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Pretty Charts Eases the Pain

April 14, 2010

Pretty charts will ease the pain that I am a financial loser.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  I have completed my first month on mint.com and I have something to share with ya’ll.  I spend way too much money on shit I don’t need.

This post is apropos because this morning I just found out that I have $0 in my checking account and have had $0 in my checking account since Sunday.  I didn’t know that I had $0 so I have over drafted on my account ELEVEN times which comes with ELEVEN $28 penalty fees.  My (financial) life sucks right now.

Now I kind of already knew this but with the realization of my current balance and seeing the big picture of my budget in March, it’s much worse than I thought.  And so now it’s time to make the hard decisions of where to cut the fat out of my budget… because waiting on my job to give me a raise/bonus isn’t gonna cut it (which is what I have been doing since the beginning of the year).  But to show you how awesome mint.com is (and how much of a financial loser I am), I replicated the pie chart they made for me to show me how much I spent in March 2010.

click on the pie chart to make it bigger

Here are my thoughts on my financial situation once seeing it in a colorful graphic like the one above.

  1. Dear God, my student loans and rent take up half of my budget and there’s nothing I can really do about either of those things.  Ok, that’s a lie.  I could move, but I’m under a year lease and to break it would cost a pretty penny so I’d have to move somewhere drastically cheaper to make it worth it.   And drastically cheaper means leaving my current neighborhood which I love and giving up on a lot of the amenities I have now (ie. washer and dryer in my apt, covered parking, safe location, 800 square feet).  Can I really go back to living in a cramped studio or moving to a not so nice area or further from the city or giving up on my amenities
  2. On the bright* side, my purple pie (travel expense) isn’t going to be a monthly expense because a good chunk of that is stuff from my trip to Italy.   *as bright as this bleak situation gets*
  3. I spend an ungodly amount of money on Food and Dining (we’ll talk about this more below).
  4. I canceled my gym membership so $70/month can be cut out of my Health and Fitness pie.
  5. But $250 of my Health and Fitness is my pilates class which I know I should give up, but I’m doing much better so far in April than I did in March.
  6. I need to spend WAY LESS on my personal care category (massages, makeup, hair, etc).  I can do this.
  7. To type this makes me want to cry, but maybe I need to downgrade my cable/internet plan?
  8. And to end on a positive, I’m pretty impressed with how little I spent in the Shopping category.

Sigh.  This shit ain’t pretty.

But let’s talk about the $500+ I spent on food… is it me or is that absolutely absurd???  Out of all the categories, it is the one I made the most purchases in (27 to be exact) and it was my most expensive non-essential category (since I’ve got to pay my rent and my student loans).

Mint.com also breaks down each category in the above chart (since there are subcategories within each category)… and I was shocked by my Food and Dining breakdown.

And I have only one thing to say (to me), how the hell are you spending $300 on groceries but still needed to get buy individual meals (fast food category) 27 times?

I get that my “food on the fly” (fast food) category is only $75 but I feel pretty strongly that it is $50 too much since I buy groceries every week.   All I can do is chalk this up to laziness (ie. didn’t pack a lunch because I couldn’t be bothered so I had to buy lunch at work or didn’t want to cook dinner so I picked something up).

click on the pie chart to make it bigger

So there it is.  All of my financial failures out on the interwebs.  My reason for doing this?  I’m hoping that the shame that comes from exposing myself as a financial loser to the world will help me get my shit in gear.  Here’s to hoping.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2010 7:57 am

    DUDE< complain about the fees, they will give some back. It's all about refusing to accept no in a polite but annoying way. When I worked at a bank I returned a lot of fees in my life simply to make someone go away, no customer wants to see a teller being an ass to another customer. And eleven is a lot, they'll help you out with some at least.

    • April 19, 2010 4:23 pm

      Amy, I talked to my bank and they credited me for all of the overdraft fees. phew! They also told me to make sure that this never happens again and I assured them that I have learned my lesson! 🙂

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