This week’s topic: The Recording Expenses Challenge
When my husband and I first stumbled, and it was a stumble, onto this idea of biblical financial planning we took 30 days and recording every penny we spend. Every. Penny. 50-cent soda at work….recorded. $2.00 cheeseburger at the drive thru…..recorded.
We tracked our spending on a spreadsheet or whatever scrap of paper we could find and at the end of 30 days I categorized everything we’d spent. What an eye opener!
At that time I was commuting 25 miles to work and stopping for a latte every morning. $4.25 every day 5 days a week. At the end of 30 days I had spent $85.00 on lattes…..that’s $1,020 a year. Craziness!! Even crazier – my husband was spending $1,872 a year on coffee and soda at his job. That’s $1,992 a year on drinks!!
Tracking your spending for 30 or even 60 days is a great way to begin the move toward responsible, biblical stewardship. Why? Glad you asked. You need to know what you really spend to know where you can cut or where you need to increase. Brad and I thought we knew how much we spent but when we actually tracked it we were way off base.
Take the challenge. Track every penny you spend. Bills, entertainment, baby sitting, groceries write it all down. Spend as you normally would and for couples, agree not to shame or condemn each other at the end of the challenge because of the amount of money spent. Agree to come together after 3o or 60 days and look at what was spent. It is there in black and white – no guessing, no accusing. The truth is on the page.
Are you ready? Are you up for the challenge? GREAT!! I’ve included a link to Crown Financial Ministries where you can find a 30-Day Diary. If you’re not into all that just write it down in a notebook.
Here are a few tips that helped us track everything:
- Ask for a receipt
- Call the house and leave a message with the item and amount
- Send yourself an email
- Send yourself a text message
- Keep a small note pad in your car, coat pocket or purse
I’d love to hear what you learned after your challenge. Please don’t be ashamed and there’s no need to give exact figures if you’re not comfortable but let me know what you learned from this.
Until Next Time,