Reflection

Number doesn’t lie

How much do you really care of your spending? Or how well do you manage your money?

One of the aspects in money management is how to manage your spending. Are you a good spender?

After a meeting with a long time friend who had been so long not seeing each other for the last couple of years, I had a thought to make a proper analysis on my spending. I have recorded almost all my spendings for the last few years. I never thought that I could have become so discipline in keeping this for this long. I made the record manually. Every single receipt of any payment was recorded on a book. I have made a quick analysis on monthly basis. I knew whether the total expense was increasing or not, how much I spent on month-to-month basis. I didn’t make any proper analysis. No wonder that my expense was increasing for the last few months.

I decided to put all the records into a worksheet in my laptop. I am using Microsoft Excel for this. It makes everything so easier. In any data analysis, the more datas and the more detailed and accurate, the better. It will then speak something. It tells you everything accurately and honestly. Number doesn’t lie.

An accurate graph will speak the truth.

It says…

One. My year-to-date expense on Starbucks in 2022 increased more than 300% than it was in 2021.

Two. I have spent on Starbucks almost as much as on gasoline.

Three. A cup of hot chocolate is much more expensive than a litre of gasoline.

With this simple analysis, I know what I need to do or change in my spending. Gasoline is more essential than hot chocolate drink. Moreover the price of gasoline has just increased. I have to become more mindful on spending on what is less essential.

It also tells me the accurate number on groceries, house maintenance, meals, communication, insurance, fashion, leisure etc.

You will become more confident when you have to make any financial decision. You will also become more committed to what you are going to do with your money when you have this data-based analysis with you.

When I shared my charts and tables of this analysis to a colleague who is working in Finance Division, she said that she was amazed that I could make it so consistent. She tried to make same record of her spending, but then she did not like the feeling like being suffocated every time she was going to make one. Then she did not continue doing it. Actually I heard this from some other colleagues too.

I think the hardest part is to make something into a routine, then into a habit. To start something is easy. To continue doing it is always not easy. It really takes a commitment.

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9 thoughts on “Number doesn’t lie

  1. Much cheaper to buy some good quality cocoa and find a good recipe to make your own at home. You’d be amazed at the savings. I’ve always thought Starbucks overpriced. I used to extrapolate the daily cost into monthly and annual costs. So if I spent $5 on coffee every workday, that is $100/month and $1,200/year. Then I always thought of what I could have bought or invested with that $1,200. It made the choice easy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for giving me an idea to extrapolate the small expense, Eliza. By extrapolating the number it gives a feeling to control the future spending more easily.

      It is so true!

      Like

  2. It is had to believe, but I keep my financial records since we bought a house 27 years(!) ago. I am of firm opinion that keeping budget allows to have the same quality of life with spending 30% less, compared to budget free life. Budget does not have to suffocate, it actually gives you piece of mind spending, even giving the joy and pleasure in the process. When making budget, give yourself 10-15% flexibility and enjoy financial matters. I used very early version of Quicken for many years while it was still possible to adapt it for the new software, which is impossible now. I never use financial products that ask access to bank data.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 27 years is no kidding!!!!
      I am using Microsoft Excel just beause I am familiar with this program. It is very easy in making an analysis in table and graph. It doesn’t take time.

      Thank you for sharing here, Irena!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have financial records. but I’m not consistent. when I am consistent and I realize that there are things that must be reduced, for example coffee, there is another side that says “it’s okay, it’s for your pleasure”
    But, I’ve been surprised to see the cost of parking.

    Liked by 1 person

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