Jan. 4th, 2012

jennythereader: (Default)
For the last month I've been trying to track where all of my money goes. I think I've missed a few little expenses here and there, and I'm pretty sure I didn't record most of my online spending, but I'm confident I have most of it in my spreadsheet.

I've tracked the total and the daily average amount of money spent in each of several categories. I haven't been super rigid about the categories, and if I buy things from several different categories in one transaction I just record it as whichever one I spent the most on. For example, a bottle of nail polish that I bought with the week's groceries gets lumped in with groceries, while the box of pasta I got from Target while clothes shopping gets rolled into the "clothing and appearance" column. I figure it all averages out in the long run.

The goal is to use this information to set up a weekly budget for myself. I'm going to use a version of the envelope system, but I'll be easing into it one category at a time for the next several months.

I'm going to start with what I call my "out and about food" budget. That's fast food, convenience stores and vending machines, and sit down restaurants. I spend money in this category pretty much every day, so it's the one I have the best data on. I'll multiply my daily average by 7, round it up to the nearest $10, and stick that much in an envelope. That's what I'm allowed to spend on food that isn't groceries for the next week. All other spending I'll continue to do the same old way. After a month or so I'll add another envelope, for whatever I have the next best data on (most likely gas and car expenses).
jennythereader: (Default)
For the last month I've been trying to track where all of my money goes. I think I've missed a few little expenses here and there, and I'm pretty sure I didn't record most of my online spending, but I'm confident I have most of it in my spreadsheet.

I've tracked the total and the daily average amount of money spent in each of several categories. I haven't been super rigid about the categories, and if I buy things from several different categories in one transaction I just record it as whichever one I spent the most on. For example, a bottle of nail polish that I bought with the week's groceries gets lumped in with groceries, while the box of pasta I got from Target while clothes shopping gets rolled into the "clothing and appearance" column. I figure it all averages out in the long run.

The goal is to use this information to set up a weekly budget for myself. I'm going to use a version of the envelope system, but I'll be easing into it one category at a time for the next several months.

I'm going to start with what I call my "out and about food" budget. That's fast food, convenience stores and vending machines, and sit down restaurants. I spend money in this category pretty much every day, so it's the one I have the best data on. I'll multiply my daily average by 7, round it up to the nearest $10, and stick that much in an envelope. That's what I'm allowed to spend on food that isn't groceries for the next week. All other spending I'll continue to do the same old way. After a month or so I'll add another envelope, for whatever I have the next best data on (most likely gas and car expenses).

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