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Day 23: crunching the numbers

What I've spent so far in January. The big purple one is rent/bills. The big green one is paid on debt.

So far, I have to admit, this project has felt like a bit of a failure. But then I crunched the numbers and it is totally not!

It seemed like a failure because I have found myself, as I always do, nearing the end of the month with very little money left. And the only difference I see is that, instead of having pretty new things to play with, I have very little money but nothing fun to play with.

But, in talking with my Frugal Companion, I came to realize that of course I have something -- I have less debt than before! I also discussed my past thinking about paychecks, which goes something like, "OK, I just got paid, I have to spend all of this money really quickly before it goes missing." Because it always goes missing. And by "goes missing," I mean, I spent it and so there isn't any left later on.

But there are three reasons why I have less money right now than I had thought I should have:

1) My phone bill went up by $50 this month from last month. Now, I had a special introductory cheap internet offer, but with that offer ending, it should only be a difference of $15. So I am going to go and see the phone people tomorrow to sort this out, and also switch to a cheaper (slower) internet thing. Sigh.

2) I forgot to turn off my automatic bill payment thing! So, while I was putting lots of money onto my debt, my bank still thought I wanted it to pay an additional $175 per month WHICH I DO NOT WANT. So, I cancelled that, and so there won't be any surprise deductions like that anymore.

3) The other thing is that I got my hair done and it was quite expensive. However, all it needs now is an occasional trim and no colouring, so that's a one-time-only expenditure.

Additionally, when I go to take my prescription receipt to the insurance place tomorrow, I will get a check so some of the "Drugstore" money will come back to me, too. And, though I was paralyzed with guilt, the amount spend on hot drinks was not as much as I had feared (I only got 3 all month, and one was half-price).

So this are not so bad, really. I am spending too much on groceries - yes, I realize that and will work on that via meal-planning.


Gwen said...

Ann, you are doing great! Keep on slogging! I stink with money too, and the first time we went to see a financial advisor we learned a bunch of simple things. We should have a chat over homemade coffee sometime, and I'll share what I learned. :)

Foster said...

sounds nice! you can drink the coffee and i can drink in your sound financial advice. welcome to the legion of Frugal Advisors!

Kate said...

The magic phrase with telecomm companies is: "May I please speak with customer retention?" Haitch Pee taught me that one and I used it to reduce our monthly landline and net bill by 25% (while also increasing our bandwidth by 150% after our service was capped).

Ever read Gail Vaz-Oxlade? I heart her. No-nonsense and easy to follow budget advice that won't bore you to tears.

Foster said...

Thanks for the book recommendation. I've got a little pile of money books to go through, which I will review on here as well.

And thanks for the phone tip!

beans34 said...

What about banking fees, Ann? I love my no-fees bank after many years of paying and paying and paying and...

Foster said...

I used to have a no-fees bank account through PC Financial which was great, but when I consolidated my debt I moved everything into one bank (that does have fees). So far it seems worth it, to be able to see all my financial things by logging onto a single website, and also having a financial advisor to talk to.

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