1/20/2016

Day to Day Spending

For those of you who have been following our journey for a while now, you know that Jordan and I have our fixed and variable spending money split into different accounts.  Our fixed account, or workhorse, does not have debit card access.  It's the account where bills like the mortgage are paid, and income like my EI and Jordan's salary is deposited.  It pays the day-to-day spending account $425/week.  Every once in a while, I review this amount and what's it for to make sure that it's aligned.  Given that we've had so many changes, I think it's time to look at it again.

If we look at our 2015 report from last week, I can pull out the categories that are from day-to-day spending rather than planned spending.

On average we spent just over $2,100/month on items that are intended to be covered by $1,842 ($425*52/12).     So, obviously we overspent what we had budgeted.

We have no credit card debt (I swear), but this is how it happens for sure.  The money came from cash we had stashed for planned spending - for example taking money from the home or vehicle maintenance accounts.

We do have some money in our planned savings accounts, it's clear why we don't have as much as I think we should.

So.  Do we change the budget, or do we spend differently?

I'm inclined to try to spend differently.

I talked about these categories generally in the 2015 spend review - but we need to get better about the $$ that goes in our mouths (or in the trash as the case may be).  I think the Alcohol, Medical, Entertainment, and Pets are all pretty reasonable on a month to month basis.  It's the Gas, Groceries, and Eating Out that we need to watch.  Does this sound like a post I've written before?

If it does, it's because our groceries and eating out spending has always been something that we've struggled to manage.

My mom is a champion at shopping with flyers (we don't have coupon's like the United States) - and I'm starting to get re-aquainted with them.  I'm hoping to pick up more of my mom's grocery spending tricks as I spend more time in her home.

As far as eating out, I need to decline to go out as often as invited and perhaps when we do go - have cash for our portion of the bill. This is hard because I felt like we were doing better here, but we're clearly not doing as well as I thought.  I'm wondering if we're going out less, but spending more when we do, or if it's something else.  Either way, I'm going to try to get more disciplined here.

Maybe if I started posted all the eating out transactions a month, or a week - that would help keep me disciplined?  I'll have to think about that.

So, I don't think I can reduce the $425/week but I'm also not prepared to increase it.  I would like to get it back down to $400, but we can't do that until we're spending differently unless we want to be pulling out credit cards again.


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3 comments:

  1. Hi Jessie! I'm new around here, but wanted to say hi! It sounds like we have had many of the same struggles with the whole eating out thing. We've started having people over for potluck dinners more often which is saving us a fortune (since we aren't eating out), but allowing us to be social at the same time. It's definitely a great way to save a few extra dollars. As for groceries- forgive me if you already do this- but price matching (at Walmart using the Flipp app- so much easier than flyers) and cash back deals with Checkout51, Zweet and Snap by Groupon are great money savers. We've cut our grocery bill down dramatically with these things.

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    1. Hey there! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Where we live there are only two grocery stores - no big department stores like Walmart etc. So we do, do some price comparison shopping but there just isn't a lot of options for that here. I do use checkout51, but have been slacking on that for sure. I think the biggest thing we'll be able to do is start a veggie garden once we land in our new place.

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  2. HI Jessie, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Eating out is something we do more often than I would like also. I definitely would keep track of it for a month or two, just to see where the patterns are. Also, when I keep track of something, I tend to do better because I don't want to write down things that aren't so good. Don't know if that applies to you, but seems to work for me. Good luck.

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