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Okay... I have sat with the bills, I crunched numbers... what the hell am I missing??? Where is it all going??

Am I the only one who has a greedy green gobbling goblin???
 

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Just a question: Have you tracked your spending??

I couldn't figure out where all my money went either until I sat down and itemized every single penny that came out of my account. You could hear my shrieks of anguish---95 dollars at Walgreens? 300 dollars at Target?

My discretionary spending has went way down since then.
 

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I agree, you need to track all the little things. Dh would buy a pop or 2 at work, a candy bar. It added up to $250/mo. The occasional meal out can add up too!

I crunched numbers too, I had been in tears, stressed, not sleeping, health getting worse and worse, we never had enough money to survive the month. It was transferring money from one cc to another.Amount owing was growing faster and faster. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. It was a shocking experience. Within a month we went from living way beyond our means, to living on 40% of our income(net). The rest is devoted to paying off debt and savings(EF, FA, retirement, college, etc). And we do have discretionary funds there, but it's controlled amounts. We are working hard at being debt free. And since doing some serious tracking, we are extremely motivated! As we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! And it ain't that far away!
 

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I do track my spending, neurotically, but found the last two months to have a bunch of little expences that added up quickly. Lots of shower presents, birthday presents, medical bills from being really sick over spring break and other unplanned expenses.

So, I hear you Lady V!
 

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Wow Lady_V, sorry to hear your so stressed and yes I agree with the others, track your spending. Check your bank statement and add up all your charges/debits and then you will have a great idea where the money is or what it was/has been spent on.
 

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I do track my spending, neurotically, but found the last two months to have a bunch of little expences that added up quickly. Lots of shower presents, birthday presents, medical bills from being really sick over spring break and other unplanned expenses.

So, I hear you Lady V!
I stopped buying gifts, and make them from stuff I have. 99% of the time it is well received. The few that don't like made gifts, I use my club points to purchase gift cards or merchandise. It was nickel and diming me terribly. I'm also bad for regifting...lol. If I receive something I don't have use for personally, it always makes for a great gift for some one else...lol. I just leave a not on it who gave it so I don't return it. Here we don't often have medical bills as we have "universal healthcare" for which I'm thankful, most things are covered. But not everything, and I hope we never encounter those things. I'm doing home made gifts for everyone this year at Christmas. The exception being nephews, they get gift cards. But since starting that it's a savings of $400-500/year. As with 4 kids, they do get invited to parties often, and I always get a call from parents telling me how "amazing the gift for *insertnamehere*, we appreciate the thought and time you put into it". So look for alternatives in gift buying. you may be surprised!
 

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I stopped buying gifts, and make them from stuff I have. 99% of the time it is well received. The few that don't like made gifts, I use my club points to purchase gift cards or merchandise. It was nickel and diming me terribly. I'm also bad for regifting...lol. If I receive something I don't have use for personally, it always makes for a great gift for some one else...lol. I just leave a not on it who gave it so I don't return it. Here we don't often have medical bills as we have "universal healthcare" for which I'm thankful, most things are covered. But not everything, and I hope we never encounter those things. I'm doing home made gifts for everyone this year at Christmas. The exception being nephews, they get gift cards. But since starting that it's a savings of $400-500/year. As with 4 kids, they do get invited to parties often, and I always get a call from parents telling me how "amazing the gift for *insertnamehere*, we appreciate the thought and time you put into it". So look for alternatives in gift buying. you may be surprised!
what a great idea! what kinds of things do you give as gifts?
 

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I have a gift box. Presently in the gift box is crochets baby afghans, sweater outfits and well as big people afghans. I found the yarn at a thrift store. I also found some very nice picture frames marked 90% off and thought they would make a nice bridal shower or wedding gift. A knife set that was on clearance for 2.00, another bridal shower gift that I wrapped in kitchen towels and used straight pins to secure it. Often I will wrap a baby sweater set in a receiving blanket and make a bow of pacifiers, tying them with ribbon. I just hate spending on wrapping paper to have it thrown away.

When I am invited I am ready, I just go to my gift box. I get alot of compliments on my gifts and this has saved me alot of money and I kinda enjoy being creative and frugal at the same time.
 

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what a great idea! what kinds of things do you give as gifts?

I make personalized pillows for the girls in the general colors of their room. Embroidered or applique with their name. Now that the eldest girl is starting to carry a purse, i make little denim purses monogrammed. I'm looking at designing a little wallet to go with it. Funky applique t-shirts(bought summers end for .99). I've done quillows, sleep over sets(blanket, pillow and carry bag). I've had a stash of fabric for a long time,a nd now I'm working through it. It's time if finds new homes..lol. I also do ornaments for the holidays. I made 2 teams worth at Christmas. It was very well received. They went from the Tree to rear view mirrors for lots of them..lol.

Teachers get ornaments as well. I never buy a teacher a gift, as it is usually clutter items, but a Christmas ornament is always well received, and enjoyed year after year.
 

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DH tracks every penny we spend (the joys of being married to a CPA). He uses the MSN Money program. It downloads everything from our checking account and catagorizes it. If we withdraw cash to spend, he has to catagorize it himself. It is really interesting to see where we spend our money.
 

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Everytime we spend any money we write it down in a journal. That way we know where our $ is going. It's amazing how much just stopping at fast food places add up.
 

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Yep, I also couldn't figure out 'where all the money went'. I started tracking every cent. It made me sick! (I still compare it to getting weighed :cry: )

The good news? It was so easy to change. I immediately stopped eating out, buying clothes & household stuff that I can live without, etc etc.

Once you get a grip on these things, you'll feel great :vibes: .
 
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