It just isn’t working anymore. Me and my tracker have got to part ways. The idea that I would write down what I spend every day and work out where my money is going was a good one. A couple of years ago I did it for a few months no problem. I learnt things about my money I could never have known any other way.
And by other people’s measure my current tracking system isn’t all that shabby. But when I sat down this week with it, I simply fell out of love.
My tracker just isn’t doing it for me anymore.
After much pencil scribbling and cross checking of line items, I stumbled across a strange coincidence in calculating the money involved in this week assignment. In totting up the likely meals and groceries and coffees and nights out, I landed on the very same amount of money that I had been aiming for when I had my 30% spend reduction over Lent.
The spend reduction that I wasn’t able to achieve!
This led me to conclude that my tracker just isn’t working hard enough to educate me. If I really think that I am going to spend 30% less than I really do over the next few weeks, my tracker is failing to make me financially conscious. By a couple of hundred pounds per week. By the difference between living within and beyond my means.
What, therefore, is the point of this relationship?
It’s just a life-sapping chore! We just go through the motions together and I’m working too hard on this relationship to be getting so little back.
And so after those sobering set of calculations yesterday I went to bed disheartened about me and my tracker. I wasn’t sure who to blame. Is it me? Or the tracker? I woke this morning resolved – either which way, one of us has to go.
My pen and paper log combined with excel file system has been dumped.
I’ve chosen a new life partner.
More to follow (once current tracker has stopped sobbing and has cleared out its stuff.)