As I mentioned in a previous post, my grocery bills have been continually going up. And up. September’s groceries were surprisingly low, but I ate way too many meals at restaurants, something I need to change for this month. I blame it on the fact that the roommate came back from abroad, so we were hitting up all of her favorite places, and then celebrating her birthday week later in the month.
I’m sure some of the increase in spending is coming from the general increase in food prices. But for October, I’m going to take a look at where all the money is going. I’m starting a spreadsheet to log all the groceries I buy, the cost, and some general categories for the items. I’m logging them into general categories (fruits, veggies, dairy, meat, prepared food, treat, etc) and also what meal they’re used for (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack). I’m hoping this helps me figure out where the money’s going and if there are areas in which I should be cutting back, or if this is just going to be how it is.
I don’t think this is something I could keep up long term, but I think it’s a good experiment. Who knows, the sheer act of having to log something might be enough to keep me from buying!
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.