40. Record every $ spent and categorize it

Glen & I keep track of our income and expenses via Quicken. I cannot speak highly enough about it. It tracks all of our projected finances, so we can make the right decision today about whether or not to make a purchase. I love using it! One of the features I like is the categories. Each transaction is sorted so we can easily see where our money went.

I thought this would be a great month to do a detailed look at our money. My current job is moving, and I will be unemployed for a large part of the summer. My income allows us to live a little more comfortably. I want us to be able to enjoy the summer - camping, beach, the zoo, etc! We will be keeping a close eye on spending so we can afford the fun stuff.

Here is our spending chart for April. There are a few areas I can see we need to focus on heading into the summer.

  • Auto was 13% of our income, which for April totals $457!!! Eesh, that is a lot of money on gas. ($30 of that was for service). My new nephew, Ethan was born in April. That equaled a separate trip for myself & Glen to visit family. I also took a day to visit later in the month. Each visit to my parents is about 250 miles round trip, plus a trip to town from their home is 40 miles round trip. My car gets about 20 miles to the gallon, so a trip to visit costs approximately $50. But they are so worth it :D
  • Household is a broad category term. Pretty much anything I spend at Target is "household." We all know a trip to Target for diapers ends up including a few extras. This month Glen received a bonus at work, so we used some of that money to purchase new clothes, and stock up on household basics (dog food, trash bags, etc.) We normally do not spend that much in that area. 
  • Pet care was extra expensive this month. I let the flea protection on Taffy (our dog) expire and fleas invaded our home. The fleas themselves were not hard to get rid of, but they tore up our poor cat Asia. Apparently fleas prefer cats, and she has long hair that they loved. :( We had to take her to the vet to get her skin cared for. This is an out of the ordinary expense, but to be expected with pets...
Overall I wasn't surprised by our spending. There are always "unplanned" things that pop up, whether it be a vet appointment or car repair. Glen & I are interested to see how we will manage this summer on one income. We will be making cuts in areas such as those extra trips to Target, and avoiding the drive-thru so we can enjoy the memorable luxuries like a day trip to the beach! 


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