A financial year resolution, or two, where does my money go?

Among a myriad of things in my life that annoy me, one of most note is the fact that I seem to be stuck in a cycle of spending.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a consumer. I buy shit. I buy a lot of shit. It needs to stop. I need to start thinking about saving some money, so I’m told – for the future, to buy an appartment, an S-Works, a business, a holiday, a BMW, or to just have something in the bank…But.

The question begs, where does my money go?

Each fortnight a lump of money enters my account, and 14 days later, my account
is empty.

The fact is, I have spreadsheets, I have budgets. I know exactly where it goes.

Where does my cash go
Fig 1. Breakdown of my spending each fortnight

It goes primarily to a) rent, b) groceries, then c) bikes.

You could say that these are the most important things in life, that require money to be spent on them. I agree.

The items that follow close by that cost me, such as d) lunch, e) car insurance, f) diet coke, g) shellac, h) phone and internet and i) sesame snaps, all come under the wants category. Or do they?

I have gone through my lists, and checked them twice, and decided that of these items I can only bring myself to cull two.

The thought had crossed my mind, that I could sell my car. But how would I get to races? How would I get home to Eldorado for the weekend? I need the car. Maybe I don’t need the insurance, huh, yeah I do. My car is parked 24/7 in Fitzroy. I need the insurance.

Maybe I don’t need the my phone and internet plan? Maybe I don’t need 8GB of data? Nope, I need the internet so that I can upload one million lift selfies onto Instagram a day.

Shellac? Nope it is staying. I love my nails too much to get rid of that.

That brings me to Diet Coke. One of my vices. The (prepare to gasp) up to 1.5L a day habit not only costs me a minimum of $35 per fortnight, but also on the advice of Dr Google, is also terrible for my health. Diet Coke can damage DNA in my  mitochondria, reduce my kidney function, screw with my metabolism, rot my teeth, cause osteoporosis, inhibit the uptake of iron, screw with my digestive system, give me cancer and get stains out of clothing. Scary. So. It’s going. I’m going cold turkey. (Three days in, I’ve got the jitters).

Sesame snaps? Nope, they’re staying. If the Diet Coke is going, I need something to make me happy!

That leaves lunch. I can’t exactly give this one up. But what I can do is be more frugal. At the moment, if I buy my lunch it costs between $7.50 – $11.70 per day. I won’t count weekends, because that is a different story. I am spending between $75 – $117 a fortnight on lunch that could be deposited straight into my bank account. I will now make my lunch. I have estimated about $30 per week +/- on groceries to whip myself up something nutritious and delicious. I will have to ween myself off my regular avocado and salad sandwich, almost as much as I will the Diet Coke. Maybe as a treat I will start a daily skinny capp, but at $3.20 per day.. I’m sure that my money is better spent elsewhere.

So I can only by cull two.. Diet Coke and lunch. Diet Coke banned and lunch, I’ll be making at work. I’m potentially saving about $120 per fortnight, which should go straight into that savings account. Should. Will.

It’s a new financial year, and these are my financial resolutions.  So here goes. 1. Will not buy/drink Diet Coke. 2. Will make my own lunch, everyday. Let’s see if I can grow that savings account.

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @lowecasev

Until next time: Get on your bike and ride it, spend $, but not too much, because your mum will be in your ear to save money for the future.

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