I am going to try Mint.com again for my spending tracking. I suck at manually doing it with a spreadsheet and I think it's just that I spend 8 hrs+ a day doing this kind of stuff for work that I don't want to spend time doing it in my personal life. I think I gave up on Mint.com a year or two ago as I got tired of always having to re-categorize things and then it seemed what I had changed to a certain category would somehow change back to the wrong one. So, I'll give it another shot. I just went through all January transactions, fixed the errors...like my garbage payment got categorized as clothing (I think there is a clothing store with that name in it...) and then looked at the category totals.
OK - Groceries and take out are not good! Groceries totaled $883. This does include more than just food. And I did do some extra stocking up on sales. I pretty much shop at Walmart and Target for my weekly grocery shopping and this includes cleaning supplies, personal care, pet food & supplies, school supplies etc. - but is still $120 over my budgeted amount. The problem is if I buy a home repair item or something at Walmart it's going to get lumped into this category as I don't have the patience to take the time to break out my receipt and then split it up in Mint.
Fast Food/take out was $152!!! Oh. My. Freaking. God! This needs to come way down. I budget $80 a month. And then I had an additional $60 for restaurant dining - a birthday celebration - and that fed 5 of us at the Mexican restaurant, so I'm ok with spending that. We don't go out to eat too often, maybe once every 2-3 months. The fast food is probably 80% just Dh. Dd and I rarely eat it and Ds is usually gone in the eve's to school so he doesn't eat with us much. But we did eat the pizza delivered...and the Chinese takeout..... In seeing the expenses, right there in front of you - in bold colors - well, you can't forget about them that's for sure!
I do like the visuals with Mint.com. Neat pie charts all color coded and category totals. I wish I could figure out a way to copy/paste my pie chart to my blog.