Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yet Another Attempt At Tracking Expenses?

Business background
Yes, I have already made two attempts to track actual spending during the past year, and I have failed miserably both times.

Why then, have I decided to give it another shot?

Tracking expenses is an important aspect of personal finance. At least I believe it to be. And I am in good company.

Tracking expenses is an important step in Joe Dominguez's financial plan outlined in his book Your Money Or Your Life. Those who have been reading my blog will know that I started following this plan at the beginning of the year. (Read about the steps I have completed here.) I have had much trouble trying to track all money that comes into and goes out of my life.

Well, the money that comes into my life I have been able to track. It is the money that goes out that I have had trouble with. I guess that so much money goes out of my life that this is quite a daunting task! But as I feel it is an important step I am going to try again starting March 1st. The difference this time is that I will be tracking only one category, the one that I believes the most attention in my family - food.

Now, I am a bargain grocery shopper. I clip coupons, scan the sale flyers, shop a variety of stores, and stock up on good bargains. But groceries are not the problem area. Dining out/take out and "coffee breaks/snacks" I feel should be more closely monitored. So, March first another attempt at monitoring will begin.

My plan is to keep an envelope in my purse for all food receipts. Each week or at the end of the month, I'll go through the receipts and categorize the food spending. Then I can continue along with the step of Your Money Or Your Life, which will include evaluating weather or not I received sufficient value for these "food" expenses, in relation to the amount of life energy my family traded for it.

I'll keep you posted!


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Read more on this topic in Your Money or Your Life (Part 1), The Daily Tracking of Expenses Experiment is Over, and Trouble With Tracking.