Lies people tell themselves

This week’s assignment should be a breeze but I reckon it won’t be. I’ve picked the 9 of Clubs which comes with the instructions that I need to forecast my spend for the month ahead. Without sounding too pessimistic, the odds seem high that I’m about to find out just how much routine denial I enjoy (at least, when it comes to spending money!)

Where do these assignments come from anyway?

A few readers have recently been asking about the Deck of Small Change. Whether these are my own made-up assignments or a set of 52 exercises available to all? The answer is YES and YES. Yes, I made them up. I designed the 52 exercises for this year’s experiment. I have a spreadsheet which lists the 52 playing cards that there are in a deck and next to each card there’s an assignment I thought I might find helpful. Each week I turn over a new card and then go check out my spreadsheet to see what the corresponding weekly assignment entails. And Yes, if you want the spreadsheet you can have it. Though only when I get to the end of the year.

Why this week’s assignment should be easy …

See ground rule 1. I am meant to be tracking my daily spend and then logging it into a spend tracker. So I should have over four months of data on precisely where my money goes. And presumably 4 months of spend behaviour might predict the next four weeks?

… but probably not 

For two reasons.

Reason One — I’m not 100% confident in the accuracy of my tracker. While it is thousands of times better than what I used to do — pay little attention to where my money went, and I do now have a good grasp, it could be a lot tighter.  I have mostly but not always remembered to write down what I spend everyday. And this means I occasionally engage in unreliable guesswork. I’m also not clockwork about transferring my daily purse scribbles onto the weekly spend tracker spreadsheet. So there have been times when I cannot figure out my old notes.

I am a variable creature. 

Which is Reason Two.

My weeks don’t look the same and therefore my weekly spending is erratic. And because I do not like my life to be over-planned I only know some of what I will be up to in the next 4 weeks.

Still, I reckon this is the task that might really help me get to grips with actually USING the tracker to learn something useful about me and my spending.

Reporting back in next week ….

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