Monday, March 9, 2009

Your Money or Your Life Monday

As you know, I'm working on incorporating the steps from the book Your Money or Your Life. I'm confident that making the changes outlined in the book will improve our finances.

One step is writing down every single penny that comes in or goes out. At first I thought this would be a no-brainer since I'm pretty stringent about maintaining our family's finances. While it's not difficult, it's been really enlightening. Why?

You Spent What on a Cell Phone Cover?
I had to keep track of what my husband spent on a daily basis. No easy feat, I might add. Plus, I was learning about the little things he was buying on a whim here and there. Like the $7.99 camouflage-colored cell phone cover? It was hideous and felt slimey. "Why don't you just put your phone in a plastic baggie if you're worried about it getting dirty?" I asked, half kidding, half serious. I dutifully noted the expense in our daily budget.

Ooh, I Found a Nickel Today!
I've never watched our budget down to the penny, and I mean the penny. If I found a nickel, it was +5 cents in the budget. I was excited to find money in the past, but now I could see it actually increasing our income. Granted it increased our income by a whopping 5 cents, but still!

Will That Be Cash or Credit?
Now this is interesting. I can easily recall exactly what I spent when I used cash. However, if I bought something with the credit card (gas, groceries, etc.), I either forgot about the purchase completely or couldn't remember the exact cost. I thought this was fascinating and could potentially help our budget. We've never paid for much with cash because we have a credit card through Upromise, which puts your cash rebate into a college fund. (While I could probably sign up for other more rewarding cards, this is a painless way to save for the college for our two children.)

I'll keep you posted on our progress.

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