2010 "Where did the money go?" Challenge
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  1. #1
    Registered User mama2James's Avatar
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    Default 2010 "Where did the money go?" Challenge

    Starting on the 1st I am going to track all the money we spend and categorize it. I'm sure I'll discover a lot of useful and interesting things, maybe even stuff I don't really want to admit lol.
    I don't use excel or any fancy programs, I'm just going to open a new word document and start "jotting" stuff down under categories that make sense. Once I have some data compiled, I will share it in this thread.
    Who wants to join me?

  2. #2
    Registered User tervsforme's Avatar
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    I'm in for this. I keep all my bills and checks recorded in Quick Books, I love it! My problem is when I spend cash. I really want to keep track of the cash I spend and where it goes. I'm going to keep an envelope for receipts in my wallet and any time I spend cash I'm going to get a receipt. I'll record it in QuickBooks as well, it will be interestiing to see where all of that cash goes.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    I did this for 2009

    I just used paper and pencil and tracked all I spent in categories.

    It was interesting.

    I still have to decide if I want to do it again in 2010. I think I might.

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  5. #4
    Registered User madhen's Avatar
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    I'll give it a try. I was thinking about doing it anyway, and I'll be more likely to keep it up if others are reporting their results.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  6. #5
    Registered User Mom2-3's Avatar
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    I did this for the last two years. I just kept track of everything spent that was not a bill. All food, gifts, gas, etc go into the month and I have a running total going. The scary part is to add up all 12 months!

    I found out how much a "normal" month for us is. Then if something pops up (car maintenance, pool maintenance) I add a note at the bottom of the month to let me know.

    It has been an eye opener for sure! I plan to do the same for the coming year.

  7. #6
    Registered User pinetree's Avatar
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    I would like to do this, maybe I can get a handle on some of the money poofing out the door. I'm just not sure how to do it.

  8. #7
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    I appreciate the title "Where did the money go?" - can't remember how many times I have said that to myself. I'm up for this one.

  9. #8
    Registered User qsaver704's Avatar
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    I am in for this. A year is a long time to keep it up! I started last year and got tired of doing it by May. Hopefully I will do better this year.

  10. #9
    Registered User qsaver704's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tervsforme View Post
    My problem is when I spend cash. I really want to keep track of the cash I spend and where it goes. I'm going to keep an envelope for receipts in my wallet and any time I spend cash I'm going to get a receipt. I'll record it in QuickBooks as well, it will be interestiing to see where all of that cash goes.
    I tried this for a while too. My problem with that was, if you are being honest, we spend cash without receipts a lot.
    Ex.
    quarters to buy the Sunday paper
    soda at the hospital ER (unplanned trip-no snacks packed)
    loose change the kids take
    loose change in the offering plate at church
    husband/wife getting a little money from you without you knowing

    These are areas I have had problems with in the past. If you are being extra frugal or watching really closely these things can add up!

  11. #10
    Registered User Luckybustert's Avatar
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    I've been trying to do this but it's been hit or miss so far. Will give it a try here, hoping that will help me be more conscientious about tracking my spending categories.

  12. #11
    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    I did this last year - only problem was getting DH to join in. I didn't like asking him at the end of every day 'What did you spend today and on what?' I'll talk with him later this aftrernoon and see what his take on this is. Know it would be beneficial to us.

  13. #12
    Registered User Backtoreality's Avatar
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    I am in for this one. I was just "organizing" my new organizer and put a column in for $$ spent each day. I think the way to it (for me anyways) is to have a beginning balance and spent on way for an ending balance each day. I know there are days I don't spend a dime, but others - whew!

  14. #13
    Registered User nic4549's Avatar
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    I will give it a try. I'm in!!

  15. #14
    Registered User madhen's Avatar
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    I have a little budget app in my iPhone, so I'll use that. That way, I can track everything in real time, since I usually have my phone with me.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

  16. #15
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    When I first started the debt repayment road, I did this. When I "arrived" I stopped, and badget a generic expenses lump sum. But I had decided already it was time to do this again, if not for the whole year, at least for a while. Just last night I set up all my categories in MS Money again. I'll post here monthly, if I can remember, as long as I do it. It is instructive.

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