To Track Or Not To Track Household Expenses?

Back in 2008 I started devouring personal finance books like many people around the world. With the crisis and all… From 2008 until 2010 I kept track of our household expenses like crazy. I taught myself lots of strategies in order to save money and my husband thought that on some points I got too frugal. Looking back at leaving the pee in the pot in order to save a couple of flushes of water a day sounds ridiculous to me too.

In 2011 I let go of tracking our household expenses. This was an extremely expensive year for us. Our car of ten years broke down beyond repair, so we bought a “new” second-hand one which was almost three years old. See, some of the things I learnt during the previous two years was still there. Were it not for those two years, I would probably have insisted on buying a new car.

During that same year we got married and had our dream wedding. Seriously, I do not regret spending a whole bunch of our savings on this. Neither does my husband. The same goes for our honeymoon to Australia. Both were worth every euro spent. We were able to afford this because we saved for both events.

In autumn that year our house was ready for us to move into. Before being able to move into it, we had to spend a lot of savings on that as well. It was a brand new house and one needs flooring and paint, right?

Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up my good old keepin’ track o’money habit at the start of 2012. I think I enjoyed “livin’ the good life” (aka senseless spending) a bit too much. But that little voice inside my head kept nagging me to do something about it. So I started this blog to force myself to DO something about it again.

So I started writing this blog and in the meantime punched in all of the 2012 numbers into my lovely spreadsheet again. I do not dare to go into our 2011 bank statements. Funny thing is, we now have the same amount of savings we had at the end of 2010. So 2011 was expensive, but didn’t blow a humongous hole in our savings account. Yay! Still…I am ignoring our expenses during 2011…it’s been spent and we don’t regret those expenses. (Although at the end of 2011 I did feel reluctant to spend more money on the house…it just didn’t feel right anymore.)

I was actually a bit surprised at what I saw when I went through the numbers. I hardly spent any money on clothes during the first nine months of 2012. Yay, the Econowiser in me was still there! I proudly showed my husband the numbers. My husband didn’t spend any money on clothes this year, hooray! We did think that we were spending too much on groceries again. We think we should spend 25% less from now on. Also, we noticed a couple of memberships that we would like to cancel, so we did. Apart from that, we don’t think we did too bad without our tracking device.

Still, I am very keen on keeping track of our household expenses from now on. Unfortunately, I cannot publish them. I also find calculating our mortgage percentages very motivating. Those you can find under the mortgage tab on this blog.

In conclusion, to answer the question I started this post with is YES. Track your household expenses, teach yourself some wise spending behaviour and live prosperous. 


Mrs EconoWiser


One thought on “To Track Or Not To Track Household Expenses?

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