"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tracking My Spending Update

I've now been tracking my spending for just over two months. I honestly cannot imagine not doing this anymore. It's amazing!

I tried to set up a 'budget' before completing the three month exercise, and now I'm seeing how absolutely pointless that would have been. At least, now I have a real portrait of how I spend.

My biggest potential tweak is food.


Groceries: 201.28 (this was my 'build up a pantry' month)
Restaurant: 82.93
Total: 284.21


Groceries: 121.18
Restaurant: 114.49
Total: 235.67

November's totals do not include restaurant and food purchases in Halifax which were part of the trip budget.

I've noticed that I now go to the grocery store once every two weeks, but that in the days before going grocery shopping, I tend to do a bit more restauranting.

I'm laughing at an earlier post I made where I said that I wanted to go down to a 100$ per month food budget. Right now, that's completely unrealistic. I think I'll aim for 250$ for December, which will need to include at least two restaurant meals.

Personally, I don't care if I hit my budget with groceries or restauranting. I tend to eat a lot at the foodcourt at work and always get something healthy that I couldn't have made at home for that price. This is especially common in the winter when I hit the salad bar where they have better produce than I can find in grocery stores. I know that for a family, restauranting cannot possibly make financial sense over pantry-cooking, but when you're single, it can. My dad made the same analysis. So, I'm not going to obsess over how much I go to the restaurant. Instead, I'll pull out 250$ for this month and see how much month is left before I'm forced to eat the chickpeas at the back of the pantry. :-)

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