Archive for December, 2008

Accounting for my expenses trial – Days 18 to 26

December 22, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

I still haven’t got around to do a monthly budget, but that will come soon. Hopefully.

It’s been almost 4 weeks, and I’ve got to say that I have some sense of empowerement towards my finances, that I had always considered to be out of my control until now. All it took really, to see what I spent, was to keep all those receipts, and log them in frequently.

I’m actually not paying that much in bank fees. It’s just like I thought: the “going out” account is taking a lot of my budget. Now that I’ve started paying back my obligations, I can see that the cost of debt is going to be heavy. This month is a bit particular as I had a big repayment to make on top of my student loan. I expect that it will not be such a burden in coming months.

expenses_day_24

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Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 17

December 13, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

Yesterday, I talked about budgeting, and I realized a couple of hours later, that I’m going to have to allow a budget line for unexpected emergencies… Let me explain. Something really stupid happened to me: I turned off my phone to take the plane, and when I turned it back on, I put in 3 times the wrong pin code, so now it is locked. The problem is that I was stuck in a foreign city, and I swiped my credit card at least 5 or 6 times at a public pay phone to attempt to reach my friends on their mobiles… I’m not sure how much the phone company charges for that, but I’m pretty sure it’s way over what it should be. Then I realized: what if I need emergency funds for something more important? Like medical expenditure for instance… This makes me feel quite vulnerable. Right now, I know I could rely on my family if I had to, but a) I don’t like that thought and b) until when?

Accounting for my expenses trial – Days 11 to 16

December 12, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

So I am halfway through this trial.

I still enjoy it, because I see where my money is going, but I am now sure that this will have to be followed by some cost cutting, and learning how to follow a budget. I wanted to end until day 30 to make a budget, but it looks like I may have to do it now and stick to it until the end of this trial…

I am writing from an airport, waiting for a flight with more than 1 hour delay, so it looks like this is exactly the kind of things I have time to do now!!

Other than that, I will share the Excel file that I am using for it (without the numbers of course) for anybody who’s interested in downloading it. But I will post it on day 30, since I improve it everyday.

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On another note, the thoughts shared on this blog got me a remark that I was indeed drinking too much beer. When I heard this, I thought: if I say “no”, I will sound like an alcoholic, so my only choice, I guess, is to say “yes”. Problem: being the unmeasured person that I am, i.e. having the difficulty to do what I like only half way, made me wonder whether going dry should be my next 30 day trial. I mean, this could be very interesting. You hear everywhere things like: it’s bad for your weight, it costs money, it’s not the only way to have fun with people… so I guess living it for 30 days will make me realize whether these are just things people are saying, or if this is actually true.

expenses_day_16

Accounting for my expenses trial – Day 10

December 6, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

Tonight was a case of spending way too much money when I really shouldn’t have done so. Overpriced restaurant, and keeping on ordering drinks to attempt to get the night going. I was in good company, but the night was kind of slow, and it’s like we kept on ordering to keep the pace going. I have spent 3-4 times as much as nights when I actually was dancing and getting crazy all night long; and I feel like we could have had the same kind of fun by just staying home and drink beers on our own, rather than getting crazy on the wallet.

*sigh*

expenses_day_10

Accounting for my expenses trial – Days 5 to 9

December 5, 2008

For 30 days, I’ve decided to watch and account for all my expenses.

Ok, I know it looks like I haven’t been working on this because I have not posted in the past 5 days, but I have! First, still good at reporting all my expenses every day. Second, I took my accounting a step further (that’s my geek side) by downloading a Family Budget Planner Excel document at the following website:

http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/family-budget-planner.html

I’ve added a tab on my file, and I’ve decided to rename all my categories according to their classifications. So at least, I don’t have to worry about inventing that.

The one thing that I notice, is how little cash is wasted in those first 9 days. I mean, I used to waste cash like crazy. Whenever there were coins or bills in my pocket, I felt they had to be spent somehow, and now that I am accounting for everything, I don’t spend it. I hope this will continue, as it will do me a world of good.

Second, I have realized that there will be a necessary follow up to this trial. My first 30 days, I watch how my money is being spent, but I think that I’m going to have to do another 30 days of cost-cutting, or at least maintaining a budget.

Third, on day 1, I thought Entertainment was what could cause my financial doom, but it may be otherwise. Maybe I could save on some other ways. For example, Business expense are 25% of my expenses. These make me go overdraft, and therefore I pay interest on them, and probably some bank fees; I went to the accountant at my work place, and they said I could ask for money advance, so that I won’t pay the interest!

I am sure there will be many other ways to save money, and that I won’t have to cut down too much on the having fun !!!

Here is my graph at the moment:

expenses_day_9