Tuesday, June 2, 2009

When Pie Charts Go Bad

So… I’m going to talk about things that are boring.

My life itself isn’t actually boring these days… I don’t know if it’s all the improv I’ve been doing, or the 16 crushes I have, or the fact that I haven’t seen Nick Wilson in a while – but I’ve been pretty damn happy lately!

One cause of worry though is money… and I’m moving to the North End this week! I’m starting to pay rent and utilities, so it’s about time I get my financial act together.

And so I did. Yesterday. And Oh. Dear. God.

I suggest each and every one of you (who isn’t deathly afraid of what they’re going to find out) sign up for an account with Mint.com. Just do it. You enter in your financial information in a safe manner (checking/savings/credit cards/loans/car payments/credit score/etc) and the site comes up with a nice little pie chart and break down for you.

Holy crap.

Here’s what I found out about my spending habits, thanks to Mint.com:

1. The top 3 (unnecessary) spending locations: Starbucks ($265 for 56 visits), Target ($301 for 12 visits) and Goody Glover’s ($250 for 9 visits) So… I’m an alcoholic with a caffeine addiction and I like spending money on useless things. Oh, and this is only from March-present. ONLY THREE MONTHS.
2. In that 3 month period, I’ve spent $9,192. Out of that $9,192… only about $2,500 was necessary spending (dentist, bills, etc.)
3. $2,000 of that was on shopping – one of the biggest places was the Gap, and to tell you the truth, I don’t remember what I bought. I don’t think I wear any of it. I sort of hate the Gap.
4. There are expenses I didn’t even know I had (mainly because I never check my bank statements as I’m too afraid) and that time I checked my FREE credit report? I’m an idiot. They’ve been charging me $15 every month!
5. Oh, they have some great statistics to… in NEW YORK CITY, the average person spent about $492 in March. Me? $755. And I was in New York for three days of March, I spent way too much money and came home smelling of bad decisions!

There’s so much more, but I’ve shared enough about my spending problem.

I can’t use the “I’m a young professional with a full-time job!” excuse forever. I’m 23, and I’m going to be paying rent and oh yeah, there’s that recession thing happening…

Anyway, the website’s really cool. You can set budgets for yourself and the site will text you when you go over budget (so, basically, it’s my mom.)

And before you judge me for my 56 visits to Starbucks… trust me, I know. And I’m cutting it out. Well, after today’s 2 coffees.

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