Fortune Friday #1 – Where’s the Cash?

where's the beef ladySome of you may be too young or unexposed to television commercials to recognize that face.  But, a lot of you may recognize her as the lady from the old Wendy’s commercial – “Where’s the beef?”  Well, my financial situation right now has me saying “Where’s the cash?”  I know from our tax records that we make a decent living as a couple.  I also know that we don’t have a lot of new things or overly extravagant things.  Most of our furniture is hand-me-downs.  Our cars are both paid off and one is a 2007 and one is a 2001.  Neither of them are driveable right now, so we are looking to buy a replacement.  And I feel like we can’t afford it.  I don’t know why…we don’t seemingly have that many expenses (and we used to have many more), but I just feel like we get to the end of the money every month far before we get to the end of the month.

So, instead of just sitting around and saying, “Where’s the cash?” every month, I am going to implement some tracking of our spending come September.  We do have a lot of expenses to deal with – a mortgage on a house we rent (not nearly for the amount of the mortgage – we bought at the wrong time), our rent on the place we live, the HOA dues on the house we own, our cell phones, our internet, our Roku subscriptions (which are way less than our old Direct TV monthly rate), car and renters insurance, PG&E, life insurance, our monthly medicine bills for my daughter (which are quickly adding up because of an insurance change that requires us to pay for one of the more expensive medicines and then request a reimbursement – which I am horrible about keeping up with – so I’m going to speak with the transplant team about switching to the generic to keep our costs down if it works as well as the other), gas for the car (my husband commutes quite a ways to work), parking charges, etc.  So, so much to keep track of.  And then there is the food.  Eating out, groceries, coffee shops, more eating out, more groceries…we eat an insane amount of food for only 2 1/2 of us (my four year old does not eat a whole lot).  Or, more likely, we waste an insane amount of food.  I throw out so much produce and even meat that either goes past its prime or is freezer burned by the time I get to it.

But, I think tracking all of this spending will help us realize exactly “where’s the cash?” and to find places where we can cut back (food) and places where we can just get rid of it (the reimbursement thing for medicine).  And once we do that, maybe I can find some money at the end of the month instead of just month at the end of the money…

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