Because I’m a Dave Ramsey girl, I spend every dollar on paper. My budget has a few loopholes though. For instance, I have a category for groceries, one for restaurants and one for free spending. Sometimes the lines blur on those three categories and I don’t know where my money really goes. Is shopping at the wine store considered groceries or free spending? Is an afternoon coffee considered restaurants or free spending. I want to really know where my money goes.
Don’t be scared. I’m not going to ask you to spend less, give up your Starbucks, or stop ordering music and apps. In fact, I insist that you don’t change a thing for the next 30 days. The only thing you have to do for this mini-mission is track every penny that you spend. Only when you are aware of what the issues are, can you begin to change them.
While some of you might embrace this challenge as a way to better understand why you buy what you buy, and where your money really goes, this might feel threatening to some of you. You don’t have to share your 30 day money journal with anyone, so don’t over think it. Just get started.
- write down your purchase within 10 minutes of spending
- use paper and pencil or pen
- write exact amount – no estimating
- include purchase, place and amount
Remember this is not an exercise in budgeting or spending, or even analyzing your patterns. Just keep a record of your spending. I suggest spending less than a dollar on a tiny notebook that you can carry everywhere and write down the date, place and purchase. Even include your regular bills.
While I usually do mini-missions in advance of sharing them, I’m going to do this one with you. I am going to track from Sunday, March 20 through Monday, April 18th.
This challenge is for you regardless of your current financial situation. You can benefit from this if you are upside down in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and even if you are debt free with a nice emergency fund. This 30 day journal will shed light on more than just your spending habits, so get ready to be enlightened.
Are you in? Commit today and we will revisit in late April. I have a feeling there will be some big revelations!
Let me know in the comment section if you have questions on the why and how to take on this very important mini-mission.
For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.