Tracking My Monthly American Express Bill

Since December I have published my American Express Bill in a hope that it will force me to become more responsible with spending. When I was destroying debt I watched everything very carefully, but since we have no consumer debt (besides this revolving charge card which must be paid off in full every month) I am a little looser with spending.

American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

It seems that while my December to January has come down it seems that my spending is currently in line with last month.

My February Spending

Date Description Amount
02/19/2012 BJS FUEL 60.82
02/18/2012 EXXONMOBIL 25.00
02/18/2012 MSG-CONCESSIONS NEW YORK NY 18.25
02/18/2012 MTA TBTA E-ZPASS STATEN ISLAND NY 25.00
02/18/2012 STAR KITCHEN 18.65
02/17/2012 CAFE TESTAROSSA 136.15
02/16/2012 SPRINT WIRELESS 800-639-6111 KS 124.27
02/16/2012 STOP & SHOP NY 48.47
02/14/2012 HILLMALL NY 18.34
02/14/2012 KING KULLEN 43.41
02/14/2012 THE COACH STORE-WLT 323.70
02/12/2012 FRIENDLY ICE CREAM NY 30.84
02/12/2012 HESS 35.00
02/12/2012 Krav Maga 112.00
02/12/2012 SEARS AUTO CENTER 152.05
02/12/2012 STARBUCKS 2.77
02/12/2012 UNITED BROTHERS PETR 11.14
02/12/2012 VIG 27 62.00
02/11/2012 GROUPON INC 877-788-7858 IL 55.00
02/11/2012 PAVILION WINE & SPIR 23.88
02/11/2012 PHIL AND SONS PIZZA 14.15
02/11/2012 VIG 27 71.00
02/10/2012 ON THE BORDER NY 43.12
02/10/2012 TJMAXX 73.51
02/09/2012 STARBUCKS 7.22
02/09/2012 STOP & SHOP 12.96
02/08/2012 NEWSDAY INC HOME DEL1-800-NEWSDAY 12.00
02/07/2012 BUYBUYBABY 11.34
02/07/2012 CHIPOTLE 12.06
02/05/2012 KING KULLEN 53.51
02/05/2012 SHELL OIL 30.27
02/04/2012 MANGOE’S CAFE 177.82
02/03/2012 LEMONLEAF GRILL 61.20
02/03/2012 THE UPS STORE 25.91
02/03/2012 USPS 4.55
02/02/2012 FINE WINES UNLIMITE 10.85
02/02/2012 ROYAL BUKHARA GRILL 31.50
02/01/2012 USPS 17.25
01/29/2012 BJS FUEL 54.03
01/29/2012 CARUSO’S 14.66
01/29/2012 CVS 12.49
01/29/2012 RITE AID 22.39
01/29/2012 WAWA 921 43.04
01/28/2012 GENUARDIS STORE PA 3.21
01/28/2012 RYAN CHRISTOPHERS 73.89
01/28/2012 WINE & SPIRITS 12.71
01/27/2012 CVS 57.56
01/27/2012 EMPIRE SZECHUAN 17.01
01/27/2012 EXXONMOBIL 20.01
01/27/2012 PASTAERIA 10.45
01/27/2012 THE HOME DEPOT 78.25
01/26/2012 NETTEL/NEWSDAY 13.50
01/26/2012 POLAND SPRING WATER BOTTLEDWATER 69.16
01/26/2012 SHOPRITE 13.95
01/25/2012 NYS BAR ASSOCIATION ALBANY NY 25.00
01/23/2012 PHIL AND SONS PIZZA NY 14.15
01/22/2012 THE HOME DEPOT # 24.33
10/08/2011 STRATTON-SALES-CENTESTRATTON MTN VT 58.01
02/19/2012 BEDBATH&BEYOND 37.00
02/16/2012 PEDIATRICS 30.00
02/14/2012 PEDIATRICS 30.00
02/13/2012 MJ BEANZ NY 10.85
02/12/2012 BEDBATH&BEYOND 23.98
02/10/2012 HESS 39.07
02/09/2012 TOYS ‘R’ US 12.63
02/05/2012 CVS 45.42
02/05/2012 TRADER JOE’S 4.78
02/04/2012 CVS 9.49
02/03/2012 DOC 50.00
02/02/2012 Deli NY 12.39
02/01/2012 BROOKS BROTHERS 158.61
02/01/2012 STRIDE RITE 36.48
01/30/2012 SHOPRITE S NY 23.83
01/30/2012 SIMPLE CLEANERS 17.71
01/30/2012 TARGET 99.17
01/30/2012 TRADER JOE’S 109.74
01/25/2012 AMAZON.COM 69.28
01/25/2012 MARSHALLS 20.61
01/25/2012 PARTY CITY 17.27
01/23/2012 STOP & SHOP NY 118.87
$3,611.94

 

Spending

SubCategory Spending

The two items marked in Red:

  1. The Coach Store – This was The Wife’s Valentine’s Day Gift.  However, not surprisingly, I have NO idea how to pick out bags so this is getting returned in the next few days.  Worry not women readers she picked out a different one at a different store that will appear on next month’s bill (and this will be a credit).
  2. I couldn’t believe that a charge allegedly from October made its way onto my February Statement! Something is wrong here.

