Community Magazine

In for the Count: A Sydney Tally and a New Manifesto

By Eemusings @eemusings

Like Mochi and Macarons, I tend to let a bit loose when I’m travelling.

Over five days in Sydney (plus travel to and from the airport) I spent about $400. Given more than a third of that was on shopping, I’m happy with how it worked out. I didn’t pay for any attractions, so the rest went on transport and food (almost all meals were provided, but you didn’t expect me to visit Sydney and not sample any local fare, surely?).

I started out with $100 cash, which translated into about A$75. $30 bought me two pairs of ballet flats (much needed), while the rest went toward food, and bus fares.

Then there was $38 at Red Lantern for dinner, $130 on a handbag and wallet (bag was much needed, wallet not so much), $51 (aka A$40 I took out from an ATM) for food.

Other stuff: $7.50 bank fee, $9 parking that we had to pay in order to get out of the airport when T collected me (no idea what was going on there), the $17.65 I dropped on a travel pouch before leaving so I could carry my passport and credit card safely on my person, $40 for the taxi to the airport for my departing flight, which I nearly forgot about (the bus is cheaper at $25 but doesn’t stop anywhere near my house, so I was willing to pay extra for the convenience), and about $30 for insurance, because I’m paranoid like that.

I’ve been pretty lax about tracking our spending for a few months (though I doubt anyone missed my spending recaps). On one hand, it was great – sometimes I get too extreme about things, and I was definitely spending too much time poring over figures. We’d also hit one savings goal and were tracking well on the wedding fund, so I’ll admit, I took the chance to let up a little and pay a bit less attention to things.

On the other, I swung too far to the other end of the spectrum, NOT spending enough time looking at the numbers. Around this time, we swung back to more integrated finances, running everything out of one bank account. We got hit with a string of expenses. And T has, during this time, been spending too much on little transactions here and there, which add up.

Suffice to say it’s not disastrous, but it’s not a pretty picture. So it’s time to get back into eagle eye mode and really crack down, not least because I’ve decided on a 2013 wedding and honeymoon (HALLELUJAH! the crowds cry. A decision one way or another at last!). Therefore, more than ever, it’s crucial to crack up the saving.

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