My Money, My Choices - Level 2, Activity 2

Activity: Track Spending in a Spending Journal

This is the activity that I haven't been looking forward to...but the one that I think will finally see Jordan and I getting on track with our $600/bi-weekly allotment for all discretionary (is that the right word?) spending.  It's the amount that is automatically transferred into our day-to-day chequing account that we are meant to use for:

  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Entertainment
  • Pets
  • Clothes/Shoes/Hair
  • Eating Out
  • Alcohol
  • Medical
What I have been doing for the last several years is tracking our spending by reconciling our debit and credit card transactions...and while that tells us if we hit the mark, it doesn't keep us on track during the month.  What ends up happening is that I categorize an entire shopping trip to Costco as groceries but we might have purchased dog food, and a couple of t-shirts while we were there too.

I think this activity is also really going to help me get my head around Anonymous' comment from a few days back about how much Jordan and I spend (combined) on groceries, eating out, and alcohol.  The eating out and alcohol are accurate - but perhaps sometimes they should be categorized as gifts if the bottle of wine is for a house warming.

First things first, we need a book.

As I am writing this post, it's March 13, 2014 - though i'm scheduling this for later on in the month.  So this picture is when I've started...but I hope in the next few weeks - I've got something more substantial to show you.

Check out the My Money, My Choices program by clicking here.


  1. I've been tracking my spending pretty well for the last 2 years (with some gaps) but I find its not until I put those amounts in my budget spreadsheet (or subtract from the balance from that category) that I really see if I'm on track or not, so I try to do this at least once per week. I agree that it takes time but its worthwhile to break down your spending accurately, keeping the receipts and dividing out items into their proper spending category, makes it much more accurate. Can't wait to see the update!

    1. I don't know how you do it! Oh right...discipline...that thing i'm working on lol. My first post that deals with tracking everything is going to be a crash and burn...I've completely stuffed it up. But we're going to keep trying!


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