Seven things I learned about my spending habits when I set up a budgeting spreadsheet

25/02/2019
Blog post

Money, money, money – I love it but I never seem to have any of it. Isn’t that always the way for us millennial’s? I want to own a house, I want to go on cool holidays, I want a wardrobe full of & Other Stories knitwear but alas, it’s not happening any time soon. As I have some monetary goals lined up for the year I decided to start a budgeting spreadsheet and man, it forced me to look at my spending habits in a big way. Here’s what I found:

The most blindingly obvious thing is that I’m shit with money

Okay, I’m not super shit with money. My bills are always paid first and foremost and I’ve never got behind on ANYTHING…But the rest of the money that isn’t in my bills or savings account? POOF gone bye bye. I really need to get out of the mindset that whatever is left over is for spending and need to think of it as more money for saving.

And that I make a lot of trips to the supermarket

Man do I love Aldi and Sainsburys and Morrisons, Jesus H Christ. Most of the time it’s a case of ‘I’m just nipping in’ for some lunch or for something for tea but I always end up spending a tenner or so.

The first week or so I think I’m some kind of millionaire

The bulk of my wage gets spent in the first and second week – Kind of obvious right? Instead of splashing the cash around I need to put a weekly budget in place that takes into account any appointments etc that I have lined up.

Having a spreadsheet made me much more accountable

Knowing where all my money has gone over the last month has made me so much more aware of what I’m spending, when I’m spending it and why I’m spending it. It’ made me face my money issue head on and I’m ready for my February wage to go in so I can handle my money properly.

The spender’s guilt was a million times worse than usual

Another thing is that after seeing where all my money has gone I feel super guilty. Did I really need to buy four books when I already have a sizeable to be read pile at home? Did I really need to go to Primark and spend £17.20 on I don’t even remember what? The answer is no. The guilt is real guys and I’m not gunna lie, I’m a little bit ashamed.

I don’t make that many BIG purchases and most of my money goes here and there in dribs and drabs

Bar my monthly nail appointment, petrol, a month’s membership at the gym and a night out for a friend’s thirtieth, hardly any of the payments made go over a tenner. My money exits my account in small doses but it adds up over the course of the month so I need to be careful with February’s wage and make sure I don’t make the same mistake again.

I need to get back into some kind of normal routine PRONTO

Ever since I moved out of my rented houses I’ve been drifting around from my parent’s house to Jody’s parents house, armed only with a spare pair of pants and my toothbrush. I’ve felt really disconnected and I think my apparent love for nipping into supermarkets shows that. When I lived on my own I would do one big shop a week then maybe go to the supermarket for little top ups once or twice. I need to start doing a proper shop again so that I’m not spending all my money here and there.

How do you manage your finances? An old school spreadsheet like me? A Bullet Journal? An app? Let me know in the comments.

3 Comments

  • Nat

    26/02/2019 at 8:10 am

    I spend far too much money on random small things, namely snacks. Too many snacks. I get paid monthly (unfortunately) so I feel like I need to be even more money conscious. I pay off my credit card bill for the month, move a chunk over to my savings and have the rest for spending. I’m trying to only spend that cash, rather than using the credit card as well in an attempt to curb spending. Trying to even leave my cards at home and only have cash to be more mindful.

    I tried to use an app once but just got far too bogged down by all the nitty gritty and felt far too guilty about everything. Didn’t think it was worth living like that hence the chunking approach.

    Nat • dignifiable

    1. Alrightblondie

      26/02/2019 at 10:32 am

      Yeah same here, I am TERRIBLE for going to the supermarket and spending £10 on chocolate and crisps! I do the same as you – Bills paid, savings saved, the rest is for fun! I don’t really fancy an app either to be honest, too much hassle. xx

  • Jess

    26/02/2019 at 10:58 am

    I totally feel you when you say you’re crap with money; so am I! & it’s only when you start to look at things you realise. Just like you I also spend a lot of money in the first week or two. I’m trying to stop making those daft small hauls which add up over the month!

    xoxo
    Jess
    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

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