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 it...in 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
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 categories...like 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.