Hindsight Budgeting

Hindsight BudgetI use Quicken to keep track of our finances.  Every few weeks I log into our bank accounts online and download all the transactions.   It is always a shock to look at the final monthly spending numbers.  We spent how much?

I have been working really hard (or so I like to believe) at bringing the numbers down.  We have a very rough budget that we follow during the month, which amounts to try to spend as little on incidentals as possible.  I guess it is not working as well as I had hoped.  I have been hindsight budgeting, which involves looking at where the money went and shaking my head.  One month I might ask the kids to videotape hindsight budget day and post it on YouTube.  It is that entertaining.

I had a peek at our annual spending in 2013 and gasp… here it is:

2013 spending

That is a big number!

I need to reconcile the totals, but it looks accurate so far.  I am going to review the categories over the next few weeks and look for opportunities.

I must warn that it could be a bit like driving past a train wreck.  You know it is unpleasant, possibly tragic, but you can’t look away.

If we can reduce our monthly spending by 10% that is an extra $840 we can put towards debt or savings.  That seems attainable.

Sneak peek:

Here is a sneak peek at the top 4 categories

Housing: $20,630

Auto and Transport: 13,429

Food and Dining: $12,015

Bills, Utilities and Communications: $8,257

On with the train wreck….

2 Comments


  1. I’m finding it hard on the food front too. I see so many people who manage on $400-$500-$600 per month. Our budget is $800 for three people but I feel that is too high, and generally we spend it. I’ve asked my husband to stay out of the grocery stores for awhile and he has obliged until this past Fri and ran up over $100 at Costco (which isn’t bad for Costco mind you) and $70 in booze (grrrr).

    Good luck with your hindsighting… I have a feeling I need to do a bit myself.
    DEBt DEBs recently posted…Throwing up a Blog Time CapsuleMy Profile

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    1. Yes that too. I am going to post the food numbers and they will be shocking to some. At one point we were spending $700 just for take out. Feel slightly ashamed but as Oprah says – once you know better, you do better.

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