Running the numbers

I thought it would be interesting to see how my spending for the first three months of 2012 compared with the same time-period in 2011, so I crunched some numbers. Straight comparison of everything on my credit card showed a slight total decrease in spending (about 3%). But when I pulled out all the non-Make It Do items (gas, groceries, kids’ clothes, cable bill, etc.) I discovered something pretty amazing. I’ve reduced my personal spending by 77%!! Yes, I should be spending 100% less, but we all know I’ve cheated. But not much, and not lately.

So what have I learned? That the majority of my spending does go to family/household stuff, it’s true. But I slipped in a lot for myself. Last year 22% of my total outlay was items for myself. This year, it’s 5%. I wish our total household spending were down more significantly, but I suppose that’s not realistic with inflation. If I can hold myself to 5% or less all year, I’m going to be pretty darn happy! I’m looking forward to the end of June to run the numbers again!


In 2012, I'm not going to buy anything except what I've used up or worn out. For all else, I'll make do with what I already own or I'll do without. I've come up with some guidelines. Update: for 2013 I'm going to continue along, but not as strictly.


I'm Meg Hourihan. I live in New York City but was raised in Massachusetts. I blame my Yankee-ness for this crazy idea. Read more about me and this project.


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