Spending Report Recap

Photo Credit: cxotoday.com

Photo Credit: cxotoday.com

I did my first monthly spending report in September which brought me up to September 25. You would think I’d be very motivated to spend nothing for that last week, because I was holding myself accountable by posting here. No such luck – I carried on full-tilt!

SEPT 25

  • $2.15 baked potato for lunch at Wendy’s restaurant – eating on the run between meetings
  • $500.00 savings – last savings installment for trip to NYC next Spring!

Total for Sept. 25:   $502.15

SEPT 26

  • $8.00 highway tolls
  • $7.80 Tim Horton’s coffee for 3. Perhaps a doughnut too?
  • $50.00 charitable donation

I attended a family funeral with my parents; not a fun spending day. Total for Sept. 26:   $65.80

SEPT 27

  • $7.80 snacks
  • $12.10 groceries

Total for Sept. 27:   $19.90

SEPT 28

  • $58.96 groceries

SEPT 29

  • $12.45 produce
  • $10.20 unaccounted for
  • $2.25 small change went into “penny jar”

Total for Sept 29:   $24.90

I can’t believe I have over $10 “lost” when I’d been tracking my spending every single day! I could not account for it no matter how hard I tried!

SEPT 30

  • $4.90 New Arctic Monkeys album (remainder $5.09 paid with credit on iTunes account)
  • $3 bank charge

Total for Sept 30:  $7.90

Total for Sept 25-30:  $679.61

Total for whole month: $4398.37

This is how I visualize my spending but as you will see, it is "not quite" accurate!

This is how I visualize my spending but as you will see, it is “not quite” accurate!

A little breakdown of my spending for the month goes like this:

  • New savings: $1366 (31% of all spending)
  • Travel (paid from prior savings): $977.98 (22%)
  • Groceries, Snacks, Cleaning Supplies, Paper Goods and Personal Care  $522.98 (12%) – budget is $550
  • Link’s expenses:  $250 (6%)
  • Insurance (house and 2 cars):  $217.43 (5%)
  • New smartphone and accessories:  $197.09 (4%)
  • Internet, Cable TV and Land Line:  $166.09 (4%)
  • Entertainment: $164.40 (4%)
  • Gifts:  $157.80 (4%)
  • Gas and Tolls for Car:  $116.28 (3%)
  • Dining Out and Cafe Snacks: $115.30 (3%)
  • Charity:  $55.00 (1%)
  • Pets (Cats)  $50.92 (1%)
  • Work expenses to be reimbursed: $20.00
  • Unaccounted for:  $10.20
  • Small change put in “penny jar”:  $6.90
  • Bank charge:  $4.00

This wasn’t a typical month. There were no power, water or heating bills, and I only have travel expenses twice a year! I went to the shopping mall for the first time in months, to buy a smartphone. It felt very consumery!

I bought food – groceries, snacks, café treats or meals out – on 17 out of the 30 days last month, including 12 trips to my local grocery store. While I am not overly concerned about my grocery spending, I am appalled by the inefficiency! Even though I meal plan, I am out buying snacks every other day. In fact, the longest I stayed OUT of the grocery store was 3 days in a row! I am probably their ideal customer, popping by every couple of days to succumb to cravings.

Latest Girl Guide Cookies

Latest Girl Guide Cookies

Since October 1, the only snack food I bought is a box of Girl Guide cookies that were being sold door-to-door. I never refuse them because I did my time in Brownies and Girl Guides and I know how it feels to go door-knocking! So that puts me in a good position to make a resolution for the rest of October. I am not going to take up the Droptober Challenge (I have a birthday coming up!) but I would be very pleased with myself if I could limit my food shopping to just weekly.

I also think it looks very bad that I spend as little on charity as I do on my cats, but I am one of those people who makes big year-end contributions. I think I’ll start monthly direct deposits to my favourites in January – although I can imagine how many times they will contact me to “up” my contributions each month!

In October I have several irregular bills: property taxes, insurance renewal (going up, as usual), fees for a new passport. and significant dental work 😦 At least they will all be out of the way before year-end.

If you have ever examined your daily spending, what did you conclude? Are you in the stores almost every day, like me?

26 comments

  1. I really need to track my expenses better–you did a great job this month because at least you know where you money went! And I need to pop in to our local 99 cent store every other day for snacks too :I

  2. Tina Lemna

    I am tracking my spending for the month of October as I quit my part time job two weeks ago. Really going to try to watch my spending on extras. Should be interesting.

    • Do you find you “fritter away” much money without knowing where it’s going? Or do you have strong hunches about what the problem areas are? 😉

      • Tina Lemna

        I fritter my money away on daily treats like a candy bar, extra trips to the grocery store which I definitely need to stop doing and too many kindle books! I do use my library but still sneak favorites onto my kindle. 😊

      • I spend some money on iTunes, too, but at least I know where it’s going – it shows up on my credit card!

