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I'm depressed

March 30th, 2007 at 08:11 am

My husband and I rarely carry cash. That's bad because we just slide the debit card when we want something. That's good because we have an accurate account of where our money went. Too bad that I was never really paying attention too much before now. And let me just say that I am embarrassed to have been saying we are gazelle intense when clearly some of our expenses are out of control. This WILL change....TODAY. I cannot, after really taking a hard look at these numbers and realizing how stupid it is, continue to budget and waste money in the manner that I am. Keep in mind this is for two adults, no children.

Fast food for March:

Taco Bell once for $4.21

Jack in the Box - $21.24, $12.19, $20.49, $20.36, $20.36 again, $3.56.... total of $98.20

Popeyes once for $18.39

Sonic- $11.97, $6.24, $2.05, $11.98, $9.18.... total of $41.42

Wendy's- $6.37, $7.44.... total of $13.81

Spring Creek BBQ once for $24.55

Scotty P's once for $8.74

McDonalds- $6.59, $7.44.... total of $14.03

Chick-fil-A once for $4.21

Flying Fish once for $31.11

Taco Delight once for $16.10

Fortune House once for $27.49

Subway once for $8.64

Donut Express once for $9.50

Maggianos once for $42.48

Total spent on eating out- $362.88

Ok, now we get to grocery/household good spending. I don't go anywhere except Wal-Mart and Albertson's occasionally. This month I went to Wal-Mart 10 times and Albertson's once.

Total spent at Wal-Mart and Albertson's- $477.97

Did anybody's else's stomach just turn? Oh, just me?

I don't want to beat myself up too bad even though I probably deserve it. It's just depressing, that's all. The positive thing is that I am going to share this with my husband and I know that we can make drastic improvements. I am a firm believer in "When you know better, you do better".

Please feel free to give me a talking to or a pep talk. I think I need both. Smile

15 Responses to “I'm depressed”

  1. moi aussi Says:

    Well at least you know how you are wasting your money now! It's a big step to realize and accept where you go wrong. And $800 plus is a lot of food for 2 people!!! I think $300 is more than enough for food for 2 ppl in a month. Perhaps I am wrong. Anybody??
    The extra 500 could have gone towards your debt payment..
    Is that enough pep talk?? Big Grin

  2. JanH Says:

    Give yourself a budget category for eating out and make a pledge that it won't be fast food if you can help it. That's what we did. Then we plan when and where we eat out. And we share dinners a lot. We've been able to cut this way down. We ate out a lot before we got on the budget. You can do it! Eating out together then becomes a special event, not an everyday thing!. Now, Ima and Hubby eat out a lot because they make each night a special event. But most of us are just doing it because it gives variety and is fast. We're doing much better--you will get there, too!
    Don't be too hard on yourself. Each revelation is a good thing--it points out something to work on--don't beat yourself up!

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Good for you for taking charge of your financial destiny!

  4. tinapbeana Says:

    knowing is half the battle!!! make sure you don't set yourself up for failure by trying to cut too much too fast, though. maybe try $700 next month, cut to $500 the month after, and so on. and decide if your household will work better having a grocery budget & eating out budget vs an overall 'food' budget (combining groceries and eating out). one way might work better for you than the other. good luck!!!

  5. homebody Says:

    It's been just my husband and now for almost 3 months, with a child home for a week twice during that time.

    We have spent (I just checked by YNAB overview) just about $400.00 on average over those three months for groceries and eating out. However, DH eats out once a day paid for by work and that is not included in the totals. I eat three meals a day at home with an average of once a week lunch out with a friend. I eat pretty cheap, oatmeal or peanut butter toast for breakfast, occasional cold cereal. Lunch is usually salad with lettuce from the big bin from Costco and whatever else is around.

    Dinner is usually meat and fresh veges or pasta. We eat very well I think, not truly organic, but fresh foods. DH shops like three times a week. So you can do better, but I think $300.00 a month for all food is a bit unrealistic, but depends on where you live I guess.

    Good luck, half the battle is knowledge!

  6. scfr Says:

    You have taken a most important step by tracking where your money goes! Good for you! !! My DH & I were exactly the ages you and your DH are now when we started getting really serious about our finances. Almost 15 years later, I can tell you that it has really paid off; every retirement calculator we have run tells us we are right on track and actually a bit ahead of where we need to be (which means we are prepared for any of the setbacks that life inevitably will throw our way).

