I only just noticed there is a Budget function on my online checking account site. I spent some time today setting myself up to keep track of expenses and create summaries reflecting the data.
Now, when I view my transaction history at Keybank.com, I can assign categories for each deposit and cleared check or debit. I can keep better track of where the money goes.
Why haven't I done this before? It's so easy. According to my first summary, for December, I spent $150.00 on eating out and $110.00 at the grocery store. Eating out is almost always a whim, or the result of forgetting my lunch, or a response to a stressful event (I took myself to dinner after I got my mammogram.) The trouble with grabbing a sandwich at Amato's is, the food is cheap but not nutritious. A sandwich from Mr. Bagel is more nutritious but not as cheap. I don't regret my post-mammogram dinner at the Thai restaurant because it was relatively economical, beautifully prepared and nutritious. I could not have prepared that meal for myself any cheaper.
Mr. Blue Sky
14 hours ago