This week I picked up a book from the library titled “One Year to an Organized Financial Life“. Although I can’t keep the book from the library for the entire year, I am going to read through it and jot down the important points. I will check the book out periodically through the year. I read the Introduction and chapter 1 so far and the process sounds interesting. I always thought I had a handle on my finances, at least as far as knowing what my income in and expenses out were. After all I keep track in of everything with Quicken, so I thought I knew what I was doing.
My debt levels should have been a clue that I really had no idea of my spending. Really, I am intelligent, just a bit clueless at times. This weekend I have been going over my expenses with a fine tooth comb. I started by listing all of my bills, monthly, quarterly, bi-weekly, and yearly. I mean ALL of them, every thing I spend on the dogs, my house, my car, etc. No wonder I am broke! I have a lot of little expenses that add up. Most of my income goes to paying my debt service and my housing bills, but I did find several expenses that I deem “necessary” that really are not. Incidentally, quite a few are pet expenses.
I am listing everything out right now as I work toward a balanced budget, but this experience has been quite the eye opener!