I was just looking back at some analysis I've done of my spending and saving habits over the past couple of years. Ever since I moved into my condo, I've been griping on this blog about how much money I've been spending, but looking at these spreadsheets really brought it home for me:
Some other good news is that I won't continue to spend large amounts on home furnishings and that I'm running out of weddings to have to go to unless all my friends and family start getting divorced and remarried. I also got a raise, and hopefully I'll get a halfway decent bonus next year, as my bonus plan has been bumped up to a larger percentage of my salary.
Anyway, that is just the numbers. The other side of things is that I'm enjoying living in a nicer home, and I've been really busy, socializing more than usual, and generally having fun. That is a good thing, and it's what I'd like to use my money for, in some ways. The downside to it is that I can start to feel like I'm not home enough-- not getting enough use out of my new apartment, and not staying organized enough to keep groceries in the house for cooking meals or bringing lunches to work. I don't mind spending money to enjoy myself, but I hate feeling like I'm spending too much just because I'm too disorganized to stick to good habits.
I'm always trying to figure out how to manage life better. This blog covers my financial obsessions, but of course I'm equally over-analytical about a lot of off-topic stuff too, making lists and schedules and trying to figure out how I can squeeze all the things I want to do into one life. (Fortunately, sitting around staring into space is one of the things I always make time for-- I'm not as Type-A as I'm making it sound!) I know I need to be better about planning ahead so I can keep my food budget a bit more in check. But otherwise, I at least know that most of my expense categories are still under control and my income is growing. A good goal for 2008 will be to get back to saving as much cash per month as I did in 2005. Wish me luck!