It’s amazing how once you start tracking your expenses you start to realise just how much money you spend on things. If you would have asked me 3 months ago if I was good at saving I would have given you an emphatic yes, but I would have had no proof to back it up with. I just knew that I was good at saving, because I used to be good at saving.
The reality is somewhat different. You see my wife and I have finally started to track all of our expenses again, and the news isn’t all that good. It turns out that we used to be good at saving, but over the last couple of years (ever since we stopped tracking our money) things have taken a turn for the worse.
What’s most disturbing though, is that the increase in spending has gone pretty much unnoticed by me and my wife. I suspect it’s been a gradual thing that has slowly crept into our lives, where we now spend money on all sorts of things that we never used to. If I was going to provide you with a self-assessment of how we are going, I would say we are good at saving, but there is plenty of room for improvement.
What is most shocking to me, is the amount of money that we are now spending on little things – mostly food. Now I would call either my wife or I big eaters, and we are both within the standard weight range for our height, but the amount of little food purchases that happen, a lunch here, a scone there – it really starts to add up.
The other big thing that I am noticing is that we (mostly me) are going out a lot more with friends or work colleagues. It’s not just food then either, I will normally end up buying a beer or two – and not even the cheap stuff, I’m talking premium beers here.
Where did things go so wrong? Sure I am enjoying myself and the money that we earn, but I suspect that we could be saving close to an extra $150-$200 a month easily at the moment if we were to tighten our collective belts.
Now you may have read that we are aiming to get below $100 a day (on a month by month basis) and so far we are failing in that goal. I want to make sure that over the next few months leading up into 2015 we have at least half of those months under $100 (preferably more).
I think the biggest thing that is letting us down is the fact that ever since I got this new job I am earning about 25-30% more than I used to, so we have started taking money for granted, even though we are a single income family. That’s not the type of person that I want to be, and it’s certainly not the type of environment I want my son growing up in.
Do you know where all your money is going? How dedicated to saving money are you?