Looking at my spending report, I feel compelled to post a sign on my blog that warns people before they come any closer to reading the words I write about my debt reduction journey: This blog is written by a woman who is TERRIBLE with her money!
Here’s the lowdown and dirty … I average $150 a month in gas for my vehicle (this is probably going to go up since I’ve taken over the Tank). Everything else is pretty well in order – I don’t spend a lot at retail stores and I haven’t spent a lot on “entertainment” – $10 a month for my Netflix subscription and the occasional movie with my honey.
Food is where my spending gets ugly. One of my hobbies is cooking and while I’m good at sticking to a list to get the ingredients I need to try new dishes, I’m terrible at planning ahead for the rest of the meals we’ll eat during the week. This adds up to about $300 a month in groceries. This number is a little misleading because my spending tracker counts trips to Walmart or Target as “grocery” grocery trips. So say I spent $20 on groceries and the rest on incidentals, the entire trip is being chalked up to my grocery spending.
And did I mention that I live in a two-person household? I don’t care if my cat thinks he’s a human, $300 for groceries is extravagant.
And while my money is hemmorhaging out in grocery land, I also average about $100 a month on restaurant meals.
Why do I care? I was able to pay off my credit card debt while maintaining about the same level of spending that I’ve always maintained and now my money is my own outside of what I need to pay towards the mortgage and my college loans.
I care because I don’t need to spend money the way that I’m spending money. I need to exercise some restraint in both areas.
My immediate plan is to cut grocery spending. The way that I plan to do this is to try and plan out meals further in advance and to be more diligent about clipping coupons and shopping sales. My penchant for eating out is a no-brainer. I just need to be more diligent about packing leftovers or I need to invest in some frozen dinners.