Do you track your spending?
For years we had a budget, but we would never really tracked our spending. Anyone else? ??♀️ We just spent what we spent and on occasion, we would sit down and go over our budget. We would set a new budget again. And then we would spend what we spent not sticking to it. If we did it would be for a few weeks or maybe a month. This cycle went on and on for years!
When we would decide it was time to look at finances and it was always a stressful thing to do. I always felt I was in trouble or I was ashamed for what I had spent.
Let me be clear it wasn’t anything Ryan did or said!!! I was never in trouble or vice versa Ryan was never in trouble! It was just the way I felt every time we looked at finances.
Fast forward a few months and we are on the same page!!! Yay!
It is so relieving now that we are finally on the same page! After 15 years of marriage, we have the same goal to reach FIRE! It wasn’t so much that we never agreed on money or anything, like that. It’s was more like we had different priorities, what to spend it on. We have now decided we want to jump off the hamster wheel and do things our way! With a common goal, it’s easy to prioritize our spending.
And not what society thinks we should spend or how we earn our money. As Ryan always says “We are Switching it up!” ❤
We ask ourselves will this bring us closer or farther from FI?
Okay, so how are we tracking our spending? We have been using a couple of tools that I want to share. These tools are helping us simplify as well as helping us on our mission to reach FIRE. To read more about our journey click here.
We use a couple different resources to track our spending!
The first tool we use and have used the longest is Mint. Do you use Mint? We love that we can connect all our accounts and see exactly where our money is going. It is totally free to use and a fantastic way to budget for each category. Its super simple to use, Ryan and I look at Mint daily. They have an app as well as the online budget planner.
We have a budget for everything we set a grocery bill budget, entertainment, kids budget…..
When I feel the need to go grocery shopping or make any kind of purchase. I double check our Mint account to see how well we are doing on a certain category.
I love to see that we are in green! Which means we are on track or under budget. What I don’t like to see that it’s in red!
Then I go through our transactions to see what we overspent on.
Like, this month I just looked at our budget and we are over on our food budget!! ??♀️
We went over budget because we went on vacation for a week. Yay!! Blog coming soon!
Since we were on vacation we ate out more than usual! Which meant we went over budget. Our goal for the rest of this month is not to spend any more money on food. Which is 11 more days of no spending.
In all honesty, we could easily live for months with all the food we have. In our 3, yes I said 3 FREEZERS!! We have delicious frozen vegetables from our garden. There is an abundance of meat provided by Ryan’s and Jack’s hunting. Including moose, elk, and deer. Plus I have flour to make fresh bread and Homemade tortilla’s (which I make every Tuesday) (Recipe coming soon!!)
Oh, and we can’t forget my chickens provide us with fresh eggs each morning…
If you ask my kids they would say:
“We have NO food in the house!! We are going to STARVE!!”
#momlife am I right?
But that’s just because we don’t have all the boxed junk in the house that they want.
Okay, back to tracking our expenses. I total recommend you give Mint.com a try and find out where all your money is going.
It’s so surprising to actually see how we spend our money. Even if you think you have a good idea of how you are spending your money. It’s only $10 or $20 or even it’s only $100… But oh my do those small purchases add up! You will also discover items you have on auto pay you didn’t even realize!
Like we found we had a Showtime Subscription. We were not even watching nor did we know we were paying for it. You know those times you sign up for the free trial. To watch say Shameless but then forget you signed up for the free trial… Yep! Guilty as charged!! ??♀️ A month or two go by and you totally forget. Which is what they want right? #marketing It would have been one thing if we had been enjoying the subscription. But to be paying for it and not using it. Anyone else?
WASTE OF MONEY!!
The second tool we use much like Mint but has some other features that mint doesn’t.
Like Mint you link all your account. This shows you where you are spending your money and where it is all going.
Plus it has a wonderful Retirement and Investment tracker. Personal Capital helps you keep track of your net worth including property and investments.
It’s a great tool to monitor if you are on track or not to retire on time. (or early ?? ) Personal Capital can help you figure out how much you need to save or invest that current year. This is what we mainly use this online platform.
It’s actually really cool to see play around with. You can put in different scenarios of your income, savings, investments. To see how much you actually need to save for retirement. You will be surprised you don’t really need as much as a lot of financial advisors suggest! But of course, that depends on the lifestyle you are wanting during retirement…
They have other services they offer. As of right now we are just taking advantage of the free budget, retirement and investing tracker!
Before using these online budget trackers we had a shared excel spreadsheet. We would record all of our spendings and set a budget. This was is still a great option and I still do this to manage and track the rentals.
How to do track your spending? Comment below I would love to know!!
Hi!! I’m Kristin McConnell, creator of Innovative Health & Fitness, I am an Elite Fitness Trainer and a health and lifestyle blogger! I am a wife to my Amazing husband, Mom of two fabulous kids, and two dogs. We try our best to live a happy and healthy life.