    Here are a couple pieces of advice I can give you from my own experience. I did all of these things and they really worked for me:

    1. Stop using the debit card! Talk with your DH and decide how much each of you will get as a weekly "allowance" to cover "frivolous" expenses like fast food, snacks, magazines, cigarettes, whatever your particular ones are. Then on "allowance day" once a week, put that much cash in a small coin purse that is completely separate from your regular wallet. Any time you want to buy something that is not part of your budget for necessary items, pull out that coin purse and use the cash in there to pay for it. There is something eye opening about having to use cash, and also it will make you think twice about those purchases if you see with your own eyes that the week is only half over but your allowance is almost gone! As you get better about controlling those purchases, you can reduce the amount of your allowance gradually without feeling too deprived.

    2. Trips to Wal-Mart: Cut back on the number of trips. Perhaps once a week would be enough? You can keep a list in your kitchen (or somewhere else) where you and your DH write down anything you need. You'll end up buying less and will also use less fuel!

    3. Delayed Gratification: Carry a little calendar in your purse. If you see something you want that is not an essential item, write the item, the location where you saw it, and the price down on the calendar one week from the date you thought about buying it. If in one week it still seems like a good idea to buy it, go ahead and buy it. 95% or more of the time in a week you will be thinking "Why did I think I 'needed' that?"

    Good luck to you!!! You really are off to a good start.

  7. newlyfrugal Says:

    We have been going through the same thing. Last month we spent over $450 eating out and about $100 on groceries. This month we were going to buckle down, eat all meals at home and save a ton of money. So in March we spent.....$600 on groceries. What? How did that happen? We spent more while we were eating at home? So next month I am going to try doing some CHEAP meal planning and really clamp down on the spending. Food seems to big our biggest budget buster and I am going to have to watch it like a hawk from now on.

  8. nance Says:

    I don't have to do it any more, but I still put money in four envelopes each month. They are for weeks one through four. I spend what is in the envelope for the week, and when it is gone, it is gone. There is money waiting the next week. Works for me. I am much more careful when I have a set amount of cash to spend.

  9. littlegopher Says:

    You can do it - you made a big step already! Bit by bit, you can make changes that will be in alignment with how you want to be spending your money.

    For my family, we chose to make eating out a treat, rather than doing it in response to being 'too tired to cook' or having 'nothing good or easy at home to eat'. For those sorts of days, we have our own version of 'fast food', ie. the makings of a few meals that are tasty, quick and easy to get on the table. You'll come to figure out what will work for you and your husband. Best wishes!!

  10. Ima saver Says:

    I would quit using the debit card too.

  11. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I'm not going to beat you up. You've bravely made a step toward financial clarity. If only more people could be like you and do what you do. The sadness will pass, and you will recognize your entry point to the path of financial freedom and your Achilles heel, and ideas for overcoming the weakness will generate.

  12. robex Says:

    Ouch! That hurts to see it on paper, doesn't it?

    I would make a weekly meal plan so you know what you're eating for every meal and then maybe you won't be so tempted to wander out for fast food. Maybe buy a few quick and easy frozen meals for nights when you really don't feel like cooking.

    I think I'd be more concerned with the junk food over the money aspect...there's very little nutritional value in fast foods.

    On the other hand, you should be very proud of yourself for recognizing that this needs to change-you are doing a huge favour for you and your family!

  13. Amber Says:

    I have a problem with keeping my eating out bill to a minimum, but I have gotten a lot better but I have a long way to go. Good luck

  14. LuckyRobin Says:

    Why don't you try just eating out one day a week? You'll still have one night to look forward to, but it will cut down much of what you are spending.

    I second the meal planning. It is very important for getting a grocery budget under control. As is leftover management so that you don't waste food that migrates to the back of the fridge. I keep a list on the front of the fridge of what is in there and when it went in there, and I have one half of a shelf dedicated to leftovers. I'm a bit overly organized on this one, because it helps so much. However, I wasn't always this way. We used to spend for food much the way you have described above. But its not that way anymore.

    Our grocery budget is $250 a month for a family of four, and I make almost everything from scratch. We eat out once a week, to the tune of about $80 a month. We used to have a grocery budget of $500 and eat out at least 3 times a week. We eat beef, chicken, fish, turkey, pork on occasion, eggs, dairy, lots of fresh vegetables and in season fruit, home made bread made in the bread machine unless I'm in a lazy mood. I also make homemade goodies. About 1/3 of the food we buy is organic.

    Now, I'm a stay at home mom with both kids in school so I have the time to do all this. But you and your spouse could try cooking ahead for the freezer. Maybe every Saturday you could do up several meals ahead of time and just thaw them out through the week. That sort of thing helps to override the convenience factor of eating out.

  15. gazelleintense.com Says:

    you eat out too much. I suffer from the same problem. it's a area I struggle with. eating at home is way cheaper.

    http://www.GazelleIntense.com

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