Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Budgeting And Dieting

When you think about it there really are a lot of ways that budgeting and dieting are similar. To start with, you can only make so much money in a day just like you can only burn so many calories in a day. Then on the other end you have the amount of money you spend and the amount of calories you consume. There are some items that you have to spend money on, taxes, insurance, the wife and some things you buy just for fun. The same goes with eating, breakfast, lunch, dinner versus Oreos, chips, and ice cream. In the end, eat way more calories than you burn and you get fat, spend more money than you earn and you get poor. Pretty simple stuff.

Back in the day when weight was becoming an issue, the first thing we did (after vowing not to let it happen again) was start tracking our calorie consumption. Thanks to the LoseIt app, we were able to see what areas were having the biggest impact on our...personal inflation (fat finance humor, is anything funnier?). After making some adjustments, we're now leaner and meaner (at least I'm meaner, probably shouldn't say that about the Mrs.). It isn't really dieting anymore, it's just being a frugal eater.

I figure if something so simple was so effective with eating why not try it with spending. Determine what we are "snacking" on that is costing us the most and do a little cutting. Turns out there's this thing called budgeting. Who knew?

Well, we did actually. We tried recording purchases for awhile, but I guess we must spend more than we eat because we always would forget to enter things in.

Now I'm trying a new approach of breaking things down by the month. As you can see by the image above, it's a work in progress. I'm pretty sure that most proper budgets don't have a randomness category. Or at least they don't have a randomness category the same size as the mortgage. Groceries and gas, among other things, are buried in there. Hopefully, I'll have an updated version to share with this divvied up a bit more. Stay tuned!

How does your monthly spending compare? Does any of our spending stand out as being too high? Any categories that I overlooked?

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