A fritterer is someone who spends a lot of money in small amounts, so it doesn't seem like a lot of money is being spent. A coffee here, a magazine there. Some Tic Tacs while buying milk, a new type of Black & Green's chocolate that I notice on the shelf at the local hippie shop while I'm stocking up on rolled oats and chia seeds. A $5 mascara in a throw out bin conveniently located while lining up at Chemist Warehouse waiting to pay for my vitamins. I think you get the point - I piss away a lot of money on fleeting, pointless, impulse purchases.
So my first goal for Year of the Tight Arse is to rein in the frittering. For the past few months I have been using an app called Toshl (there are loads of expense tracking apps out there, this is just one of them) to keep track of my spending. I haven't been religious about it, but just noting down for a couple of weeks here and there everything I buy. In one 7 day period I spent $36.70 on coffee. COFFEE. In the same period I spent $30.30 on lunch, and I have no idea how that happened, as I take my lunch to work almost every day. Other expenses in that week:
- magazines - $16.90
- macarons - $10.00 (note how they get their own category!)
- downloads - $14.18
- beauty products - $30.21
- cakes - $8.45 (again - own category!)
- water - $14.80
So you can see why what's in the budget doesn't match up with what's left in my hand at the end of each fortnight.
I haven't entirely figured out the best way to go about this. I am half-considering doing a summing up post each fortnight (as that's my pay cycle) of what I spent money on that I didn't need. Maybe seeing it written down might spur me to reduce that list each time. But I don't want to bore people senseless with lists of stuff. I don't know...
Are you a fritterer? Any tips to avoid impulse purchases greatly appreciated!