Where Did The Money Go?

Have you ever gotten to the end of the month and wondered where your money went?  There are so many little places that money gets spent – some if it necessarily, and some of it unnecessarily. I know that whenever I look at our monthly income, and our monthly expenses, it seems like there should be a good bit of money left over at the end of the month.  Then I start really thinking about, or writing down, what we spend and I remember all sorts of things that I had forgotten the first time.

As part of our Back to Basics Series, we are looking at our current financial situation.

When thinking about where your money has gone in the past , and needs to go in the future, knowing your spending is a huge part of the solution.  I’ve started a list of often-forgotten categories, and I hope that you’ll help me add to the list.  I’m not saying that every person will use every one of these categories, but most of us will use most of them.

  • school pictures
  • postage
  • protein powder
  • pet food
  • medical deductibles and co-pays
  • bus passes
  • underwear, t shirts and socks
  • haircuts
  • alterations and insignia sewing on uniforms
  • school lunches
  • teacher gifts
  • being in weddings
  • new appliances when one breaks (coffee, anyone?)
  • small hardware store purchases
  • wifi in airports
  • car washing or supplies
  • school fundraisers
  • AAA or other road club membership
  • Christmas cards
  • vet bills
  • summer camp
  • shower gifts
  • homeowners association dues
  • school field trips
  • professional associations
  • snow removal, shovels, and ice melt salt
  • driving or parking tickets
  • animal boarding or sitting
  • magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  • holiday meals
  • vacations
  • photo processing or printing
  • pet medicine
  • carpet cleaning
  • non-prescription medicine
  • parking fees
  • life insurance
  • school yearbooks
  • uniforms or special clothes for sports or activities
  • printer ink
  • junk food
  • lottery tickets
  • landscaping:  flowers, grass seed, etc.
  • glasses and contact lenses
  • entertainment
  • tattoos and piercings
  • road tolls
  • school supplies
  • wedding gifts
  • work events
  • printer paper
  • cell phone ring tones and apps
  • school fundraisers

Okay, so what have I forgotten?  Please tell!

This post is part of Week One of our Back to Basics series.  Don’t know where to start figuring out your financial future?  Start with us!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Sarah

    When I discovered how much my husband spends in protein powder, I nearly fainted! :)

  • Jackie Drivas

    The biggest one GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!