Joining Pocketbook last week forced me to make a significant lifestyle choice – no more corporate salary. This meant some serious financial belt tightening was required so I could support myself.
I have a pretty complex financial situation; accounts with a few banks, 2 credit cards and some investment mortgages. I’ve always done okay using Excel, putting in some grunt work to help me understand whether I could afford to buy the car, or get a mortgage before these important purchases.
In this case however, the thought of doing this analysis weekly myself so I can track and change my spending behaviour is something I dreaded.
Pocketbook is great because it segments my spending into different areas – without me doing that hard-work. I can then drill down and work out what the spending is and if I can potentially cut back in that area.
Using this, I quickly zoned in on my discretionary spending and started to target some easy fixes to reduce overall weekly spending by 25%. All without significantly changing my lifestyle.
So out of this, I’ve set myself 4 simple steps:
Cutting 1 night of going out each week – I spend way too much on “Entertainment”. By cutting out 1 night, I can reduce 20% in this category.
Sending daily deals emails to a special folder – I’m pretty bad with jumping on emailed deals on a whim, buying too much online. So now, all these emails go to a special folder, out of sight, out of mind. I’m targeting a 70% reduction in “Ecommerce”.
Getting on a pushbike – I spend a lot of money on petrol these days. Now that I’m working from our home office (‘Silicon Creek’!), within biking distance away, I’ve dusted off the old pushbike. I think this can save me 30% on “Car & Travel”.
Making my own lunches – Most of my “Personal” spending is on lunch money. If I cut most of these and replace it with an extra 20% spent on groceries, that should cover lunches. Besides, a Woolies just opened up right next door!
Budgeting feature coming soon
We’re hard at work here at Pocketbook building out our next big feature – budgeting. We believe the best way to start budgeting is to start with historical spending and make adjustments. Just like how I’ve set the above 4 steps for myself.
As always – our number one goal is to keep it ridiculous simple.