Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tightwad Tuesday: Tracking Expenses Challenge

Okay, so I'm posting Tightwad Tuesday a day late on Wednesday instead.  *Smile*   I got a bit side tracked with our move but I'm back in the saddle again.. at least for this week.. and hope to post TT a bit more regularly. 

I've learned some of my most frugal practices from the TWG. I like to make it a yearly goal to browse through it's pages to spark new frugal motivation so this year I decided to share some of  my favorite frugal  practices from TGW with you and hopefully start a few new ones.

The frugal tip for this week is keeping a journal of your spending expenses. I did try to keep tracking of how much I spent on groceries once and I definitely felt it was helpful. But, I've never tracked everything we've spent for an entire month.

This is a different financial season for my husband and I .. every penny LITERALLY counts with no room for error. Starting in October my budget dropped another $1,000 and we are now officially living below poverty level. Funny though ...  I don't feel poor. :-)  I am very, very blessed and well-taken care of by my Heavenly Father. Every need  my husband and I have is abundantly met and many 'wants', too.

 So, I'm considering keeping a journal in February. The purpose will be to monitor all 'optional' spending. There are still dollars slipping through my fingers and I'm hoping if I make an effort to write down every penny it might deter some unnecessary spending.

Do you keep a financial journal?


11 comments:

  1. Yes we track every thing we buy. I just use a loose leaf binder and list all general expenses{groceries, car expenses, gifts, tith, etc} and on the back of that page the usual monthly and yearly expenses. Spacing the cataglories every say 2-3 lines so space to add the purchases. The third page for each month has doctors, dentist, perscriptions and over the counter medical purchases. I like my homemade book better as I can custom it. Sarah

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  2. Just as there is emotional eating, there is emotional spending I guess. I did both yesterday--buying a sandwich instead of waiting to get home to make something. Your challenge has me thinking and also admiring you.

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  3. Think I'm going to join you! Thank you for sharing this!

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  4. I enjoy your blog so much because you give God the glory for meeting your needs.
    We track our expenses with software we bought years ago from Crown Financial Ministries. They've changed it now and it costs more than the version we have. We budget for everything. Our grocery cash goes into a wallet that I call my grocery cash wallet. It's what I use instead of an envelope.
    Blessings

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  5. I've started them a few times, but I just was not good at that.
    Instead I continuously look at ever purchase and try to consider if I'm doing the best I can to get a good price for our needs and if I am wasting money.
    For instance this morning I was packing a few items that I sold in my etsy shop and made up my mind not to leave home without having them ready to ship. I didn't run out and buy a container for them. I sat down and thought hard how to use what I already had. I did have to pick up some tape and a stamp I will re-use for all my sales. But I used tissue and brown paper and recycled cardboard and made my own packaging--including making the items look like they were wrapped pretty. All I had to add was a tied bit of string and a birdy stamp and tape up the edges when I got to the post office.

    I love the challenge of using what we have already and getting a good price on other things-- and walking away from things I don't really need. I'm not that good though at writing it down--but I use my debit all the time and I can sort and look at my expenses online very easily--so that's good. Also I keep receipts for most things. Until I'm sure I won't need them--and I keep a pricebook for staples--though I don't need it as much as I used to.

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  6. Hi There,
    Thank you for the follow and stopping by my blog. Here is the link for the Grocery Cash Wallet. Again, I enjoy your posts and look forward to reading more.
    Blessings

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  7. You're such an inspiration is so many ways.... thank you for sharing your tips.
    I need to try keeping a monthly financial journal....great idea!
    Hugs,

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  8. I have a budget book with a page where I write down all the checks and debits. I don't use cash much because it's harder to keep track of. I tried to do a no spend month this month. The idea was not to buy anything I didn't truely need and to put it off if I could. It was going well until my computer died, but I did try to get a cheaper one this time and spent about half what I spent last time. That purchase kind of broke my resolve a bit and I bought a few books. I'm going to try again in Feb. because it did help. I've been praying for a mattress and I think I'm getting a free sleep number from my dd. They are replacing theirs. God is good. I decided I needed to be praying more about my needs and see what God would do so I have a list of more expensive items that I need and the mattress was on that list. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It is inspiring.
    Linda

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  9. I don't keep a journal ..my absolutely best thing to do is just stay out of the stores and if I do go ..follow the list! No impulse buying...still hard for me to do..

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  10. Hope your move went ok. I don't keep a journal but I keep an account book of all money spent, saved.......I like everything to be accounted for and it does help with the budgeting.

    Because of problems with someone who reads my blog I've had to change my url address.
    http://two-pairs-of-socks-and-an-apron.blogspot.com

    Hope you still visit,
    florrie x

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  11. I've bookmarked your site and will return to it often during the next year. Our income will decrease next year because I've felt led by the Lord to quit my teaching job and turn my heart toward home. I'm married to a farmer, and so since our farm income fluctuates, quitting my job feels like a huge gamble. This course of action looks like foolishness in the eyes of the world. But it is faith in the Lord that is motivating me, and so I know the Lord will provide for our needs. Thank you for this blog!

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