Welcome to my first spending update!
I’ve been tracking my finances since the 90’s and have always had a pretty good idea of where my money goes. I use a program called Microsoft Money Sunset Edition (Sadly, it is no longer updated but you can find a copy free online at the link – use at your own risk!) I enter everything I spend on a daily basis – if I make a purchase on my credit card, I will post it into the software immediately (Don’t forget – I’m an accountant!)
It is now just past the middle of July and a I’ve noticed a few things. I won’t go into detail of exactly how much I spend, but here is what sticks out:
- I’ve spent too much on eating out.
- I’ve also spent too much on Starbucks!
The weather has been nice and I haven’t felt like cooking or ordering from my usual meal plan service. I also love the ritual of buying a Starbucks on the way to work. It is just so relaxing!
My biggest weakness involves a pub down the street. They have a wing night that I simply cannot resist – yes, beer and chicken wings is my vice of choice. But cheap wings aside, after a few drinks, the bill can get to $50 fairly quickly.
As mentioned before, going out and getting a coffee is one of my favorite activities, especially at the beginning of a long walk. I do make coffee at home in the morning, but to be honest, it is not the same thing. Without a doubt, though, I still spend less on coffee than I used to.
In the past, when I had a good job (I still do, but it doesn’t pay as much), I suffered from lifestyle inflation – I used to spend a fortune on travel, food and entertainment, clothing – you name it! I was seriously on the career treadmill – overweight and unhappy – running to desperately keep up.
I’ve made huge strides over the years and no longer attempt to keep up with the corporate lackeys I see downtown. I’ve gotten my spending down considerably, but it’s a process, even after all these years. Sometimes, I fall back on old habits and have to adjust in the following months.
I’ll keep doing these updates periodically. See you soon!