Expenses Aplenty!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's amazing how you can think you're spending very little, but in reality you're spending a ton of money without realizing it. This tracking-all-expenses thing has been a definite eye-opener for me. Since January 1, I've been saving each of my receipts and tracking all my purchases in an Excel sheet to see exactly where my money is going, and it's crazy how quickly purchases add up. I thought I'd been doing really well--I have only bought my lunch once this month, and it's being expensed to a client, so it's essentially free. My Starbucks purchases have all been going on my gift card (GOD BLESS YOU ALLISON!!) so in essence, they're free, too. H2B has been particularly generous lately and filled my tank with gas last week, which is never a bad thing. I HAVE been shopping, but I got things that were all very versatile and on sale. For example, yesterday I spent $56.00 at Le Chateau on a dress and shoes on sale. If I'd paid regular price, they'd have cost me $190.00 plus tax.

H2B's birthday is on Wednesday so a lot of this month's purchases are birthday gifts for him. I got him two Blu-Rays, a digital picture frame, and a book called Men Are Better Than Women which he will find hilarious. I also picked up a card, cake mix, and frosting because I'm a kitchen bitch for cakes, and will likely take him out to dinner on Wednesday evening. All in all I'm probably spending $250 on H2B's birthday, but he is unbelievably generous to me (long weekend in NYC for example??) so I am justifying it pretty easily. The fact of the matter is H2B earns way more than I ever hope to earn, so he can afford to spend a lot more than I can. At first I tried to keep up but let's face it, I cannot be shelling out for random international weekend trips and Hugo Boss outfits.

Here's what I've spent so far this month, which completely shocked me:

-Rent & Utilities: $603.00
-Groceries: $29.33
-Dress and shoes (regular $190+tax): $56.00
-Two blu-rays: $75.00
-Digital photo frame (on sale): $110.00
-Book and card (with Chapters discount card): $21.00
-Giraffe bag (eBay): $40.00
-Lunch and parking during photo shoot Friday: Free (expensable)
-Coffee at Starbucks: Free (gift card)
-Drugstore stuff: $7.00
-Hockey tickets: $32.00 (Christmas gift)
-Visa: $71.00 (includes bridge toll for the month and the last of the Christmas purchases)

Total so far in January: $1044.33


I suck at math, but those numbers do not lie. That's a crapload of cash, and the worst part is, I had no concept of spending it. The good news is I should still be able to meet my savings goals for the month pretty painlessly. It's scary how you can blow through a grand without even really realizing it.

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  1. *raises hand* :) I felt that way a couple of times myself

    "How the.. $2000!? ON WHAT?"

    Hah.. it's why I track everything now.

    Fabulously Broke in the City

    "Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."

  2. I know!! I mean, I'd look at my bank statements in the past so I'd know roughly what was coming and going in and out of my account, but I never really thought about the amount I spend and what it's on. I don't feel like I've been particularly extravagant this month yet seeing $1,000+ in the 'expenses' total really hits home.

  3. Wow. You're on the right track! Paying attention is the first step.

    You know, I would probably still count those "expensable" items anyway in your spending for the month - bc you have to budget (make sure you have enough cash) for whenever they may occur.

    Then, when you get reimbursed, add that to your income for the month.

    Anyway, just a suggestion.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  4. Groceries: $29.33?

    Girl, we gotta get you eating more!

  5. @ Shila...never thought of looking at expenses that way. Thanks!

    @Authentic Seacoast...I definitely eat more than that! No worries! We split the groceries and luckily I didn't have any big purchases to make when it was my turn. The boy got stuck buying laundry detergent and a humungous box of chicken breasts whereas mine consisted of rice, bananas, cereal and soup and other little cheapie items :)