Each month I do a full account review of my finances.
I review every dollar I made and every dollar I spent.
Everything goes in a category. Each category gets totaled.
Sounds kind of boring, right?
Except it isn’t.
It’s mind-blowingly fascinating.
Even though I plan in advance with my budget, balance my checkbook daily and generally keep good tabs on things, there’s almost always one line item that shocks me.
What I think I’m doing with my money and what I’m actually doing with it are often very different.
And it’s awesome.
I get to discover on paper how my money is working for me and how it’s working against me.
I get to learn about myself and my money on deep and rich level.
Most importantly, I get to decide if I want to keep engaging in the same behaviors or change them.
To make it even more fun, I’m going to share what I discover with you.
I’m going to tell you what surprised me and I’m going to show you how I change my thoughts around my spending to create a different result. This is where I get really, real with you. You’re going to see how a money coach coaches herself around money.
November Account Review:
Top 3 Spends
- Cell Phones
Food: $1400 – Almost equally divided between eating in and eating out.
The single greatest thing I’ve discovered this month is that my thoughts about not wanting to cook are preventing me from coming up with a plan around meals.
Not only do I end up spending more on expensive, last minute food items, I actually get less enjoyment from the whole process of eating.
When it comes to making dinner, I’m often scattered, hungry and annoyed. Not a pretty picture.
If I want to maximize my joy from food and my money, I’ve got to think about the whole thing differently.
Things to consider:
How much value am I getting from this spend?
Not as much as I could be. I haven’t necessarily been making high quality foods or having remarkable dining out experiences. For $1400 I expect more than what I’ve been giving myself.
Could I have the same satisfaction/enjoyment around food and spend less money? Why/Why not?
Absolutely. I throw out a lot of food and am generally disorganized when I go to the store. I end up buying food that I don’t enjoy that much because it’s easy/fast. If I planned in advance for the week I could have foods I enjoyed more and spend less money.
What do I think is stopping me from planning/organizing?
I don’t really like to cook so I don’t put much planning into it. It’s funny because not planning actually makes me dislike the entire process. It’s time to eat and I realize I don’t know what to make. I end up going for what’s fast and easy vs. what I enjoy.
The biggest motivator for me is that I want to enjoy my food and my money.
I’m playing around with the thought: planning my meals in advance helps me enjoy my food and my money.
It’s totally true and it helps me get excited about a plan for the week. I know I’ll end up eating better and having more money.
Goal: Reduce food expenses to $1000 a month.
Put your comments in the comments section below. Specifically answer these two questions:
- Are there any categories where you’re spending more than you realized?
- What tips do you have for maximizing your food budget?