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Creating a Spoonie Savings Plan – Review Your Spending

Developing a Working Budget by Hand
Let me just start off with a disclosure that I am far from a budget guru! I am a newbie and hoping to create a manageable budget as we consider disability. Hopefully as I research and share my journey,  you may be able to learn a thing or two as well!

As we are preparing to create a Spoonie Savings Plan for our family, the first thing I wanted to do was review our spending and see where our money was currently going. We no longer receive paper statements so I went online and printed off the last three months of transactions and grabbed a handful of highlights and went to work. Some banks may have the option to export the transaction data to a spreadsheet like Excel so that may be an option as well. I’m a paper-and-pen gal so I printed everything off.

I color coded all transactions by type – gas, groceries, eating out, etc – and created a simple spreadsheet so that I could tally the numbers by category and by month  and then I passed out.  What an eye-opening experience! After I regained my balance, of course.  It is amazing how quickly small purchases can add up. A soda and snack here. A couple of simple but unnecessary “bargains” there. At the time, it doesn’t seem like a big deal but it can really add up!

A 20 oz Coke at most gas stations is now $1.60 (with tax) and if you purchase one every day (I have a soda habit instead of a coffee habit), it equals $11.20 a week or $44.80 a month or $537.70 A YEAR! Holy smokes! 7 day passes at Disney for the 3 of us will be $846 so to think that giving up a daily Coke will cover over half of the ticket cost is CRAZY!

Then there are extra subscriptions we can consider cutting like Netflix ($7.99) and Spotify ($9.99). Cutting each of those would save an additional $215.76 a year – which would bring the savings total to $753.36 just by cutting out those three! I am floored that taking the time to review our spending could yield such results!

This was a general pass over our spending and the next step will be to dig in and go back through these reports and formulate workable numbers for our savings plan and see where else we can cut spending and still implement ways like couponing! I have totally been stalking the blog Couponing to Disney) to save for our Disney vacation! 326 days to go!

 

photo credit: kenteegardin via photopin cc

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5 comments on “Creating a Spoonie Savings Plan – Review Your Spending

  1. Andrea says:

    Have you considered using mint.com? I think it makes it really easy to keep track of my spending since I can set up budgets and it automatically tracks spending for me. I’m saving up to go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in October and I opened up a separate account just for saving for the trip. It’s exciting to see how small changes like giving up soda for while dining out is adding up!

    Reply
    • Jamee says:

      I have heard of mint.com and have looked at it before and am considering signing up! We also found a mac program that I think is very similar so we are torn between the two! I definitely think we need something like that to help automate the budget process! I think I’m going to look at both options for part 2 of the series. As I’m working on this, I would love to have you guest post with all of your amazing knowledge! Would you be interested? My email is anewkindofnormal at gmail!

      Reply
  2. I’m looking forward to Part 2. With me on SSD and my husband severely underemployed, I’m looking at all our spending habits. We’ve already cut out/back most of our expenses like Directtv and I’m looking for more ways to cut back. I’m collecting every receipt even if we pay cash. I’m sure we’re going to have the a Coke here and there because it’s “cheap” problem. For the last few months take out has been our problem. First it was my fibromyalgia causing me problems and then 4 weeks of the crud. I’ve looked at Mint.com briefly but I’m not sure I feel comfortable putting my financial information out in cyber land.

    Reply
    • Jamee says:

      Take out is definitely a big issue in our house! Lately, I have been so exhausted because of work it has been difficult to cook but we have got to change out habits. Not just because of our pocketbook but because of our health! My crockpot has become my BFF! I love that I can make a healthy meal for my family with very little effort! I understand your hesitancy with mint.com but from everything I have checked out the site is very secure and has a lot of great reviews but I can see where you are coming from. I am gathering a list of other options that may be helpful! I am by no means an expert but hopefully I’ll have some bloggy friends who focus on saving money share some tips as well!

      Reply
      • Thanks for your encouraging words. I’m going to take a look a Mint.com tomorrow. If I don’t jump in and start now, I’ll not do it because I will give up in frustration because there will be so much to do it will become overwhelming.

        Reply

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