Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More than you care to know

Last night me, Kim, Whitney and Tanner met Whitney's sister, Stephanie, in Madison to eat at Nagoya. I would like to express a SUPER YUM to Nagoya. I love you so much even though the salmon I usually eat looked really under smoked so I took it out of my Miami Roll for precautionary reasons and it was still fabulous. I ate hibachi fried rice and veggie tempura...all with no less than a liter of soy sauce. (hush, I know the sodium is not good, but I've been eating the salads from Wendy's so that makes up for my mind.)

I had a lot of fun girls and little boy.

It's approaching the end of the month. Do you guys know what that means in my world? Not only is it end of the month for business, it's end of the month for Rachel's checkbook. I'm odd. No, really odd. I know I'm odd and I think my husband hates that I do this (I don't know why), but I get a kick out of it. I am anal retentive when it comes to my checkbook. I balance it, re balance it and then check my balance again online no less than once a day sometimes more than 3 times. Not that I'm scared it's going to be taken away, I guess it's because I'm a control freak? Yes, I admit it. So on top of knowing to the penny what I have in my checkbook at all times I like to account for where the money that isn't in there went. Oh man, I'm psycho. I'm telling on myself.

You see I have this spreadsheet. Oh Lordy, the spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is euphoric for me. It allows me to categorize my spending. We have 4 categories:
1) Food Out
2) Gas
3) Unnecessary
4) Wal-Mart

There use to be 5 which was dog food because at $60 a bag I had to account for that hunk out of my checkbook separately. Now my pups are at a manageable weight and we eat Beniefuls from Wal-Mart.

Breaking down the categories:
Food out is exactly what it sounds like, as is gas. I account for all the times I eat out; like last night at Nagoya or even the K&S donuts in the weekday. Gas is how many times and how much I fill up my car. I do usually like to see how many miles to the gallon I got on each tank, but I've gotten bad about tracking that.

Unnecessary for example is the Dirt Cheap expenditures (which doubled my unnecessary category this month, thank you) or the Magic Boppy Pillow and the clothes I've had to go get so I can not look like a hoochie in tight pants and tops with gaping buttons when I go to work. These items are necessary, but they just aren't regular expenses...therefore I deem them unnecessary.

Then there is the Wal-Mart category. This is the one that we all cringe at when we think about it. In our house this category is for the huge Showcase Showdown adventures and the here and there things that come up. Truthfully it's not limited to just Wal-Mart it crosses over to Sunflower too; anything that has to do with groceries and misc at Wal-Mart.

How does the spreadsheet work? Glad you asked.
Since I write down EVERYTHING in my little checkbook register, I go through and under each category enter in the date of the expenditure, where the money was spent, sometimes I enter what for, then the amount. OCD much? Each category has a total that automatically sums up everything because that is how cool Excel is. From there once the month is totaled I have another worksheet within my Excel sheet that compares month to month. I know I'm sick right. So I can see if I spent $140 this month in one category compare it to the $175 I spent the month before - - Wow, Rachel you comparatively speaking saved $35 from last month in that category! Oh man, I am a nerd.

Hold on to your seat because there is more. Not only does my little comparison tally up this info monthly. It is also annually. So as horrifying as it is, I know how much money I have contributed to Wal-Mart just this year. Point your fingers call me a freak, give me the Scarlet letter because I'm an outcast.........but I love spreadsheets and keeping account of every penny, understanding why my money isn't there, tracking where it went, having buyers remorse. It keeps me on track. It makes me the tight wad I am today. It makes me appreciate the things I have because I don't go affording the things I can't. I hope that gets me somewhere one day besides a one way ticket to the loony bin.

Notice that my normal bills aren't in any of those the mortgage, phone, utilities, car insurance, pest control. That is because they have their own seperate spreadsheet. Those are reoccuring expenses. That specific spreadsheet goes back for eons. Do you want to know how much my electricity bill was in 2006? I can tell you. I used my 2007 & 2008 spreadsheets just last week to compare my astronomical Entergy bill this month. Come to find out July 2007 was about the same as it was in July 2009 and in July 2008 it was actually higher than July 2009. I could rest easy knowing I wasn't out of line that month.

