When we start examining our spending, it’s usually a good idea to take a month or two to do a detailed spending analysis. This typically involves recording and analyzing every aspect of our expenditure to capture all our expenses, including those that typically slip under the radar.
Once we’ve done that, we execute a turn, a motivated, coherent adjustment to certain aspects of our financial lives. This includes things like
- Setting up and paying into an emergency fund
- Picking budget categories to tackle and setting up projects to tackle them (groceries, utilities, etc)
- Scheduling a half-day each month to do the next month’s budgets, incorporating lessons learned so far
- Finding new sources of income, or enhancing existing income
Going forward, we’re going to need to keep track of our spending and our financial improvement efforts, to make sure the effort bears fruit.
It’s not realistic to continue to monitor every single aspect of your spending, because that takes too much time and effort, and you have more important things to spend your discipline and attention on than recording the fact that today’s commute cost you £2.40.
You need to find a long-term budgeting and tracking exercise that works for you.