Jun 5, 2009

Quicken Reveals - I: "No Eat-Out Month" Experiment

I was looking at my Quicken view of spendings and was amazed at my eat-out habits. Above is the screenshot of how my expenses looked like in the last six months of 2009. I am single and a BIG foodie but still I consider above figures as holes in my pocket!

I spent $124 on eat-outs in May 09 making up 10% of my spendings. If sweet little February 09 is ignored then almost every month I am spending $109 on the average. Hey and just look at the goals I set, the red line in the graph marked as 'Budget', it's always way below the actual expenditure. My goal was $50 in May and I spent $124, 2.48 times more!

I Was Aware
I have been thinking that I am trying hard to get hold of my eat-out bills but Quicken reveals I am not, actually. I cook daily, take lunch-box to work and avoid eating outs as far as possible, but then one fine day comes and I meet with my good old friends and those meetings make it all possible.

What I'm Gonna Do
I have read people observe no-spend-day and believe me I literally spend only 2-3 days a week. I also agree with Ramit Sethi that one should take gradual steps towards their goals and this implies cutting down my eat-out bills gradually but this ain't gonna work for me. Whatever I decide, I will always spend more on food so why not set my spending limit to the least!

So this is what I am gonna do: I am pledging to eat nothing out this month. Already 5 days are gone and fortunately I haven't spend a buck on food out of home.

Will It Work
I am certain that my eat-out bills can absolutely not be $0 but yeah if I attempt to achieve that, it will be certainly less than $124 this time.

Is It Worth It
I am not expecting a jackpot, nor I will save a million doing this but I believe in spending on what I need and when it's needed. And that makes, at least a part of, the definition of 'Frugality'. Let's see how well can I keep upto my promise and how much can I save.

Do you notice any such 'holes' in your pocket? What's the reason? Are you doing anything about it? Do you have any suggestions for me? Comment please :)

Jun 4, 2009

PineCone Research Is Looking For Panelists

I wrote a post about Paid Surveys few days back and mentioned PineCone Research as one of the premium yet strict survey/research companies out there! While they do not explicitly publicize their need for panelists, I somehow found the current sign-up page.

Click here to fill-up the form and submit to see if you get approved. Act Fast!

Sorry guys sign-ups closed pretty early this time! Keep watching for next sign-ups.

A Free Donut @ Dunkin' Donuts Tomorrow

That's correct! They are giving away a free donut a person ;)

The first Friday of June month every year is celebrated as National Doughnut Day or National Donut Day in honor of Salvation Army since their efforts for fund-raising during the Great Depression of 1938.

That means tomorrow i.e. June 5th will be the National Donut Day of year 2009 and Dunkin' Donuts is celebrating the same by giving away a free donut with purchase of any beverage. Offer valid while supplies last, so remember to be the first in the lines tomorrow ;)

May 31, 2009

My Monetary Snapshot - May '09

So Let's Be Curious is more than a month old today :)

In the quest to keep myself committed to my financial responsibilities, here's what it looks like at the end of this month:

Emergency Funds (High Interest Savings): $6827
Checking Accounts (Non-Interest Earning): $1103
401K: $391.73
CD: $0
Interest + Other Earnings: $72
(amazed how come it's $72? ;) all added up by paid surveys and free money)

Car Loan Balance: $14,086
Credit Card Balance: $436

May 2009: Total Assets: $8321 Total Debt: $14,522