The Power of Tracking Expenses

graphing-your-expenses

I didn’t set any specific financial goals the past year.  All I know was that I have been spending money without thinking.  However, I did track my expenses since January and I am pretty shocked at what I saw!   It really shows how mindless spending can impact on your savings goal.

Here is a snapshot of my average monthly income, spending and savings since January 2014:

Average Income - spend

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Untitled

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Car insurance: I pay this yearly so the amount on the spreadsheet is just to show how much I need to put away a month to pay my car insurance in full.

The Mortgage: Reflected in the spreadsheet is the portion that I pay.  The Husband and I have a mortgage of  about $1400 a month.  We really want to pay down our mortgage as quick as possible so we are putting in more than we need to pay.

Gifts:  I spent way more than I expected on gift this year, but then again, it’s because it’s the big 3-0 birthday dinners so we are going to nicer restaurants for food and drinks.

Household: Includes anything that is associated with fixing up the house or buying furniture.

Clothes: I have spent $544.57 on CLOTHES PER MONTH the past 7 months!  That’s ridiculous! I don’t even remember what I bought!  Okay, maybe my spending spree have contributed to a portion of it, but still $544.57 a month for the past 7 months?!  That’s about $3800 that I spent on STUFF! GAH!!!!!

Restaurants: I am not surprised as I was taking classes two nights a week the past year right after work and have spent quite a bit of money on grabbing fast dinner food.

Savings: Savings include money I put away into RRSP and high interest account.  I didn’t break it down any further.   I don’t put much in my RRSP as my work takes about 12% of my gross income off all my paycheques as pension contribution.

Since I have RELIGIOUSLY tracked my expenses the past 7 months, I have a pretty good idea of where I am overspending and could set a much more realistic budget at first and start shaving off unnecessary costs as time goes on.

Now that I have a wake up call, it’s time for me to get back on track.   Here is what I project my average income, spending, saving will be for the rest of the year for now:

Goal Average

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I hope to tweak and revisit this budget bit by bit every month to see what I can cut back (especially the restaurants part).  I really want to save that $1000 a month on top of the money I save for to pay for my car insurance and my travel fund.

How about you, did you have any shocking moments when you review your spending? 

~The Money Pincher~

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6 thoughts on “The Power of Tracking Expenses

  1. Good thing you were tracking all that spending so you can analyze and now take action! I think I probably used to spend similarly on clothing when I was not tracking. eek. You may want to check your percentage on groceries. Miscellaneous is the same amount but the 4.2% looks more accurate. Thanks for your comment on my blog today and for linking my post. I’m going to check your post out now. 🙂

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