6 Month Spending Analysis

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.

ytd

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!

Habits

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.

-R.

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7 thoughts on “6 Month Spending Analysis

  1. These reports are so helpful! I can totally sympathize with spending too much on clothes and beauty products.What I’ve found is that a lot of these purchases come from somewhere other than just wanting the product or clothing item- they usually come from feelings of insecurity about my appearance (thanks for that, advertising). And it is SO rare that a beauty product I spend money on actually has the effect I think it will.

    I think your one in-one out rule is a really good one! A few rules I’ve put in place for myself include only spending on cosmetic products that I use often enough to run out of, and temporarily banning myself from buying clothes or shoes (the biggest helper here was unsubscribing from all the retailers’ emails!). I’ve also been trying to exercise more and eat better, so that I can feel better about my body. Focusing on the root of all that spending has been hugely helpful in limiting feeling like I NEED to drop a few hundred bucks to look “better”.

    Good luck with your journey for the next 6 months!

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    1. Thanks for the comment! You’re so right; makeup and clothes, really anything appearance wise- is caused by insecurities. Not even insecurities caused by our own self, but those caused by the media and others. Judgments are getting way too harsh these days… anyways, that’s a rant for a different time. I’m pretty sure I’m set for makeup (except foundation and eyeliner) for the rest of my life… so that needs to stop. I’m really trying to focus on skin care now and taking good care of skin with natural products. thanks for all the advice!!

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  2. Here’s two ideas to help control impulses. The first is to determine how much you want to spend on make-up and clothes for the month, then take out cash and put the amount you want to spend on each in separate envelopes marked appropriately. You can spend every dollar in the envelopes during the month, but when you’re out of cash, you’re out, period.

    The second is to do the envelopes, but also add an investment envelope for each. For every thousand dollars you put in the investment envelope (switch to bank savings accounts when it gets to be more than you want to keep at home), you can spend ten additional dollars each month from that envelope on that item. When you get a few thousand dollars in the envelopes, put it into a mutual fund, then start sending your investments directly into the mutual fund company each month. The money you invest will almost replenish the extra money you’re spending (when averaged over several years). If you can send $100 each month into your clothing investment account, in five years you’ll have $60-$100 each month extra to spend for “free.”

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    1. Oh! I really like that idea ! That’s a good plan to help for the long term. I’m going to start that!! Thanks so much! I really needed the help!

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