3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > General chatter

General chatter Because life isn't just about dieting. Play games, jokes, or share what's new in your life!

Spending Journal?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
Maintainer since 12-22-10
 
Slim CB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,003

S/C/G: 198/160/Maintaining

Height: 5'8"

Question Spending Journal?

Hi all,

I use a food journal to write down all my meals that I eat everyday - whether good or bad. It has really helped me with this weight loss journey. I really want to tackle my finances now as I know I need to save more.

Has anyone used a spending journal? Has it helped? Do you have any tips on saving? I currently use a budget - the problem I have is sticking to it

Any help will be greatly appreciated....

P.S. I should add that I rarely dine out - I cook most of my meals at home and bring my meals to work...
__________________



Last edited by Slim CB : 09-28-2011 at 02:12 PM.
Slim CB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 02:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
nina125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 227

S/C/G: 151/145/125

Height: 5'6

Default

I use a site called Mint to track my expenses, debt, budget, net worth, etc. They have a free app that is also very handy.

My husband & I make enough money where we can live off one of our paychecks and save the other. However we have no been disciplined enough with our money. We did not grow up in rich households and were broke throughout college. We graduated 2-3 years ago with a lot of credit card debt. Once we got good jobs out of college, we started treating ourselves to stuff that we could never afford before. Now that we started using mint, we have paid off 1 credit card in full. We have also saved up a couple of month's pay for emergencies.

One of the ways that I save money is by asking for discounts from stores. For example, if I see something nice in Macys but they dont have a sale going on, I will ask the salesperson if they could give me an employee's discount. It works most of the time. I also negotiated my rent and they gave me about $200 discount per month and waived my deposit. Don't be shy about asking for a discount no matter where.

Also, the credit card that I paid off has a 5% cash back (upto $300 per year). So instead of paying cash for everything, I use the credit card for all purchases like groceries, restaurants, and gas to earn points. I pay the balance off in full at the end of the month, plus I get some money and/or gift cards to treat myself later.
__________________






Mini Goal 1: 155
Mini Goal 2: 150
nina125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
ERHR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 578

S/C/G: 153.2/145.6/125

Height: 5'2"

Default

I second nina125's suggestion of using Mint if you are OK with automating your tracking. I use it because my husband does not want to track by hand, but before we were married I tracked using Excel. I literally entered every financial transaction into spreadsheets according to my budget categories. Probably whatever way you do calorie/nutrition tracking could translate to tracking money. Personally I think it helps to interact with the numbers (calories or dollars) by writing or typing them.

If your issue is sticking with your budget, you could go to a cash-only system. (Again like nina125 I use a good rewards card for all purchases, but that's because I don't exceed my budgetary categories.) At the start of the month, take out all the cash you need for all your discretionary spending (food, clothes, whatever), parcel it out into your various categories, and spend out of those amounts. When you run out of cash in a particular category, that's it! You're done spending for the month in that area. Repeat until you trust yourself to do this electronically.

My number 1 saving suggestion is to pay yourself first. Right after you get paid, transfer the full amount of money you want to save for the month out of your checking account into savings or retirement or whereever you want to put it and then don't touch it. Again, this works on the principle that spending stops when your paycheck runs out.
__________________


I lost 40 lbs between Nov 2010 and Nov 2011 doing low-sugar for my "50 Pounds in 50 Weeks" project. I bounced halfway back up so I'm back for more!

I blog about personal finance at Evolving PF
ERHR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
Maintainer since 12-22-10
 
Slim CB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,003

S/C/G: 198/160/Maintaining

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERHR View Post
Right after you get paid, transfer the full amount of money you want to save for the month out of your checking account into savings or retirement or whereever you want to put it and then don't touch it. Again, this works on the principle that spending stops when your paycheck runs out.
This is my biggest trouble - not touching my savings. I keep dipping in it and clearly it does not help situations much.....
__________________


Slim CB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
ERHR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 578

S/C/G: 153.2/145.6/125

Height: 5'2"

Default

Are you saving for anything in particular? I find it helps me to have concrete goals and purposes for my money.

If it's for retirement, generally you should be saving in a vehicle that doesn't allow for (easy) withdrawals, like a 401k or and IRA.

If it's for buying something that you know the price of, you can calculate out exactly how long it will take you to get there based on your savings rate, and I think that should help you not dip in because you would be setting back your timetable.

Is it possible that your savings rate is too aggressive? Do you really need the money you remove from your savings? Do you have an emergency fund that you don't have to feel guilty about dipping into if something comes up?
__________________


I lost 40 lbs between Nov 2010 and Nov 2011 doing low-sugar for my "50 Pounds in 50 Weeks" project. I bounced halfway back up so I'm back for more!

I blog about personal finance at Evolving PF
ERHR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
Maintainer since 12-22-10
 
Slim CB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,003

S/C/G: 198/160/Maintaining

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERHR View Post
Is it possible that your savings rate is too aggressive? Do you really need the money you remove from your savings? Do you have an emergency fund that you don't have to feel guilty about dipping into if something comes up?
Hmmm...I have never considered these before. I will have to look into these. I really think that my situation is a combination of an aggressive savings rate (maybe an unrealistic one) plus being a bit of a spendthrift sometimes. I am really going to have to reassess my situation.

