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Day 8 ) Reader Tips & Roundup

Welcome to Day 8 of Where’s My Money Going? Month! This February 2009, I’m challenging readers (and myself) to track spending manually for 28 days. Don’t worry if you’re late to the party, the more the merrier!

Eight days in, dear reader, we are over 1/4 of the way through the month. If you’re joining at this point, you’re not too late but consider going a week into March to give yourself a bigger picture of your finances. Today, I’m doing a roundup of reader tips & posts.

From Steve in Montreal (look for a post from him later this month):

I’ve been tracking my spending for about 18 months now. I use the calendar in MS word and enter all my bills as to when they are due and for how much. I keep a running tab on my bank accounts as well.

What really helps is using these values and entering them on Excel. Each month I sum up 3 columns: Food, Gas and Stuff. It is a real eye opener when you calculate how much you dropped down for stuff.

Jermaine shares an intricate budget spreadsheet she’s created, modeled on the PearBudget spreadsheet.

Calgirl Finance managed not to spend at all for the first two days of the month. Well done!

Mike at Richer by the Day shares where his money went in 2008.

After checking her checking account records, Just Another SAHM has come up with some plans for curbing eating out in February.

M is for Money talks about tracking spending to get a handle on debt.

Others who have written about their decision to participate include: Liz at Both Sides of the Pond, zpetal (and her boyfriend), Rob at MoneyWatch, Jason at Live to Budget, and Ashley at Wide Open Wallet.

This post was part of Where’s My Money Going? Month. Tomorrow, I’ll be reviewing You Need a Budget.


Liz February 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for the mention! Tracking is going well so far. As expected, eating out is surprising me already with how much we’ve spent 8 days in.

Miss M February 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for linking my article. So far I’m still tracking my spending. You’ve inspired me to keep it up for the month, hopefully it will be a new habit. Cheers.

[email protected] February 11, 2009 at 10:37 am

Thanks for including us!

I do have a question for the masses, though: when tracking ‘spending,’ do you include credit card and other debt payment?

At first, I didn’t (it’s on my budget spreadsheet, and is included there, but I wasn’t including it on the February ‘spending’ document and blog), but yesterday, I decided to add it, so we’d know EVERY penny that went out.

I wonder about it, though, because it’s money that’s already been ‘spent,’ sort of, but it’s not FOR anything.

LaTanya February 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm


I’m tracking everything, including car note, electric bill, retirement that comes out of checking acct, credit card payments (even though we “technically” spent it last month) etc… This is my first time to ever track my expenses so I want to know exactly how much we spent this month. My reasoning, is I added up our gross pay and I am wondering where all our money is going!!!

The only thing I am not currently including is what we are charging on the credit card currently. I think over time, I will get to where I will add what we charge daily and not include the amount we pay monthly. (I only use mine for gas and online purchases, which is not that often, where as my husband uses his for everything instead of using his debit card–we do pay the balance off every month though.

I guess it depends……..

mrsmicah February 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm

@Jamie, I do record in what we’re paying off as debt in our budget/spending. After all, it’s money from the account and while it’s not “for” specific things it’s still for an expense. Our debt is sort-of like our water bill. I can’t remember all the times I used water, but I did use it and thus got the bill. Only I hope that our debt will eventually go away…that’s the plan.

It may not cast the same illumination on your spending habits, but I think it’s useful to track just to get a fuller financial picture.

[email protected] February 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Thanks, Mrs. Micah and LaTanya!

Good points, both. I suppose it’s more of a ‘where is ALL of the money going’ kind of thing.

That’s what I’m doing. I, too, am chipping away at the debt, awaiting the day that I don’t HAVE to send that money out on past purchases, but can save (or spend) it for something else!

Thanks again for doing this, Mrs. Micah. We appreciate it!

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