Where Does It Go?

My lovely.  COME ON:

So many puns. No Mercy on money. Where do you go, my money? Anyway. One of Dave's main principles with budgeting is that you don't wait until a certain point in time and look back to see where your money went. Instead, you tell it where to go. And we definitely do that, but I always like to take stock of how well we've actually done it.  What do the numbers REALLY say? Because I would say that we stick to our budget 70 percent of the time. We are already doing better in January with cash and stick-to-itiv-ness than we were doing through the craziness that is fall.

Even though I use my budgeting spreadsheet to plan where our money is SUPPOSED TO GO, I use Mint to track our spending and our overall financial picture. I like that I can include our home loan in there and sync all of our accounts (including retirement). I go in and categorize almost all of our card swipes and can parse out what categories our cash withdraws should be attributed to. So this is where our money went in 2014:

2014 Spending

Our biggest category is the house, clearly. This includes our mortgage and ANY home improvement projects that we are doing. Next up was Miscellaneous Expenses, which seems like a really lame category to spend so much in until I tell you Misc. Expenses also included our wedding.  YIKES.

The one that makes me embarrassed of myself and my stomach's constant need for pleasure is our food budget... last year we spent... $7,806 on food. And I would add at least $6-800 of cash spending on food that I didn't account for. That is upwards of $650 a month. On food.

Now listen here self. This number also basically includes our entertainment budget because that is what we do for date nights and fun with friends: we eat y'all. We feed others a lot too. Do we need to reign this in a little? Yes. Are we still going to spend a lot on food? You freaking bet ya.

We eat well and we eat well. Here is what I mean: we like YUMMY mind blowing food on one hand (i.e., not healthy, but more on the fancy spectrum. We eat well.) and we like healthy, good for you body fuel on the other (eating actually, literally, well). Also, the amount of food I eat is mind blowing sometimes. The Treans can put it away.  Andy frequently says that he loves to watch me eat because he has no idea how I can eat so much.  I just love food.  So I take responsibility for a good portion of what some may deem "overspending."

The other shockingly large area of expenses for us were bills and utilities. This includes cable, internet, electricity, water, ect. We spent $5,798 on this category. That seems super high until you break it down even further.


Our TV budget is high. It's just a fact. But we also don't go out and spend money on movies ect. We watch them from the comfort of our own tushies. Plus, we both get a lot of joy from watching all the Blazers games. The NBA league pass certainly drives up this area of our budget, but it is something we will not forgo. Speaking of TV and sports, I bit the bullet and gave up on paying for the NFL Sunday Ticket because my Seahawks AS DEFENDING CHAMPS would be playing a lot of nationally televised games. For the ones that weren't televised, we went over to Jay and Ben's. WIN WIN!

So that is where our money went last year. Pretty much what I predicted, but also a few OUCH! YIKES! OYE! Spots as well.

Where did your money go last year?

PSSSSST: if you don't know, getting set up on Mint is super easy and you can go through and populate everything to get a picture of where your money went just like I did!

PSSSSSSSSSST: this isn't a sponsored post. I just like talking about money tools. #realtalk

October 2014 Debt Update

(*I am aware that this is personal. That people get squimish laying their money woes out for the world. For me, part of this process of having a healthier relationship with money, is being honest about where I am. To see my other posts on our money journey click here.) This will be my last post before I turn 30 and I think posting about our budget progress and setbacks is totally appropriate. We have been on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Journey for a year now. That is CRAZY. Time has flown, but we have also done SO much!

Our last debt update in September left us here:

September budgeting and debt update

Since that update we added LB's credit card with a balance of $-823.67, and the tires with a balance of $-1,466.19. So our total debt at the end of September was actually

September 2014:  $-9,684.25

Half way through October, we have this much left:

October 2014:  $-8,635.28

October budget

That means we paid off $1048.97 worth of debt last month AND TOTALLY paid off the Bank of America card! WOOT!

By halfway through November we are on track to pay off LB's credit card and the tires. *Adendum: after taking a cold, I-washed-my-hair-in-the-sink shower, I was reminded that our ER fund isn't fully funded again. We might readjust some of our debt payment this next month to get that beefed up.


To really appreciate how far we have come in a year, I pulled our total debt number from our first Dave Ramsey workshop. BRACE YOURSELF!

Adding in LB's two debts, when we started we owed

$-17,000 in credit card debt alone!

To have that debt down to


Means that in the last year we have paid off

$8,364.72!!! In DEBT!

Woah. What a difference a year makes. What is AWESOME about this number is that while we were doing this we bought a house, fixed up and furnished said house, paid cash for our wedding, and generally enjoyed life. When I think about a year from now I know that I am going to have all this debt gone, my small student loan of about $5,000 paid off, and be making large payments on the truck to get that paid off. I also know that we will have started our FOR REAL emergency fund (3-6 months of living expenses in savings).

We've messed up. We've dipped into our honeymoon fund to cover things as we are still mastering our combined finances. LB still fights me on being totally transparent with his money, but is 90% on board 90% of the time. Considering he was 0% on board a year ago, I'll take it. It's not easy, this money stuff. It's easy to get discouraged and want to say F it. I love clothes and food as much as the next person, but I also keep envisioning what making that last credit card payment will feel like. (*HINT: AWESOME). I want to be free of debt. I want travel and try expensive resturants and be able to splurge on that coat/shoe/bag that I lust after. AND I WILL GET TO DO THOSE THINGS... once I've earned them.

save for it

Being an adult can suck sometimes, but you also realize that only through some of that suck will you get the thrill of seeing hard-earned progress. So go me. Go team.