Thanks for the input
__________________


Slim CB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 09:39 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
nina125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 227

S/C/G: 151/145/125

Height: 5'6

Default

What do you usually end up spending the money on? Clothes, shoes, entertainment? Would it help if you budgeted some money for that instead of having to dip into your savings?
__________________






Mini Goal 1: 155
Mini Goal 2: 150
nina125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 09:56 AM   #8
Maintainer since 12-22-10
 
Slim CB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,003

S/C/G: 198/160/Maintaining

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nina125 View Post
What do you usually end up spending the money on? Clothes, shoes, entertainment? Would it help if you budgeted some money for that instead of having to dip into your savings?
It would be entertainment and miscellaneous things that pop up during the month. I dont normally spend extra money on clothes and shoes - since my weight loss I got some new clothes but I saved for that. Money that I spend on clothes would be to have them tailored.
__________________


Slim CB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 10:27 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
ERHR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 578

S/C/G: 153.2/145.6/125

Height: 5'2"

Default

I think you just have to decide to be firm with yourself - but reasonable. If you have noticed a pattern of these miscellaneous things coming up, add them into your budget and give yourself a limit. That way you are still saving (and not touching the savings!) but you have some more wiggle room in that spending category.

This is something we do that maybe will help: We have about 7 different savings accounts for irregular expenses. Basically everything that we know we're going to spend money on on a less-than-monthly basis gets a savings account (cars - parking permits, insurance, repairs; travel; entertainment - season tickets to musicals, season tickets to college basketball, occasional movies or concerts; etc.). Every month we save a bit of money to each account that will cover those expenses when they come up. The trick with this is that we don't spend when we don't have money in a particular category though (like for clothing) unless our regular monthly budget has enough extra room for whatever reason.

What are you trying to save money for?
__________________


I lost 40 lbs between Nov 2010 and Nov 2011 doing low-sugar for my "50 Pounds in 50 Weeks" project. I bounced halfway back up so I'm back for more!

I blog about personal finance at Evolving PF
ERHR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
Maintainer since 12-22-10
 
Slim CB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,003

S/C/G: 198/160/Maintaining

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERHR View Post
What are you trying to save money for?
I'm saving for a house ...well the deposit and closing costs...
__________________


Slim CB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
Maintainer since 12-22-10
 
Slim CB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,003

S/C/G: 198/160/Maintaining

Height: 5'8"

Default

It's working - I find that I am more conscious of the money I am spending just because I am writing down every dollar I spend!
__________________


Slim CB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 05:06 PM   #12
I've picked my hard...
 
PreciousMissy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,463

S/C/G: 240/216/170

Height: 5'4"

Default

That is good to hear! I was going through reading all the posts looking for some good ideas...and I found one. I think I'll give mint a try.
__________________


Mini-Goals: 10%/24lb~pedicure (met 10/16/13) - halfway/35lb~new clothes - onederland/41lb~massage - goal/170~new dress (and maybe diamonds hehe)

= For every 5lb lost (hopefully to re-add more!)

PreciousMissy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 10:40 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Prism21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California
Posts: 175

S/C/G: 169/124/124

Height: 5'4"

Default

I just checked out the mint site. Is it www(dot)mint(dot)com? I hope it's the right one you're talking about. It looks like you enter all your financial information including bank account numbers. Is that right? I'm nervous maybe I could be looking at the wrong site and don't want to subject myself to hackers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERHR View Post
I second nina125's suggestion of using Mint if you are OK with automating your tracking. I use it because my husband does not want to track by hand, but before we were married I tracked using Excel. I literally entered every financial transaction into spreadsheets according to my budget categories. Probably whatever way you do calorie/nutrition tracking could translate to tracking money. Personally I think it helps to interact with the numbers (calories or dollars) by writing or typing them.

......
__________________




Prism21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 07:39 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Esofia's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 1,255

S/C/G: 124/122/105-110

Height: 4'11"

Default

I had a look at or two pieces of software and didn't like them, so I'm simply using a spreadsheet in Open Office. It's divided into columns for different things (food, clothes, crafts etc.), plus another column for money received (numbers put in have a minus in front of them for this one). The days of the month are in rows, with Mondays highlighted for easy navigation. Each column gets added up at the bottom, so that I can see how much I've spent overall in each category, and then there's the grand total on the right. I have a spreadsheet page for each month, and I've just copied over the page for the different months (this is before highlighting the Mondays) and labelled them.
Esofia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 07:55 AM   #15
Melissa
 
berryblondeboys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5,893

Height: 5'6.5"

Default

I would like something for my phone to keep track of my expenses, but not by adding in bank info - just a way to keep track of how much I spent and where = groceries, entertainment, clothes and miscellaneous stuff. If MINT uses bank info, that's not helpful to me, but having something on my phone is as DH takes care of all the bank stuff, but I do most of the spending (Stay at home mom who takes care of all the food, car maintenance, etc). And budget and me - not so good at that!
__________________
My journey to a healthier lifestyle blog: http://melissaslife42.blogspot.com/



berryblondeboys is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dedikayted's New Journal - "by Any Means Necessary" DEDIKAYTED General Diet Plans and Questions 482 06-08-2012 11:30 AM
Points Plus! Journal while we are adjusting and losses! derrydaughter Weight Watchers 97 02-12-2012 09:32 AM
Jillian's Girls Exercise Journal Looking4TheWayOut The Biggest Loser - Winning by Losing 1506 09-29-2007 04:23 PM
Journal Buddy Thread Jillegal 100 lb. Club 243 05-02-2005 12:26 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:02 PM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2