  3. Jodi

    I have tracked my expenses for several years and I can always see when I have over indulged. Like last year in September, I went to Ireland and spent a lot on my niece’s (who I raised) wedding. So this year, September was excellent for me. My car insurance renewal is this month and due to the recent gov’t getting involved in car insurance, I got a nice decrease. Perhaps that decrease was only in Ontario.

    • Ah, we don’t have govt auto insurance here, but that would be a nice bonus for you. And I think some splurges, like the wedding, would be absolutely worth it!

      • Lisa

        Ontario doesn’t have gov’t auto insurance either, but a reduction in the rates was promised by the minority provincial gov’t so that the NDP’ers would support/pass the last budget. The private insurance companies are far from happy about this! Unfortunately for me, the new rates do not kick in until a policy renewal and that is not until next summer for me 😦

  4. Fiona

    That is a fantastic rate of savings 🙂 I like how you’ve listed categories with percentages…that is especially good when blog readers are all dealing in different currencies.

    I am the same with “popping in” to the grocery store every second day – even after doing (supposedly) a full week’s shop. And we won’t discuss the issue of Snack Attacks (my real Achilles Heel…!)

    • I supposedly do a full week’s shop, too! I think we might be too minimal on grocery day, and always want to round it out later in the week. I keep planning to do some baking so I won’t always be going out for snacks. Lately I am making popcorn a lot!

  5. I did very well shopping each day for my groceries, buying only what we needed – it kept my spending down. I am thinking that I might do a proper weekly shop one week and then buy daily as needed the next to see if it works for us. I had to laugh at the puzzling $10.20 I have had the same problem once or twice – you think you will remember – but sometimes you don’t. You must let us know if you do remember we are all curious now!!

    • That $10.20 is still bothering me! Usually I am only out by about $3 a month. We only cook meals 2-3 times a week and eat leftovers the other days, so a weekly grocery shop should work. I think we try to cut back too much on snacks on grocery day, and make up for it later.

      • I really think you have to be quite realistic about snacks and allow for them in your shop as you often find yourself between meals needing something to keep you going. I spent £0.59 last week on a pack of 2 ready buttered slices of Soreen Fruit Malt loaf from Sainsbury’s. A whole Soreen loaf (probably 10-12 slices) only costs about £1 if I had thought ahead and bought this with my weekly shop I could have taken a slice or 2 to work each day for a cost of about 8p slice.
        PS – has anything jogged your memory yet over the $10.20 – I can’t bear the suspense!

      • I know that is the right approach to snacks. I just have to find items to buy that I won’t eat all in one sitting, LOL! No luck on the missing $10.20. But I know it went missing last Sunday, and today is Sunday, so I am hoping it comes to me as I go about my Sunday routines and errands!

  6. I used to go to the grocery store twice a week but last month I made 18 trips to the store!?! Yikes. Good luck with your weekly grocery trips.

  7. I thought I was good with weekly grocery shops, but the dated dockets indicate that we head there a little more often. Thankfully we’re both great at sticking to what we need/stock items. Seriously, I have a strong resistance to treats (same with buying clothing, jewellery – though I did just buy a pair of earrings).

    Glad to have you join us on Droptober! There’s only a few brownies and choc chip cookies left from the party… and that is IT! A month of less sweets! Fruit a-ok.

    Back to your question – I did daily tracking for a month or two, to establish a weekly budget. It settled at about $240 (which didn’t cover any savings, which includes tucking money away for bigger bills. I got a little annoyed with the process, cause there were too many unplanned expenses! I should do it again though, seeing now money is managed differently – with the shared account, rent and topping up the mortgage, and savings…

    • I’m afraid I did not commit to Droptober – I would consider November, though! Rom likes to “browse” the aisles at the grocery store for the international foods, while I buy candy and crackers. We had ice cream in the house all summer but I have vowed not to make it a year-round habit, so we went cold-turkey in September. It would be interesting to see how your expenses have changed.

  8. I am very good about only going food shopping once a week on the weekends, but there’s a few reasons for that. Firstly there is only one supermarket walking distance from where I live and work and it is generally expensive (although I do buy eggs and kangaroo mince there).

    Secondly I have to park my car in the garage during the week because we’re not allowed to park on the street (even though we live here). My landlords’ daughter then parks her car behind mine, so if I want to use my car, I have to back hers out first, then back mine out, then put hers back in the driveway. It’s a pain! Since I walk to uni, I tend to limit my car trips to going to band practice once a week.

    Plus I tend to have so much food in the house that I can easily make it through the week without any extra trips 🙂

    • I should try getting Rom to block my car into the driveway with his; then I would not leave the house so often, either 🙂 I always have enough food in the house, but not enough to satisfy sweets cravings!

  9. Lisa

    Even though I track my spending daily, there is always cash spent that is unaccounted for at the end of the month. It drives my exacting self INSANE – where did it go and on what?!? I like to blame the missing cash on my husband lol 😉

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