up. I mean I know we all know this. But I never think about it because I really don’t eat out that often. But even two times in one week was over $20. And ya sometimes things come up, and we all go out. Ok, not the end of the world.
Keeping track helps. When I was writing down each penny I spent, I was a lot more aware. I didn’t want the internet to know that I spent money on X, Y, or Z so I didn’t spend it. And that helped! It goes back to accountability for me I think.
All in all I would definitely say this was a great experience. I recommend everyone try it for some period of time. That being said, I also learned that a total spending freeze isn’t always practical for everyone. I do however think small blocks of time are good. A day? A week? Try small. A month was almost feasible for me, and I have successfully done it before. But a few small things tripped me up. And I let it go. I didn’t want to feel like I had failed. And that’s okay!
Have you ever tried tracking your every penny? I recommend you try it some time. You might actually learn something about yourself!
2 thoughts on “Money Diary: What I learned”
Be the peace you are hoping for…
Yes! It’s not easy to do for many people though…
However, there are so many great apps to track your money or even write to down in a little book!