Join Me and Track Your EVERY Expense This Month

You can’t figure out where you are going until you know where you are.  This month, I want to discover how much we spend EVERY day.

It is no secret that we want to get out of debt as quickly as possible.  However, there are a few life changes that have made this a bit more difficult:

Paying for Japanese School

After careful considerations and visits to both preschools we have considered sending my middle daughter to, we finally made the difficult choice to send her to Japanese school.  Obviously, it is very important to my husband that she learn his native language as our son is doing.  However, as my husband is only home for about 2 to 2.5 hours when the kids are awake, he has little time to talk to them in Japanese, so the school helps fill that void.  (And honestly, even when he was home, he was never very good about it.  Talking in Japanese would be easier if I spoke it too, which is on my list of things to do when the kids head off to school.)

We visited the other preschool, but we just didn’t care for it as much as Japanese school, and our daughter seemed much more at ease in Japanese school.

To save on costs, we delayed her entrance for 6 months, but now it is time.  This will be a new expense to our tight budget, so we are going to have to be very careful with our money.

Our Food

The other expense is our food.  I am temporarily off gluten, and we, as a family, are dairy and soy free, so we buy rice or almond milk.  Also, I want to eat organic vegetables and fruits, so we pay more for those.  I have upped our grocery budget to $600 a month, which includes money to set aside for future meat and CSA purchases.

All of this means that an already tight budget is going to be tighter.  If I am careless with how I spend, I will lose my ability to snowflake.

So, this month I am challenging myself to write down every single thing I spend and report back here to you once a month.  I am hoping this will help me see where we unnecessarily spend money so we can cut the budget a bit more for more debt repayment money.

Would you like to join me?  Come track your expenses each week and share what you learn.  If you are game, leave a comment and then come link up next Monday.

Comments

  1. Ok hon – I’m game. Always a great idea to get back to basics with your budgeting and I think that doing this will make me question “Do I need this?” every time I reach for my purse.

    Need a cheap month to get back on track – already down £50 MOT, £220 car tax and £150 car repairs today alone – GULP!!!

  2. I’m currently reading “Your Money or Your LIfe” (it’s old, but has some great info) and this is one of the steps in their 9-step program; track every cent. They say that it builds financial integrity, one of the goals of their program. I’m not doing the steps yet, I’m first reading the book, but I might join you in a month! 😉

  3. I usually track my spending as it works better than a budget for me but I will admitt, with birthdays and tax season and such I have slacked the last couple of months so yeah I will join ya and get back on track! Tracking every expense you make can be a real eye opener and bring you into a very conscious way of spending! Look forward to it!

  4. Count me in!!

  5. Mint keeps track of this for me, thankfully! We’re using a bit more cash for Craigslist purchases for the wedding, though, so it’s important to keep track of those as well. I’ll note everything, but I’m still undecided about posting amounts on my blog. Maybe I’ll write it up a little differently.

  6. This reminds me of a diet diary when you are trying to lose weight. It is an excellent way to get control of your finances as well as your eating.

  7. I’m game! I think by not tracking every expense that I am holding myself back! I think I may be in a bit of denial too. I spend small amounts unnecessarily, they add up. I recently bought Mead’s Organizher product for financial organizing. It also has freebie downloads that you can get from their site. One is a expense tracker and I was just waiting for May to get it started. Perfect timing. I sure respect your decision to enroll your daughter in Japanese school, you and your husband are amazing in your commitment to your children. Refreshing to see!!!!

  8. looking forward to this! 🙂

  9. We usually do that but for some reason the last two months I have not been as good as I should be and our spending went up. Ugh. I am in. Plus it will get me and the hubbie back on the money date we have at the wnd of the night. We will see if I can lower the budget by 3%. Thanks for the challenge and accounability. 🙂

  10. I’m in for our food expenses! We’ve already started in mid-April. Writing down every food expense is really helping us stay within our budget instead of just shrugging when we go over every month.

  11. I am in! After being on unpaid maternity/medical leave for the past 3 months our finances have taken a huge hit and I really need to get things back on track. Now that Benjamin is 1 month old now, I feel like I NEED/WANT to get back into the mode of watching our finances like a hawk! This will be a great way to do that! 🙂

  12. This is a great idea – we were doing this for a long time, then I got lazy/busy etc. and I know our spending has drifted since I stopped. This month is going to be VERY spendy, so it would be both good and bad to track every purchase!

  13. I am in. I actually use quicken to balance my budget and to stay on track.

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