March 25, 2010 at 8:52 am #251747
OK, step three is now where we get serious about working on our habits. But first we will be creating a new habit. Now take a deep breath – I don’t want to lose you here!
Step Three is – Where is it all going?
To find the answer we will first need to write down everything we spend. Sounds hard? It isn’t. It has become a habit in our house and I will tell you how.
Go out and get yourself a notebook that will fit into the bag you normally carry. If you don’t carry a bag, you’ll have to find something you can write on that you take with you everywhere.
When you spend money, no matter how big or small the amount, you write it in your notebook – noting the amount and what it was spent on, eg. $4 – takeway coffee. Make sure you note the date range too – either for a week or a day or a month (up to you).
Why are we doing that?
By keeping track of every dollar you spend, you will see a trend in your spending which will help you to make better & better decisions as you move forward with this process. Just how that all works is clearly explained in the book and will be explained over time for those who are working without. For now, though, start by tracking every cent you spend. We’ll do that for the next week and then I’ll start showing you what to do with the information you are gathering.
Now – your mantra is “NO SHAME, NO BLAME” – don’t beat yourself up for spending too much, more than you wanted or on frivolous things. Just record your normal spending habits. You will find that having to write it down will make you think twice anyway, but if you really have to buy it, buy it. We’ll look at how to reduce it later.
Have fun!March 25, 2010 at 9:28 am #458503redhen2Member
i’ve been doing this for a couple of months now. it’s driving the family mad, but interesting exercise.March 25, 2010 at 10:31 am #458504bluezbanditMember
I have an application on my iphone that records my spending! Very handy indeed, I have been doing it for over a year now!
DebMarch 25, 2010 at 11:58 am #458505starrubyMember
OH I so want an iphone. OK will do this whilst I’m still decluttering. Have a notepad I use to remind me of things already. I’m assuming we get the other half to do this as well?March 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm #458506Crazy Bucket LadyMember
I’ve started this one last week. My other half has totally different ideas, and while he has tried to co-operate, he is a bit half hearted about it and is only doing it to keep me happy. So, I have just separated our financial responsibilities so that i don’t have to stress or guess what he has spent money on. Starruby, if your other half is keen to do it, then that’s a major bonus!March 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm #458507
Yes, it works best if everyone who spends the household money records what they spend.March 29, 2010 at 4:24 am #458508
bump.March 29, 2010 at 5:40 am #458509Michelle-smMember
I have been tracking my spending for about 10 years so it is well and truly a habit now.
I don’t know what my DH spends, but then I don’t know what he earns either so I don’t include him unless it is money that comes out of our joint account or is spent on the credit card.
When I first started doing this years ago I found it really made me stop and think about what I was spendiong my money on and one year when I worked out I had spent over $1K on lotto and scratchie tickets I was horrified and cut back to almost nothing.
Now however, even though I still track my spending it doesn’t seem to stop me from spending on things I don’t need.
I think that since we have gotten out of debt and paid off our house there isn’t the urgency to save money for the mortgage etc so I have become a bit too laid back about what I spend.
We really need to be saving for the future but I am finding it hard to get the motivation to do it.March 29, 2010 at 8:38 am #458510mossyMember
I started this a month ago but got really slack and haven’t been doing it the last couple of weeks :shy:
I’ll start again :p:lol:March 29, 2010 at 10:58 pm #458511AbbysMumParticipant
I started tracking my supermarket spending, so I could guage what I needed to make via preserving and for storage for a year. Have to admit it is a boring job with so many entries. I do it in excell. What has it proven? not totally sure I can answer that. It has been interesting to note the price flucuations. When Auldi started lowering there shelf prices or advertising their prices and Safeway matched the game. I did note a lot of other items went UP in price. For example AllBran. when I started it was $4.90 a box then moved to $5.05 and went up to arounf %5.60 when Safeway dropped some prices it has now risen to nearly $6 per box. I have to wonder what else got upped in price so as to maintaon profit but LOOK allealingApril 4, 2010 at 7:38 am #458512windyhillMember
Tracking your spending is difficult, however it has made me change one thing. Takeaway coffee. I used to buy one in the morning before work and then the staff would have a coffee run so I would buy another. Sometime one for lunch as well. After adding this all up, I bought a plunger for my office and bring in my own coffee. I do buy good coffee but it has certainly saved me a bundle already. This extra savings has gone on to my credit card debt.:clap::clap:April 7, 2010 at 11:09 am #458513
Well done, windyhill. :tup:
Tracking spending is a big effort, but really well worth it when you can reflect on what you have spent – it helps to make changes, however small, that add up.April 11, 2010 at 12:50 am #458514bdm6125Member
Phew, have caught up! Reading to hubby has been a tad painful but also rewarding. It allows us to debate and offer differing points of view as we go! As I already have done the recording every penny bit, we already had worked out a lot of the ‘silly’ spending patterns we had and have made quite a few changes without living in the budget prison the author talks about! I even accepted a casual job that I normally would have skimmed over, but after doing the sums, proved to be well worth the effort!
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