Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Embracing my (not so) inner control freak

I decided yesterday when I heard the tax season was officially open to submit my return very early this year so I can possibly get some money to spend in the US.

(btw, 15 days before I leave. No, I'm still not prepared)

I tried tonight but the site is impossible to view properly on a little 10-inch netbook so I will find a gap tomorrow and do it at work.

Since I was feeling all responsible and thus virtuous, I decided to play with my 22se.ven account. It is a website that shows a visual representation of your finances and is beyond awesome. I've already changed my spending habits remarkably and have already saved thousands.

(South Africans, anyone on there besides me? I thoroughly recommend it)

I'm the type of person who really doesn't like a lot of detail BUT once I get the tiniest bit obsessed, then my inner control freak comes out to play.

That's what happened tonight.

I intended to only tidy up my July payments - after all the month is a mere 3 days old - and I got hooked and went into each and every category checking transactions.

Very satisfying to now know everything is "perfect".

It's like I have this all or nothing thing going on with my money. Either I micromanage it or I totally don't look at it for a month. Ugh!

Of course this evening also highlighted some other things - we are still spending way too much money on groceries and eating out, and other than my hair every 3 months (although sometime in the next 15 days I need to go get a trim) and the occasional splurge on clothes, I don't spend very much money on me other than putting money in savings (my catch-all :)).

Vastly different from say, October last year, when I was grouponing and etsying madly.

I'm not holding my breath though because starting on Saturday, in less than a month, all 4 of us celebrate our birthdays.

D may be with me in NYC on his bday (the 27th, Heather :)) and of course, mine is on 6th Aug the week after I'm back.

And yes, I still plan to have a party. You don't turn 38 every year LOL

So who out there is a control freak too?

Do you have a spreadsheet or how do you (mis) manage your money? 

What are your weak points with spending?


  1. I'm definitely a control freak. This post made me fall in love with you a little bit...now you think I'm weird right? I'm sorry, but the words "grouponing' and "etsying" did it.

  2. That is faaaar from controlling. I need to know where my money is going all the time. No so much down to nickles and dimes, but percentages and debt to savings ratios. My biggest money suck is food. Between groceries and eating out, I spend the equivalent of a house payment each month! Horribly uncomfortable when there is no income for 10 weeks! Overall we live very frugally though. Neither of us are clothes or entertainment junkies. Our biggest expense outside of food is debt payment, and then all things child related. I've come to realize, and almost appreciate, that I am very controlling[DH not so much]. How do you and D manage money? I'm dying to know how other couples manage/co-manage finances.

    Side note: Since having the ladies I have this irrational fear that we will become destitute and be on the streets at a moments notice. So I've started hoarding money and pay my bills at least a month in advance. Some bills are overpaid, just for piece of mind. Guess who won't have a phone bill till September??

  3. Nope, I am very far from being a control freak BUT we do go out to live without debt so we either do not make or pay off asap. Including the house.

    My money suck is also food and then I do love clothes and shoes and let's not get me started on bags. I like to dress well. Well in my way of course, which for other people may be a bit weird.

  4. I am a control freak about somethings and lax about others. While I don't have a spreadsheet I have nightmares about being without, which keeps me on the straight and narrow.

    My money weak point used to be shoes, books and groceries, now it's gym shoes, gifts and books - my hubby has said I need to get some form of e-reader ;-) plus I have made a pact with myself not to buy any new books until I read every single book I have (let's see how long that lasts)

    Thank goodness I'm not big on eating out.

    I would check that site, sounds interesting

  5. I wish I could be a control freak with my money. I do have a spreadsheet but I don't give it the attention that it deserves - quite frankly I'm really so tired of the money stuff. Will have a look at that website.
    My weak points change all the time. I went through a bags phase, a wool phase, a craft stuff phase, a books phase and I'm currently in an eating out phase. I think that the books phase lasted the longest. Most of my money goes for school fees, food, petrol and electricity.

  6. Our bank lets us name our accounts- so you can specify what is what- like instead of auto loan and a bunch a numbers we can change it to Van (and not get it confused with the car).

    ANYWAY long story short, Aaron changed the name of our checking account to 'Insufficient Funds' which is actually quite accurate.

  7. That is an awesome photo by the way!

    I don't know that I qualify as a control freek on this matter (or any really). I have a spreadsheet that I keep track of my income on the one side, and my expenses on the other. But it's fairly high level along the lines of rent x, medical aid y, school fees z, groceries a, petrol b, debt c, policies d, and that's that. I don't do breakdowns of what groceries I buy. I know how much I have and I can buy whatever I want within that limit. Whatever is left over (if there is any) at the end of the month gets dumped in the credit card before I do any payments again...but it doesn't happen that often that there is left over. ;-)

  8. Oh, you know I am a total control freak! Always have been always will be. I work so hard not to try to control everything. But I do have my budget spreadsheet. I will be working on it today as now know DH is still employed and can work up the new (reduced) numbers. As usual we are usually working on our budget around the same time!!!

  9. D is the spreadsheet king in our house :) He has spreadsheets for everything.

    If you ask D I am a control freak - but I dont think I am!

    (Please remember to put links in your post of you share stuff - its easier than having to google for it)


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