Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days to Financial Freedom, Day 3: Audits

Welcome to Day 3!  If I've learned anything during the previous 33 days, it is that it's not enough to keep track of your finances (although that does help . . . a lot).  To truly understand and know where your money is going, you have to audit your expenses and income!  It's a happy accident that I decided to do this 31 Days Challenge after I had already been keeping track of our expenses for a full month. 

Today, I am auditing our spending for the month of September!  I'll wait until the roar of the crowd dies down before I continue . . .

. . . Moving on.

If you haven't already, pretty please take a look at our spending for the month of September here.  I've messed around a bit with the Excel spreadsheet I was using so that all the dates were in order, and highlighted it from Sunday to Saturday in different colors.  Like this:

Debit -5.05 Groceries - DNR 9/7/2012 276.96
Debit -3.25 Groceries - IGA 9/7/2012 273.71
1084 -5.00 Check cashed at hospital 9/7/2012 268.71
Debit -20.00 Fuel - Me 9/9/2012 248.71
Debit -5.00 Groceries - Family Express (milk) 9/9/2012 243.71
1085 -182.77 Utilities 9/10/2012 60.94

That way I can see where one week ends and the other begins.  As Pen gets paid every week and I only get paid every two weeks, this will be aid us in seeing the weeks where we really do need to cut down on the spending.  Examples of ways we could cut down could be Pen only putting $30 into his gas tank that week instead of $50, or we could drink vodka eat pancakes for dinner three nights a week.  No, just kidding.  We haven't done that since college.  On both accounts. 

I thought that the first and second week were rough for us with our car payment, mortgage, and insurance all due at the beginning of the month, but I wanted to know for sure.

The first week of September, we spent $4325.84, and brought in $4,108.71.  Hellooooooo deficit!  (I would like to add that spending $4325.84 in one week is not a "normal" for us.  I received a check from my employer for a leftover tuition bill for $3,000).  We didn't overdraw at all in September, and the money that was leftover from the previous month because we didn't pay our bills held us through for this week.  -217.13

The second week of September, we spent $658.33, and brought in $674.37 ($127.20 was refunds from items I purchased on Amazon that I never used).  Well . . . it's not a deficit, but it sure isn't looking too good.   +16.04

The third week of September, we spent $807.25, and brought in $1139.09.  Looking better.  +331.84

And finally, the last week of September we spent $734.88, and brought in $438.33.  Oh, hey there deficit.  Welcome back to the party!  -296.55

Again, we didn't overdraw at all during the month of September, and that's why it's important to have money in your checking account left over from the previous month!

For the entire month we

Spent: $6526.30
Made: $6360.50

That means we spent $165.80 more in the month of September than we made!  See how important it is to audit your spending and income?  I had no idea we spent more than we made in September until I was actually writing this post!  I am currently sitting here in a state of shock . . .

I'm not sure I have the koalifications to write a blog about making good financial decisions! (HA!)

Now that all our bills are caught up, hopefully our October finances will reflect a positive number versus a negative number.  If not, we'll have to seriously consider reducing some of our expenses (cable, Netflix, Internet, etc.).  How else will you know unless you AUDIT?

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