Succes with money in 30 days: Day 4 Where did it go?

Today's chapter of Succes in 30 days: money is about looking at your purchases.
To understand where you spend your hard earned money on and considering if you're happy about the choices you made are the first steps in the right direction.

Make a list of all the purchases you've made in the past three years. Did they say 3 years?
Yep, the book states three years.
Categories you should think about are:

  • courses and/or school
  • material devices like stereosets, computers, consoles, kitchen appliances
  • mortgage or rent
  • bills, bills, bills
  • clothes, shoes, make-up, jewelry
  • travel
  • eating out, cinema, shows, clubs
  • loans and intrest
  • alcohol and/or drugs

My list of purchases/spending:

courses and/or school
I dropped out of college three years ago. This has left my with a considerable college loan with 5 figures. When I started working I decided to pick up a course to broaden my knowledge in my work field. At the moment that was too much for me so I decided not to go through with it. Because I stopped just after the 'no pay' deadline that cost me about E 500,-.

material devices like stereosets, computers, consoles, kitchen appliances
I'm not so much in to devices and electronically stuff. That's more of my husband's interest. When we moved to our new home 2,5 years a go we had a housewarming and received some envelops with cash as gifts. From that money we bought a dolby surround set because we both love to watch movies and series. The set was about E 100,-

mortgage or rent
We are slowly looking at houses in our hometown because we want to get rid of our sky high rent of about E 1000,- a month. Buying a house will lower our monthly housing costs by hundreds. 
We did get a thumbs up for a mortgage but we do have to save money for the out of pocket costs which can add up from around E 5000 - E 10.000,- 

bills, bills, bills
I don't want to calculate the sum of all the bills I payed the last three years. Most of them were household bills for electricity, cable and internet, water, insurance and taxes.

clothes, shoes, make-up, jewelry
I don't think I've spend a great deal in this category. When I buy it's always when it's sale/clearance. Besides, I think think the full price they ask for clothes and shoes these days are way to high.

This year the husband and I went to Kefalonia, Greece for a week. We rented a cute little cottage and hired a car for sight seeing around the island. All in all I think the entire trip cost around E 1000,- each. The previous year we went to Tenerife, Canary Islands. And the year before that we went to Albufeira, Portugal. 
This year we are expanding our family with a baby so I don't think we'll go abroad during our vacation. We could maybe hire a little cottage or something but we'll see how are finances are after baby arrives.

eating out, cinema, shows, clubs
Eating out is really a luxury for me. The husband and I don't eat out quite often. Maybe once every 2 months. We eat out to celebrate and for some quality time together. I do like to have lunch with friends when I see them. But we always go to affordable restaurants.

loans and intrest
As from this year I have to start paying back my college loan which should be around a couple of hundred euros each month.

alcohol and/or drugs
I don't do drugs but before I got pregnant I'd like to drink a glass of wine every now and then.
But not in the same amounts as in my college days, haha ;-)

Have you been honest making this list?
Good, now we have to circle the three most expensive categories.

For me they are:

- college loan
- rent
- travel/vacation

Now ask yourself these four questions about your most expensive categories:
- Are you content with the amount of money you've spend on each category?
- Are you satisfied with the result of your spendings? Are the things you've spend money on important, useful or a source of joy?
- Are these categories the most important to you and do they have the highest priority?
- What would you change if you could?

As for my college loan, that's something I have to deal with. I can't change anything about it. I borrowed it and now I have to pay it back.
As for our current rent, I'm hoping that this year will be seriously searching for a home which we can buy to lower the monthly housing costs. I've already picked out 3 houses that were appaling to me. Now I just have to make an appointment with the realtor for my hubby and I.
Travelling or going on vaction is a luxury for me. But I do think it's very important to get away for a couple of days to literally leave everything behind and renew our energy. When we can, we go. When we can't, we stay home.

What about you? In which of your most exspensive categories would you like to make a change?

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