I have 3 accounts that I use for paying for things. 1) I have a personal checking account at Bank A. 2) I have a joint checking account at Bank B. 3) I have a credit card w/ Bank C (I pay off the balance every month). Bank A only let me download the last 3 months of transactions. Bank B let me download as much as I want (I went back to 1/1/2010), and Bank C let me get 6 months worth of credit card transactions. So I'm putting a note on my calendar to download my statements every 30 days and add them to my running tally.
This all means, to get an accurate picture, I could only look at 3 months of spending for now, since about mid-December 2010. I took all of my 2 personal accounts and multiplied everything in my joint account by 50%, put them into Excel, categorized each transaction, then did a pivot table and a pivot chart. Wanna know how to do this or get a copy of my template? DM me on twitter (@messyfinances). I'm working on a way to contact me from the blog, too.
So I have all my expenses categorized. I'm going to focus on 1 category for improvement for now - food away from home (about 6% of my total spending). I spend way too much buying lunch at restaurants or fast food joints every day plus I/we don't cook at home enough and order out for dinner way too much. Food away from home was my biggest expense after mortgage and a couple other items that can't so easily be reduced. Add that to grocery spending, and food as a whole makes up a huge percent of my spending.
I need to now compare this spending to my income and see what I currently have left over each month. Also, I haven't figured my taxes yet! I need to do these two things this week!
I'll figure out how to share my templates on here shortly... until then, like I said, DM me on twitter (@messyfinances) for now!