Monday, August 3, 2009

This is why I track my money so closely

Sometimes my friends laugh at me because I count for every single penny I make and spend. I can spend half an hour trying to figure out why there is a 10 cent discrepancy between my budget sheet and my bank account. I admit it, I can get obsessive. The other day my friend told me she was tired of hearing me talk about money. "We're young," she said. "We are not supposed to be worried about all these things now." Well to that friend (and all the others) I say a big fat HA!

The obsessiveness pays off every now and then. It's attention to the minutiae that allows you to cut out all unnecessary income loss. Alright let me stop philosophizing and tell you what happened. I got paid on Friday and immediately recorded the income in my spreadsheet. I was a little taken aback because it was about $60 less than what I normally receive. Since I was home, I could only check the details of my paycheck on my blackberry and saw that income from a giftcard I had received was part of my income. "Oh it's just the tax on that giftcard," I thought in my half awake stupor.

Once I got to work, my brain kicked in and I realized that it made no sense whatsoever to pay $60 tax on a $100 giftcard. Upon further inspection, I noticed that some of the deduction for my transportation that should have been taken out BEFORE tax was taken out AFTER. I won't bore you with all the details but suffice it to say that Payroll is working on it.

I know that if I didn't keep such an eagle eye on my finances I probably would have missed this. It's only when $60 less means that you can not pay a bill that these things have a big impact. This habit is something that I take with me when I go to the grocery store. I scan my receipt like a hawk and make sure everything (including sales) ring up correctly. I have caught a couple of things in the past and I think it's a good habit for everyone to have.

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