I’ve been floating along with my finances for way too long and this week I simply decided to get a handle on everything. I reassessed my cashflow which wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been but that doesn’t mean everything is all happy in the land of Matt’s finances. I’m still spending too much money and the only way to get a hold of that is to simply cut spending. To achieve this end I’m have started tracking my spending daily.
Today is the first week that I’ll be posting my budget for the week. I have kept it fairly high level for the time being which works for me and I’ll see how it plays out. I’ve also kept my bills off of this budget, I know what they are and they’re being addressed they also haven’t changed very much in the past year so getting the spending under control is step on.
May 26-June 1
A bit of explanation on how this is broken down: Alcohol is for things like beer and wine that I purchase during the week. I know that this is a category that if need be could be completely wiped out but I enjoy my wine with dinner. What I’ve dubbed as Food-Lunch is literally that eating out for lunch. Food is groceries and an area that I would like to concentrate some more. Entertainment is for going out and anything related. Next on the list is smoking – I know I shouldn’t smoke but I still do so for the time being I’m tracking it separately.
Transportation and Gas are anything that’s related to driving and getting around. I have about half a tank of gas in at the moment so the $20 is just in case I need to top up. Finally Misc. this is a very loose category that is meant to encompass anything that doesn’t fall into the above categories and it always fluctuates. I still have to get the car looked at and that will probably drive the misc category up – unfortunately I don’t know how much so for the time being I have left it off (but money is set aside for it).
Since this is the first time I’m doing this I’ve tried to be generous with the numbers while being realistic. I think this is a bit less than I’m spending at the moment. The goal is to keep myself accountable and because its my first week I wanted to test it out. I’ll be posting this chart on the side nav and update it daily.
This week is a trial run, I want to get into the habit of posting this information up and see how it works. Next week I will adjust the budget and post it up again on Sunday, but starting next week I will also be giving myself incentive to achieve my goals with a contest if I don’t meet the numbers. I know it’s a bit of a strange idea but I need to make sure I like a fire under my butt and keep this going. I’ll make the announcement with the details later in the week (probably Sunday)
If anyone has any thoughts and suggestions I’d be curious to hear them!