Wow, you all see me in a freakish light now. I have told on myself. I have let you all know more than you care to know about me. This is my blog I can make fun of myself if I want to. Also, I guess because I am this way it is good I am in the career I am in. I'm an analyst, I weigh risk before it happens. I account for everything in peoples financials some of whom don't always care to admit or have dug up. I love it.

P.S. - Per our car conversation yesterday; because of the way I am I will go and clean the highlander and take good good care of her because she will last me until Baby Hawkins is ready to get his/her drivers license. It will have an antique tag on it by that time. Then at that point I can go and buy a used 2010 GLK350 it will be inexpensive by that point because it will be the year 2026 and affordable by then. Hopefully.


Britt said...

I am anal also, I balance every morning and afternoon. We are the normal people and everyone else is weird.

Rachel said...

Good to know. Thanks for making a mental patient feel sane.

Glad you commented. Didn't know you started blogging! Can't wait to keep up with's a hard job!

Jennifer said...

Oh yes - I am not quite as bad (tried the spreadsheet but I wasn't good about updating it)but I definately check my account at least two to three times a day!! I think it has to do that our jobs require us to sit in front of it constantly...maybe! :) I do think you should add another category - 'Baby Expenses' because otherwise, that will definately make that Wal-Mart area go up, up, up! Haha...or, if you use, it might have to fall into the unnecessary category - even though it is very necessary!

Rachel said...

Oh no, a new category?!?! Can't decide if this is exciting or scary. Now I have to figure out how to divide out those expenses.


Angela said...

I totally agree with adding a new category for our sweet baby Hawkins. And you are not crazy when it comes to checking your bank account multiple times a day...I do it too! You are not alone dear sister. I have a spread sheet too, but haven't kept it up to date lately. Mine has a few more categories...11 total a separate one for monthly household (utilities, mortgage) expenses. I also keep all my receipts, each filed into one of the 11 categories from the spread sheet. So if you want to see the receipt from when I got gas on January 3, 2008, no's right there in my trusty file cabinet. So overall Rach, you are completely normal!! Heck part of the reason you and I are such good friends is because we are both so anal and OCD about things.

The Sasser Crew said...

OK, so being financially minded myself, I am seriously laughing OUT LOUD. I mean "It makes me appreciate the things I have because I don't go affording the things I can't." SOOOOOO well said. I CANNOT wait to see what this Baby Hawkins turns out to be like. Between you and his dad, I ask: Is the world ready for so much wit in one human being???

Rachel said...

We are all scared of how this baby will turn out. With Chip's ADHD and my OCD the world will have to come up with a new disorder with too many letters to make sense.

Marsha said...

This OCD is what makes you the best JA Treasurer EVER!!

Dax said...

Hey Rachel, I came across your post on your budget spreadsheet, and thought I'd refer you to a blog I wrote a few weeks ago - about a Google Docs spreadsheet that my wife and I use to track our cash expenditure (down to the last cent - now that is anal!). We sat down to do our budget, and going through credit card statements was easy as we could recall what each item related to. However, ATM withdrawals were a complete black hole (and a big one at that). So, I put the spreadsheet together and we tracked everything for 6 weeks. Now we've got everything under control.

Here's the link:

Let me know what you think.


meredith said...

wow, good to know excel is still around. havent used it since high school. but i totally say Let Your Freak Flag Fly!! i will always love u

Rachel said...

Marsha, you have too much faith in me it's scary. I know I can always count on your vote of confidence.

Darren, Thanks so much! I will check into the google docs spreadsheet. I currently use google docs to save word & excel docs I've already created, but never created within it. I will for sure check it out! Glad to know I'm not alone!

Thanks Mere! I will Let My Freak Flag Fly...I'm sorry you aren't as nerdy as I am. I guess that makes you guilty by association.?!