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Thursday, December 03, 2009


Step 1 in dealing with your money and actually understanding it and realizing it's value is kinda a crazy OCD monontous step, but it's really handy. All you have to do is keep track, starting right now, of every single penny you spend. Steal a notepad from work and write down the following:

Today's Date: December 3
The item you spent money on: Rent/Latte/Card for Mom
The category: Living expense/Everyday expense/Gift
How much it cost: $1650/$4.00 (including tip)/$3.25

Now do that every single fucking day. Seriously. Did you just give a bum a buck? Write it down. Did you lend a friend some lunch money. WRITE IT DOWN. I don't care that it's holiday season. Every month there's an excuse to spend money. So don't consider December any different than March. Just WRITE IT ALL DOWN.

When you're done writing everything down from December 3rd to January 3rd, you can move on to step 2.

When I did this, about 2 years ago, not only did it help me realize where my money goes (no where at the moment - cause personally I just don't spend a lot on actual things or lattes) but when I did spend money I was constantly reminded that I would have to write it down. Sometimes that actually stopped me from buying that thing, because writing it down meant it was affecting everything for that month. So, in theory, for now because most people can't remember where their keys are let alone to write down what they pay for - I'm just suggesting a month. Keep that stolen notepad with you wherever you go. Because if you want a retirement, if you want to have that fancy house, if you want your kids to go to college or if you simple want to go on vacation that isn't to your parents house - then for the love of every penny in the world - WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU SPEND.



Blogger aubrey said...

when we fully embraced mint.com, which pretty much does this for you, it changed our lives. seriously- it's the only reason that we were able to pay off all our debt this year.
LOVE this advice.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Barrie said...

aubrey, does mint track the cash you spend too? this is the part that worries me about it. from what i understand it tracks your accounts, but not what you're actually spending. it's a lot like quicken, which i use and while it's great and it tells you what you spend in a month, it's not getting down to every little penny on every little specific thing.

it's the specifics that are important. let me know, as i don't want to sign up for mint since i already have a program i trust. so i'd love to hear what this site really does for you.


10:12 AM  

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