Saturday, April 01, 2006

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere...

Many times I've seen advice to keep track of all spending, and many times I've dismissed the idea. "I'm already frugal and responsible," I say, "so that's a lot of work for very little benefit. Why bother?"

But I'm starting to realize that it's a little disorienting not to know how I get from one point to another financially, and the fact that I put a healthy amount into savings every month doesn't change that. If I'm honest with myself, I must admit it's entirely possible that a closer scrutiny of my spending may reveal some changes I should make. And while I'm not ready to commit to following all the steps of Your Money or Your Life exactly, there are some really interesting ideas I'd like to try, and they require detailed tracking of spending.

So for April, at least, I'm going to do it. It may be a bit of a pain, but I think it'll be interesting. Any guesses on whether my standard "estimates" for budgeting are actually close to the mark?

In other numbers news, at the end of the month and the quarter, here's where I stand:

+$16,874.40 cash/savings (actually I have a little more right this moment, but I'm subtracting the credit card bill that will be paid in full on Monday)
+$10,960.19 retirement
-$17,645 debt
+$3,575 "accounts receivable," if I want to be a dork about the terminology (money owed to me by friends & family)

I fell short of my goal to have my non-retirement savings higher than my debt by 3/31, but I should manage that easily by the end of April. But on the plus side, my net worth is now over $10,000! I'm at $10,189 (not counting accounts receivable; it's $13,764 if I include what I'm owed).

Well, after this fascinating tour through my finances, we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

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