Now that I finally have a stable income I’ve started to track my expenses. This is something I’ve never been good at: if I had a penny for every time I’ve created a money-in, money-out Excel spreadsheet… Well, who knows – I’m clearly shit at this.
But this time round I’m quite enjoying making sure I know where my money goes. I’m using Excel and colour coding which makes me uncomfortably happy for some reason. I’ve divided my expenses in the following categories:
- Eating out (this includes coffee)
- Op shops
- Other shops/online shopping
And this is what has happened in January + my goals for February:
- I’ve spent almost $70 in coffee in 17 days.
I did know I have a problem. There are very few things I enjoy more than having coffee in the morning in a cosy café (and I’m sorry but making my own coffee at home is just not the same). Now that I have a job I feel entitled to treat myself more, however I believe that dilapidating my savings in caffeine would be rather silly. So my goal for February is NOT to not spend any money on coffee, but – ideally – to spend less than $50 in coffee.
- I would also like to stop eating out as much as we have in January. I don’t know what got to us but we had dinner out A LOT since we came back, and I haven’t been organised at all with bringing my own meals at work so I’ve been splurging way too much on food.
- I’m going to try and not spend ANY money in op shops in February. I don’t really need anything (except for a plant pot and a couple of frames, but my plant is dying anyway and frames can wait).
- As for online shopping, I’ve actually just spend $100 on iHerb and Amazon for a few things that I’ve been looking for for aaaaages. Glob. But hopefully I’m done for the month now.
- I did go to the doctor once in January which you have to pay for here, but hopefully I shouldn’t have any health-related expenses this month!
- Sport: my main expense has been my basketball registration, but now that that’s out of the way I should not be spending anything else until next season. I might go to some more Circus Fit classes but they are quite cheap. Also, just to be on the safe side, I’ve quit the gym.
- The grocery category is my biggest achievement: I’ve only spend around $100 on groceries in January (that’s not a lot at all in New Zealand) and that’s because I started working in this amazing organic supermarket where I can get food for free! Every day I’m working, at the end of the day I can grab any leftovers/veggies/bread/food that doesn’t look good enough to be displayed but it’s still totally fine to consume. And since I’m working a lot, I have a lot of free food. Success!
- As for phone and transports, I imagine I will be spending the same as last month but these are recurring expenses that I’m ok with.
I haven’t included things like rent or bills because Giac covers the most of them which I’m aware makes me very fortunate, so I can aim at putting as much of my earnings as I can in the savings.
I’m rather satisfied with managing a whole month of money tracking (hashtag adulting), let’s see if I can keep it up and if February works out as I’ve planned!