This is my journey to apply the book, Unf*ck your finances. The book is about personal finances but I’ve added actions specific to working for myself.
If you want a bit more context, the prelude pieces are Hope can be scary, Why do we never talk about personal finance?, and Getting my s**t together: the plan for the next quarter.
The next thing I’m doing from the plan I made a few days ago is to understand where my money is spent.
I want to start noticing where I’m spending my money
The questions I want to ask are:
Who do I spend with?
Do I agree with their supply chains, their culture, the way they do things?
I’ve just added these questions to my weekly reflection questions.
Another part of this is making a habit of questioning my purchases.
I’ve gone through my fixed expenditure in past posts but I haven’t talked about variable expenditure.
I’ve used YNAB in the past but I’ve been manually keying and it was taking more time than it added value. I also refused to use adjustment transactions so I would go to extreme (and unnecessary) lengths to figure out discrepancies and get accounts to reconcile.
To do this:
1. I’m splitting my business and personal finances. This should have happened earlier.
2. I’m splitting my personal fixed costs and my personal variable costs. I’m doing this by using separate accounts.
What this means is that I can review one account to see my variable discretionary spending. More on this in future articles. For now…
I want to set up a system to help me notice where I’m spending my money
The other thing I’m doing is setting up Pocketbook. I’ll categorise the June expenses to date (and see how long it takes) and see what my backwards looking discretionary spending looks like.
90 minutes later
I did not expect that to take 90 minutes.
I went through 30 days of expenses, creating custom categories as I went.
I made a bonus discovery: I accidentally doubled up on a payment and I’m $800 richer than I thought I was. YAY!
If 30 days of categorisation takes 90 minutes, I would hope that I can keep a weekly run through at around 10 minutes.
I’ll let you know when it happens on Monday.
A reflection on historical data
I’ve had a flick through the last 30 days.
Without historical trends to look at (I cannot express how tempting it is to go back and categorise a few more months), the biggest question I have for myself is:
Is it in line with where I want to go to be spending $500 (AUD) on eating out in one month?