More Bread

This is my quest to get MORE BREAD (ie money), get rid of debt and other random things in my life.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Where's my money gone?

WARNING: This post on budgeting will be spread over several posts. The first step in making a good budget is figuring out where your money goes. I downloaded the last two months of transactions from my bank and am currently weeding through it to see where my money is going. I broke down each transaction into the following categories:

Food, Gas, Rent, Tickets (or Fun), Beer, CC Debt, and Student Loans, Misc.

I won't tell you how much was spent in each category, because it's not pretty. But mainly because I can't find the spreadsheet I was using yesterday. Anyways, the categories I used are pretty basic. You can get more detailed or broad depending on what you're looking to accomplish. Michael at apparently has sub-sub-categories, so it is possible to go overboard. The trick is to make it work for you.

Once I had my categories and figured out where my money was going and not going, I could focus on where I wanted my money to go. I was putting about $700 towards my combined debts, which was good, but I think can be better. Likewise I spent over $300 drinking with friends, which in a big city isn't that much alcohol but is a lot of money. So next month I'm making a better effort of having friends over instead of going out. Another category that is easy to cut back on is food. You have to eat. But you don't have to eat out. To my defense we had family in town for most of the month, so normally this will be less of an expense. Finally, cutting back on the Tickets category. For us, this means going to less plays and movies. This will be hard since there are many movies and plays we want to see.

I'm in the process of finalizing my budget for October. When I get that nailed down, I will post it along with how I made it. 


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