Taking a Look at the Numbers…

by Marcy on April 9, 2008 · 0 comments

Angie at Thrifty Florida Mama inspired me to tally our gas and grocery/toiletry/household expenses for the first quarter of 2008. You can read her post here.

Yesterday, I sat down and went through our checking and credit card accounts and came up with these numbers:

Grocery/Toiletry/Household Items

January – $427.41

February – $426.57

March – $407.95


January – $305.04

February – $326.08

March – $213.69

It was very interesting to see these numbers on paper and to compare each month. For example, our grocery/toiletry/household spending was pretty consistent across the first three months of this year. I used to spend upwards of $400 on groceries alone for the month, so I am happy to see that I am able to get our toiletries and household items in addition to groceries for this same amount by shopping sales and using coupons.

As for our gas expenditures, I can’t tell you what happened… It is odd that our spending went down as prices have gone up, because we have not done anything specifically to cause this. DH and I are stumped. Either I missed something in my records, or we just plain drove less in March. I’m not sure!

Tracking these numbers should help me with my future budgeting. It also is another way to make myself aware of where our money is going, and where we need to reign in our spending. I know what tends to happen when we don’t pay attention, so this is just one more way I am going to try to keep our spending in check.

While up until this point I have not been keeping track of actuals, I am going to start. My tool of choice is good old Excel. Nothing fancy, but it does the job.

What about you? Do you keep track of your monthly actuals? If so, what tool(s) do you use to track this info?

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