Trimming the Fat-Part 2: Sifting Through the Spending

Make a pot of coffee, grab the receipts and your notes on spending for the week. Don’t worry about the bills, yet. Utilities, rent, mortgage… they are a post unto themselves.

We are gonna dig in and find that mis-spent money.

If you’re lost, start with Trimming the Fat. Then, join us back here for the this step.

Take a deep breath. Here we go:

Hold it! Read the warning.

Warning: If at any time you feel faint or violently ill. Step away, take a break, scream into a pillow, do some breathing exercises. But do come back to it. The sooner you deal with this stuff the sooner things will get easier. More money, less stress.

Okay, put on your crash helmet, ’cause here we go.

Sort your spending.

Next to each item you purchased, mark its category. Perhaps, something like the list below. Find what is easiest for you…what makes sense.

A. Groceries

B. Dining out

C. Transportation/Gas

D. Clothes (purchases, dry cleaning, coin op wash & dry)

E. Personal hygiene (hair cuts, manicures, etc.)

F. Entertainment ( books, magazines, movie rentals, shows)

G. Hobbies

H. Miscellaneous- this category usually hold a lot of little cut backs.

Make your own categories and add the ones I probably missed.

Don’t forget the little weird stuff like snacks from the vending machine, parking meters, cigarettes, that quick stop for gallon of milk or loaf of bread, the paper. All of it!

Now, I am going to go curse into a pillow and I’ll be back in a bit with Trimming the Fat- Step 3: Sorting It All Out. I actually like this step, because we will make a computer do the work. Very easy. Don’t worry. I’ll hold your hand the whole time.

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Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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