In order to fully assess my year so far, I decided to do a Spending Analysis or Trend analysis as I referred to it in my previous post. The point of it is to see the averages, total amounts and to see how the spending varied month to month for each category within my Misc category.
Below is a screenshot of what mine looks like, you can organize it in any way that makes sense to you.
I have the months across the top and the categories on the left side. The averages for each category are the total in each category divided by the month number, in this case 6 because we are in June, but if we were in May, it would be divided by 5.
The totals run along the bottom; there’s a total of each area, so the Groceries, Restaurants, Coffee and a total for all the categories in Misc, and then there is grand total; of the two subtotals.
The blue squares are the totals of the averages.
Are numbers or percentages more meaningful?
The overall impact of this exercise is the impact it has on my emotions. When I look at this spreadsheet and see the amount of money I have spent in a certain category: beauty or clothing as they are the largest. It really makes me think: And what do I have to show for it? Sure there is a couple of things that I am glad I bought, like some skin care and these really great 2 pairs of shoes that are very different from anything else I have. But not like hundreds and thousands worth of dollars! Like I really don’t have too much to show for it. Like I have things, yes, but did those things really bring value to my life?
Only a handful did.
It’s also good to look through and see how each month differs, and to be able to pin point what was going on in life that specific month: stress? travel? health? many events?
Seeing the amounts in percentages really makes the point of seeing how much of how much you spend is going to a certain thing. For example, I am spending 20% of everything I buy on clothes and 18% on beauty! That’s too much, and such a waste. I only have one face, how much make up can I possibly need?! I’m not a makeup artist!
Looking closer, a lot of the purchases were made out habits. Growing up, my parents did a really good job of not buying us (my brother and I) everything we wanted, when we wanted it. So as soon as I had my own money, I always just said “OOH! I want that, I’m going to buy it”, without even a second thought, or at least not a hard thought.
I think this is the thing I have to change most out of all my habits. Stop impulse shopping, and buying things that I want right away. And the biggest problem? I want everything, all the time. I have a list of at least 5 things I want at all times. That’s not okay. I want to become those people that you ask what you should get them for their birthday and they answer, “oh, I don’t know, there’s nothing I want right now”.
Changes for the last half of the year
Firstly, and obviously, I need to just stop spending. Going cold turkey isn’t going to work. I tried, it works for a bit then I give in.
So baby steps:
I am starting by employing one easy rule: One in, one out.
Want something? Either finish the old or throw it out! I am DONE with accumulating things. If I already have one of those things, let’s say it was face wash, I CLEARLY don’t need another one until it’s done.
As well, I think my bigger trigger point for Beauty/Makeup is Youtube. I’m really into the Youtube beauty guru scene and I watch a lot of videos and those are definitely the reason I have been buying so much make up lately! They are just so gorgeous and do such great makeup that it makes you want to buy the makeup they’re talking about. So I’m going to limit my watching of YT by a lot! And obviously, not buy anything YT tells me to.
Lastly, I really need to stop the “treat yo self” mantra. I have treated myself, it’s not time to take a break. I have no doubt that it will be hard to resist as I have gotten into a rhythm of buying.
Let’s see if the next six months can reflect more purposeful spending.