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Where does the money go?

August 7th, 2006 at 06:33 am

My budget is pretty tight. Before I get paid, I write out the checks for all of my debts and get them ready for mailing. I typically pay as many of these as I can from the first half of my full-time job's pay. Then the rest of my pay goes for the household budget. For the most part, the money from my second job goes towards this one big debt I owe.

Most of my household expenses are fixed, or within a narrow margin: utilities, auto fuel and rent are pretty much the same every month. So I do all right with paying the bills on time, and theoretically I should be able to anticipate exactly the remaining expenses.

But I realize that I don't keep an accurate enough track of what I really do spend. I consistently overspend on groceries, and even though I shouldn't, I do eat out. I've really cut back on entertainment -- I generally use the library, but there's still some spending that happens each month.

I know that people say it's not what you make, but what you do with it -- but I'm so impatient to be out of debt that I feel like my pay isn't really doing much of anything. I digress here.

Anyway, a ballpark overview of my spending and my attitude reveals that because I don't account for the things I do actually buy, my budget tends to go off the rails and I waste money when I don't need to. I think I get this "I'm never going to make it" mentality that makes it easier for me to be less disciplined.

So I think I need to go back to the budget, with a more realistic mindset.

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