surely you should have more money than this, right?

Welcome back! Not sure if you are here because I’m actually interesting or you just want to maybe understand how this moron can waste so much money… Either way, I’m glad you are back. Let’s jump right in.

“Before you can know where you are going, you need to know where you have been.”

Heard this quote before? I am not sure who originally coined the phrase (Google had 4 different authors, so who knows) but that is the way my brain ticks. In this 2nd post, I’ll show a quick snapshot of our income versus expenses so we can get an idea of what the hell is going on.

I have pulled numbers from October 2018 in this example but in future posts I will use the most recent month’s numbers. More on that later. So, October 2018 was a fairly typical month for us and a great example of why we basically break even each month. Here is the overall money in/money out numbers:

October Income: $7,791.00

October Expenses: $7,505.00

You can see right way this is not a sustainable cash flow. Netting $286 doesn’t exactly leave one with much feeling of security going into the next month. I will mention there is an emergency fund account with $2,000, but it isn’t tapped unless… there is an emergency. The above income number is after 401k, employer healthcare, and taxes have been taken out. All things to get into later and we will leave out for now, this again is just a quick overview.

Where does the money go? Here is a quick break down in descending order of total amount in October:

  • Mortgage $1,404 (incl. home insurance, property taxes)
  • Loans $1,270 (incl. auto loans, credit card payments, another loan, and all interest)
  • Groceries $860
  • Restaurants $750
  • Gas/Fuel $597
  • Pets/Pet Care $592
  • Healthcare/Medical $450 (vision/dental not covered & walgreens)
  • Home Improvement $269
  • Internet/TV $248 (comcast & streaming services)
  • Entertainment $235 (NHL hockey games & streaming movie rentals)
  • Utilities $193 (water & electric bill)
  • Clothing $191
  • Amazon $169
  • Auto Insurance $126
  • Gas Station Groceries/Coffee $109
  • Misc. $42

There should be a few categories that stand out to you as they do me. HA! That last sentence was hard to type without laughing in one of those half laugh/half cry types. I mean come on… the loans, grocery, and restaurant categories are absolutely insane! Not to mention internet/tv, entertainment, clothing, Amazon, and gas station groceries/coffee. We are married with no kids and a few (5) dogs just in case you missed the backstory.

As nervous as I am to post this because of how silly it looks written out. It is something I need to put out there. I know I am not the only one that spends like this. I know there are many people or families that spend much, much worse. And if they one day find this post and it sparks a conversation of how to change than it is worth the embarrassment I feel.

What is next once you realize, like I did, that something HAS to change but you don’t have a clue where to start? Easy, take to the internet and find someone like you who has turned it around and is on the other side. Enter the three sources I have obsessed over for the past three months:

  • ChooseFI
  • Mad Fientist
  • Get Rich Slowly

These three websites are dedicated to a movement called Financial Independence. What’s that you ask? Wiki defines it like this “Financial independence means you have enough wealth to live on without working.” I won’t dive into it too much more now but in a nutshell, you don’t live outside your means and in doing so you become independent to the stress and struggles of living paycheck to paycheck. Sounds amazing right? I thought so too and there was one common thing all mentioned pretty early on in their blogs or podcasts. The book Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. If you have never heard of it, that is ok. I hadn’t either. Click here if you wanna jump straight over to Amazon and grab a copy.

Seemed like a good place to start, so I did and I have read it through once now. This book is seriously awesome! I’m currently re-reading and working the steps laid out in the book. It really tackles the main issues I have with money and does it in a comforting, logical way. I strongly encourage you to take a read if your above cash flow looks anything like ours.

With that, I will stop today’s post. Pick up a copy, read it, and in a future post I will focus on Step #2 of Your Money or Your Life which discusses Being in the Present – Tracking Your Life Energy. I will also have February’s numbers and we can take a look if I have made any improvements in spending.

Thanks for reading! And remember to just shut up & save money.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. YNAB really turned my life around financially. I hesitate to recommend it as it does have a yearly subscription fee, but I’ve been able to set a budget I can live with (even if it does change slightly from month to month), save my $10k emergency fund, pay off all my debt, use a credit card for points and pay it off multiple times a month (everytime it reaches $500), and create several savings funds for non-emergencies such as home maintenance, car maintenance, large purchases, etc. without opening 20 different savings accounts.

    I started back in October with a goal of not living paycheck to paycheck and raising my emergency fund from 1k to 10k by April. I finished the last week of February(!) and that is despite having to pay taxes this year, a large car repair bill, and having to replace our furnace. Now I’m working on maxing out my 401k. Btw, I’m married, so the tax and furnace costs were joint, but we are kind of weird as we have never combined our accounts, so we have joint and individual bills.

    Another big help for me was creating a yearly budget. Then I could see where “extra” money I had could go to meet my goals the best.

    I did have the advantage of having my car and all credit card/loans paid off when we started, so I am certainly advantaged in that.

    Good luck on your journey! I know you’ll do great things.

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