The Huge Difference Between Thinking You’re Not Overspending And Actually Tracking Your Dough

I keep expanding all the numbers I’m tracking and I’m loving it! The latest addition has been the income to spending ratio. I just don’t love last year’s numbers.

I was able to easily conjure up the income to spending ratio for 2012. Oh, the horror.

January: 103% (trip to India)
February: 159% (wintersport and home improvements)
March: 115% (lots of stupid spending)
April: 76% (lots of eating out and Easter music festival)
May: 49% (great!)
June: 74% (ok, but still too much stupid spending)
July: 93% (the husband bought extra holiday days)
August: 72% (camping in Germany)
September: 52% (much better!)
October: 75% (short autumn holiday)
November: 57% (nice and frugal!)
December: 95% (home improvements, Apple computer, two mortgage payments, guess the bank wanted to cash our January payment before the end of the year? So in all fairness, December wasn’t too bad)

Our annual income to spending ratio in 2012: 84% 

Our annual income to spending ratio in 2013 up till now: 65%

We now know we can do so much better. As yesterday’s numbers have shown we could easily kick ass and stay below 70%.

Conclusion: our home improvements (we’re “done” for now…but you’re never really done, are you?) and our holidays eat up our dough. That’s food for thought. But the biggest result (which was to be expected) is that you’re doing a much better job when you’re tracking your dough. We weren’t tracking it for the biggest part of 2012. We have been tracking it on a monthly basis up until now this year. And that’s exactly the reason why we have been so succesful at making extra mortgage payments. Track your spending and you’ll thank yourself for it. It takes me about half an hour each month.

Love,

Mrs EconoWiser

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