Shoeaholic No More

Thursday

2

January 2014

0

COMMENTS

How I Track Spending

Written by , Posted in Money & Finances

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thCAVG6AVWHappy Thursday! Today for me is more like a Monday/Thursday since I had the day off yesterday it feels like Monday, but tomorrow’s Friday so it’s still like a Thursday. 🙂

Having a holiday in the middle of the week the past 2 weeks has really messed with my brain.

Today I want to talk about the method I’ve chosen to track my spending. Here is my budget again for reference:

Category
Monthly Total
Method
Giving
$10.00
Cash
Saving
$50.00
Checking
Housing – Mortgage
$755.00
Checking
Housing – Repairs
$25.00
Cash
Utilities – City
$125.00
Checking
Utilities – Gas
$50.00
Checking
Cable
$78.00
Checking
Internet
$52.00
Checking
Phone
$95.00
Checking
Groceries
$160.00
Cash
Transportation – Gas
$90.00
Cash
Transportation – Repairs
$15.00
Cash
Car Insurance
$93.00
Checking
Clothes and Hair
$25.00
Cash
Pets
$25.00
Cash
Household
$15.00
Cash
Personal (Eating out, Entertainment)
$20.00
Cash
Crossfit
$80.00
Checking
Cleaning
$72.00
Checking
Debt Minimums
$628.30
Checking
Total
$2463.54
Income (Main Job only)
$2465.54
Leftover
$2.24
As you can see, many of my categories are cash for spending. This method is often cited for its ease because once your cash is gone it’s gone and you can’t continue spending!
I have set up a cash flow in excel next to my budget to make sure my checking account balance is always sufficient for the purchases I am making. I have planned to take out all cash at the beginning of the month, right after pay-day. Hopefully I won’t have to adjust this plan, as I like the ease of having all the month’s cash at once and that way I wouldn’t have to make multiple trips to the ATM.
I have organized my cash budgets in a coupon holder (affiliate link). I like mine because it has dividers and I labeled each section with what money it contains. It also zips all the way around unlike some that just snap shut, that way if I have loose change it won’t be falling out the top.

I borrowed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (affiliate link) from a friend and so far I have done the pre-lesson work and completed lesson 1: Super Savers, where Dave recommends having a $1,000 Emergency Fund (EF) before aggressively tackling debt. I am following that advice because it makes sense to my situation. I don’t have a spouse or someone to provide a second income so all I have is my income and if something were to happen just after I paid all of it toward debt, I’d have to whip out the credit card to cover the expense, thus undoing any progress I had just made.

On December 31, I took all forms of credit out of my purse and put them in a safe place. I do hope to have more in my EF in the future, but for now I’m sticking at the $1,000 goal until my debt is paid down.

For those of you who track your spending or are on your own debt reduction journey, what methods are you using?

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Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

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