Monthly Food Costs – Update

This week marked the second month of tracking all food and grocery store purchases.  After a surprising first month we buckled down and made some changes to our eating habits in an attempt to reduce our obscenely high food costs.  I have found that this takes more time and planning but overall we did reduce our expenses.

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Monthly Food Analysis

Have you ever had analysis paralysis?  Well after Mr. SFF and I sat down and reviewed our 2015 total expenses we were shocked at how much we spent on food.  At the start of this journey we decided we still wanted to eat well but these numbers were just too high for my liking so we decided to take action.  Starting on Jan 8th we started to track every single food and grocery store purchase. This will help to determine how much of the grocery store totals were for things like toilet paper and cleaning products but also to hopefully help us narrow down the actual problem so we can make changes.  We didn’t really make any conscious efforts to make any changes to our eating habits over the past month but I am sure they unconsciously happened since we were tracking everything.

We collected every receipt and I logged things in a spreadsheet.  I had the numbers break down into three broad categories and then 12 more detailed categories.  Here is what we came up with:

Category Totals Purpose
Food $787.27 Breakfast $98.64
Groceries $85.45 Lunch $74.31
Alcohol $48.93 Dinner $332.14
Snacks $111.12
Ingredients $103.18
Entertaining $31.93
General household $45.21
Cleaning $2.99
Personal care $16.26
Rental Properties $20.99
Alcohol $40.94
Beverages $43.94

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Are You Playing Offense or Defense with Your Finances?

The way to win a any game is to have a good combination of both offensive and defensive plays.  If your quarterback can’t make a single successful pass then it doesn’t matter how good your linebackers are at intercepting passes or tackling running backs.  Or if the quarterback is the best on the league but the defense gets trampled every time the ball changes over then you have only a slim chance of winning.  The best teams out there have a really good balance of both offensive and defensive players. Continue reading “Are You Playing Offense or Defense with Your Finances?”

Monthly Savings Update – September

With the end goal of Financial Independence constantly on my mind I was able to keep my expenses over the past month in check.  I am saving a little bit of money just because the cost of gas has gone down.  As my little Honda Fit is fairly fuel efficient my fuel costs are never that much but I am now able to fill my tank for less than $20.  Not bad if you ask me!

Our 7th wedding anniversary happened the last week in September.  We actually have not have time to celebrate together as our schedules have been so crazy over the past week but we decided not to buy each other gifts.  It’s funny to look back and compare to how different our lives were only 2 years ago before this journey to FI started.   Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – September”

Run Your Household Like a Business

All businesses have the goal of making a profit, otherwise they will not survive in the long term.  To get an easy snapshot of a business’ health you could look at their Profit and Loss Statement.  If every household ran their finances like a business, I bet people would have more savings and less debt.  I will admit that I only recently started to actively track my income and expenses (thereby creating my own P&L of sorts).  I previously would log in to Mint and see my spending there but it was not until I had my own spreadsheet where I spent time entering my data that I really had a full understanding of how much money I was taking in and where it was all going.

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I don’t believe there is any one magical way to Continue reading “Run Your Household Like a Business”