Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tracking Coinage

Okay, a little legend for the calendars below:

Green = No Spend Day
Yellow = Spend Day
Red = Used Credit Card

Here's how it went for the month of February:

February - All Spending

*fritter fritter*


*fritter fritter fritter*

You hear that? That's the sound of me frittering away money on a near daily basis buying tea and breakfast items at the university. It occurred to me about half way through the month that I was doing this, so I decided to see what my spending would look like if I took the morning treats out of there. This was the result:

February - Spending, Without Morning Snacks

Considerably more no spend days!

However, when I totalled it up, my morning breakfasts out added up to about $30.79 over the course of the month. That's just over a dollar a day. I expected it to be much higher than that once I realized how often I was doing it.

Now I'm trying to decide whether this is something I want to stem for the sake of saving a little extra money, or just let slide for the sake of sanity? I know that the *right* answer is to bring my tea and scones from home and put the savings towards my emergency fund; but right now I am feeling a bit of frugal fatigue.

It sucks. Hard.

The savings grace of having this habit at the university is where I can go to get my snack attack breakfast fix. If I was getting a venti chai latte and scone at Starbucks, it would set me back about $8. Grabbing an extra large chai tea and scone at Cram Dunk? Closer to $2.50, $2 if they have day old baking. The tea itself is $1.25.

I have a month and a half until class is done. To be completely honest, I'm probably going to let myself fritter on this in the morning.

Frugal? No.

Sane? Yes.

I'm already crazy enough as it is, I don't need money driving me further down the rabbit hole.


target10mil said...

Cool way to visualize it.

But I don't see anything that looks like rent / mortgage payment in there. Is that really _all_ spending (inc utilities, food, gas, insurance, phone bill, etc...)?

If so that is insanely good. Damn. I want to know how you do it. My monthly spending is somewhere around $1700-$2500, and that's me being pretty dang cheap.

Daisy said...

There are some really good websites that will tell you how much your spending on your morning food over your lifetime, and how much interest you could have been earning on it. They're pretty cool!
like if you think about it, $30 /month * 12 months = $360. Still doesn't seem like much, but if you put it in a retirement account and let compound interest do it's thing, then you could end up retiring hundreds of thousands of dollars richer throughout the course of your spending.
just food for though, no pun intended>
Why don't you try just buying it 1/2 the time? then you could decide whether you wanted it.

Morgaine said...

I was having the same issue when work decided to start charging for coffee. Instead of having most days be no spend days, they were spent 75 cents days. Granted that its not all that much money (approx $15 per month) but I decided I just wanted to see the no spends more. So, I bought one of those reusable portable mugs and a ziplock bag of tea bags and I have this at work. They have hot water available (you would have to see if this possible at your school) and I make my tea in the mornings (and sometimes in the afternoon). I got a box of 100 tea bags on sale for $1.99 so that works out to 2 cents per tea instead of 75 cents AND it gives me way more no spend days!

I will on occassion still run out and get a coffee (last Friday, for example) but I like that on most days, its free but still convenient. See if you can find such an option for you.

Cassie said...

Very good point target10mil, I had only been writing down what I had been spending in cash or using a card, I hadn't included my automatic payments out of my bank account(house/car/insurance/RRSP). I'll do one up this month that includes all of those. That can be my march goal! Thanks :)

I actually brought my tea with me today Daisy :)

Your work started charging you for coffee Morgaine? That's just cruel and unusual torture. I keep a stash of tea in my desk, and they have tea available for free at work too. What I should start doing is just putting a tea bag in my mug and putting that in my bag before bed. There is hot water I can use at the school.

Anonymous said...

I just started tracking my spending in my Google Calender, so it's neat seeing this.

I don't think that $30 is too big of a deal for convenience and sanity. But maybe stock up on snacks on hand, and see if you can cut out one less day a week and see if it makes a difference for your sanity or budget.

But I hear ya, sometimes I can find it a bit stale to be saving all the time, and feeling deprives. The balance is different for everyone.

Morgaine said...

Yes, they are "cutting costs" at work, so no more free coffee. But now that I haven't been drinking the coffee and tea instead I find that I don't get as many headaches so I guess there's a upside too.

Cassie said...

@fabulouslyfrugirl I tried tracking it on my iPhone, but for whatever reason it wasn't resonating with me. I'm back to paper and excel. I feel old! lol. I'm struggling to find the balance between spending/saving/paying down right now. I'd like to feel good about watching money gather in an account, but as long as I have Mr. Monster-Debt hanging around I don't see myself feeling good about it.

@Morgaine Tea has less caffeine and lots of antioxidants, so it would make you feel better (just a little less perky until you get used to it)