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I’m Almost Ashamed to Post This – July’s Spending


Wow. That’s all I can say. We still spent less then we earned, but just take a look at the dining! I had a feeling things would be higher last month, but over $230 is just insane for our family. That was made up of 17 occasions. That is way to many for us. I’d like to see that number around $80/month (going out to eat once a week).

With the increased dining, one would expect groceries to go down. But they didn’t. I really need to explore what is going on with the groceries. It’s time to pull out the receipts and take a real good look at what is going on. I know we can get our grocery bill down, and having the numbers for July 05 posted proves that.

There is a high expense for entertainment. That’s due to our decision to buy one thing that each of us really wanted (my bass guitar and my husband’s video game).

I also highlighted clothing. I am a little surprised by the money spent here because I didn’t realize how many times I’ve picked up clothing here and there. I thought I was more of a “buy a whole bunch when it’s on sale” type of gal. I just found it interesting and without looking more into it – I can’t remember what I bought. Probably was something we really didn’t need.

As always, questions and comments are welcome.


  • Reply David |

    I’m brand new to your site and I am impressed by the detail of your spending. I am curious, where is the spending on credit cards and where is the house payment, taxes and insurance?


  • Reply Tricia |

    Hi David, thank you for your comments. When I started listing my spending, I did include interest expense and finance charges in my expense report. I thought it would be a little confusing to see how much I spend per month and then how much I send to the credit cards (the finance charges are included there). So, I pulled them out and just basically have non-debt expenses listed. Perhaps though I should put them back. I am still working on trying to have everything listed in an easy to follow format and I appreciate the feedback. I think I will try something new for August.

    As for the amount actually sent to the credit cards, I started a new thing this month where I list how much I sent to the cards. To meet my goal date of May 2009, I need to send $1050 to my cards a month. A link to July\’s info can be found under the category Meeting My Goal.

    I have not paid taxes or insurance on my home yet this year. Taxes and insurance will show up for August. Taxes currently run around $600/year and my insurance is around $200/year.

    I do really need to try to put everything in one spot and figure out how to report it better. Most of the information is here – just scattered around.

    Thank you again for your comments!

    If anyone has any suggestions on how I can report everything, please let me know. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jack Watson |

    Quit smoking. True you don’t spend a lot on cigarettes however it may cost you more in health cost later on.

  • Reply Jack Watson |

    PS. The money you save in cigarettes will pay for your $200 insurance.


  • Reply Tricia |

    Cherisa – the recreation was a bit high in May. We decided to buy two inflatable kayaks to go boating with. Your comment brings up a good point – I should have a year to date column because the May spending was the first time this year we’ve spent money in recreation.

    Jack – You’ve been talking to my mom – LOL. Smoking is something I have done for too long and I do want to quit. I just am having a hard time getting in the frame of mind to make it happen. I can get in the frame of mind to reduce our debt but smoking is a different story. I have to figure out why and then tackle it head on. As for the health affects – I can already feel them and I’m not even 30 yet. Thank you for being so frank and honest with me. I appreciate it πŸ™‚

  • Reply Gary |

    I read about your blog in Scott Burns’ column in the Houston Chronicle. Kudos to you for having a plan to get out of debt. It’s called a “sinking fund” in which one dedicates a portion of their wages to lower the balance month by month and not feed it with needless charges.

    I’m saddened by the shameless tactics used by banks to entrap college students into signing up for credit cards when they are registering for classes. They use “Sign up for our credit card and get a (college) miniature basketball” or some come-on like that. So guess what? The kid takes the credit card, maxes it out in no time flat and is $10 G’s in debt. And then the bank might increase the credit limit, trapping the kid in financial quicksand and they’re not even 20 years old.

    I’m also dismayed that our society likes to buy “stuff” and keep factories open in China 24/7. I believe the term is “conspicuous consumption.” I strongly recommend that people read Stanley and Danko, “The Millionaire Next Door” (buy a used copy on eBay) in which we learn that most of the country’s 8 million millionaires prefer demos or used cars, live in the same modest-size house and pay it off as quickly as possible, wear cheap wristwatches instead of a Cartier or Rolex, buy one really good suit and wear it to death and invest heavily in the children’s education.

    When people flash open their wallets in the checkout line to show all the credit cards, I feel sorry for them. They seem to have some uncontrollable mental illness.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Hi Gary – you described how I started with my debt perfectly. Since blogging, another person I went to college with told me that she signed up for a card at the same table (different year). They are always there and always right outside the freshman hall of a required class for all students.

    I have read the Millionaire Next Door and it really made me think. I had no idea how a millionaire really lived and I think everyone in debt should read it. It really sunk in the fact that one needs to spend less than they earn and that’s what millionaires do.

    Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jon |

    Hi Tricia,

    I just wanted to write and say that I really like your site. It helps keep me motivated as I pay off a bunch of cards also. I started with $12K in January, and am now down to about $5500. I hope to be done by next January or February.

    I play bass also. Have you been playing long?

So, what do you think ?