Where’s the money gone?

I was chatting with a friend earlier this week, (over a cup of tea and these really divine mint chocolate chip cookies) that got me thinking about this very topic. No I don’t just mean this week or this month but over all the years we have been in the work force.  What have we done with all that money we have earned?

money diary

money diary

‘Maybe it is something to do with turning 50, but for the first time in my life, I am wondering where all that hard earned money has gone’, my friend said.

‘Do you really want to know?’ I replied

‘Probably not, I think the answer would scare me’.

What a thought provoking conversation.  I am not sure I would want to know the answer to that question either.

Part of the answer is obvious, the taxman takes a good chunk of what we earn, as does the bank if we have a mortgage or the landlord if we rent.  Then of course we have to eat. If we have children they suck up a lot of income as well.

But what do we do with the rest of it?

Are we as ‘comfortable’ financially as we would like to be whatever age we are?

I am finding more people that I talk to saying ‘No, we aren’t where we want to be’ and this isn’t just the 50plus age group, younger people are saying the same thing.

The second part of the sentence goes something like, ‘But we don’t know where it has all gone’.  We remember the big ticket things, like cars, holidays, but what about all the smaller things that we just seem to have frittered away our money on?

Ok, I know you men are thinking of your partners and what is buried in the wardrobe, and we girls are thinking of the shed or garage that houses the boy’s toys.

The age of technology has really helped us spend our money, we pay bills electronically, we have multiple cards so we don’t need to carry cash so whilst transactions have become easier; our awareness of money and where it goes has faded.

My challenge to you is to bring that awareness back to the front of your mind by tracking your spending.  Keep a money diary, (just like a food diary but for your money), write everything down (yes I mean hand write) you spend for a month in a notebook.  I am sure you will learn a lot about your spending habits over the course of the month.

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