Upon discovering the error (which I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t do this exercise every month) I called up American Express.  Once again, I was amazed by their customer service.  I had a rep on the phone within 7 mins of picking up the phone and they took the charge off my account until they figure out what’s going on. Love their customer service.

How was your spending this month?

22 Responses to Tracking My Monthly American Express Bill

  1. I notice you bought a lot of non-essential items. Don’t millionaires become so by being frugal and buying only what they must?

    Also pretty sure they don’t even HAVE credit cards.

    • “I notice you bought a lot of non-essential items. Don’t millionaires become so by being frugal and buying only what they must?”
      - Depends on what you read but you are correct that my discretionary spending is way too high.

      “Also pretty sure they don’t even HAVE credit cards.”

      I am positive you are wrong on this one. What they don’t have is credit card debt and neither do I since this is paid off monthly.

      • You do have student loans. Imagine, you could put $800 or whatever it is toward them every month instead of toward…whatever that is. Brooks Brothers and fancy restaurants.

        I have no idea how much you have but I’m guessing it’s in the hundreds of thousands or thereabouts. You could be paying off 10% (being optimistic and assuming it’s only 100k, if it’s less, awesome) of that every year by just cutting out crap you don’t need. And that’s just what I noticed, that was on your cc. Who knows what else you’re blowing in cash that you don’t need.

        Your son depends on you, and by getting rid of the debt you will make a better life for him and for you. More money for his college fund so he won’t have to go through this crap later. Wouldn’t it be amazing for him to not even remember when his father had debt? I know it’s a powerful motivator for you.

  2. In other words:

    You’re eating out way too much. Try to bring lunch from home. I know you’ll say that’s impossible, etc, but if people have suggested it to me, I can suggest it to you. Cafe testarossa, whatever that is–$136? Seriously? I’ve never even contemplated spending that kind of money when I eat out. If you need to eat out and absolutely can’t avoid it, I’m sure there are cheaper places.

    Your cell phone is too expensive. It’s a luxury, not a necessity. You don’t need it.

    Brooks Brothers, I assume, is for a suit that you just HAD to have. But I don’t think you needed it at all.

    So that’s like…what…$600 or more dollars that you didn’t have to spend? You need to be responsible and take care of your child. You need to live more frugally. You’re wasting way too much money.

    The $200 tv I bought is pocket change in comparison. Even if I do make way less than you.

    • Lunch – I actually go home most days, but you are 100% correct The Wife and I eat out way too much.

      Cafe Testorsa is a restaurant where The Wife and I have gone every Valentine’s day for 12 years. Our first date was there, we got engaged there, etc. WAY overpriced for what it is.

      I actually think my cell phone is a bargain. That is for unlimited data, text, and more mins then I know what to do with (but can’t go lower) on 2 smart phones.

      You are right then I am spending too much.

      • Also, $7 at Starbucks? Really? You could go coffee free for a month and save $50. That’s $50 more for your student loans.

        Believe me, when it comes to knowing how money should be spent, that’s no problem for me. For me, the hard part is making the money in the first place.

        • “For me, the hard part is making the money in the first place.”
          - Not that I am letting you hijack another one of my posts, but that isn’t your problem. Your problem is you think you are better then what your options say you are. Maybe that will pay off for you one day when you find your dream job, but in my humble opinion it won’t.

          • What’s wrong with thinking I’m worth good things? Yes, I deserve to have good things and a good life. I am worth it. I don’t see a problem with my viewpoint. Anyway, I’m not hijacking, just sharing my experiences.

            At any rate, I’m not spending $7 for a cup of coffee, so at least my priorities aren’t completely out of whack.

          • Also you don’t know what my options are nor how good I am. Unless you’re suggesting that I should think I’m a worthless piece of s**t, then there’s nothing wrong with how I feel.

  3. Evan,
    I thought you had gotten a penchant for fancy handbags there for a minute. I’d for sure look into that charge – even if nothings wrong 4 months is quite a bit of time for it to post or you to get charged. My spending was pretty good this month, though I ate out too much.

  4. I also have an American Express, but it is the Costco version. I get a rebate once a year in February on my purchases. It was a nice rebate but it was a sore reminder of how much I spent to “earn” that rebate. Again, super awesome post!

    • I get points for my spending also – got me 2 tickets to Atlanta last year, but that came at a pretty big cost LOL

  5. First of all, I’m jealous that you can go to BuyBuyBaby or Bed Bath & Beyond and spend less than $25. Secondly, also jealous that you can pay off $3600 in CC debt in one month. But this is a good exercise. We have good months and bad months when it comes to charging things, which are usually from Amazon. Otherwise, most of our purchases are debited.

    • The Wife and I don’t Debit almost anything. We treat the AMEX like a super-debit account. So every few days I take money from the checking account and send it to amex almost like I was paying for it with the debit card.

  6. Well done…and good catch, with that October charge.

    I do exactly the same thing and have been consistently pleased with the results in terms of control over spending and over debt avoidance.

    And like yours, my discretionary spending looks high when the AMEX charges are tracked in isolation from other aspects of cash flow and budgeting. However, virtually all my discretionary spending goes on the AMEX card; I don’t pay with paper money or a debit card, and all nondiscretionary spending is made through EFTs.

    The discretionary budget represents about half the monthly budget casa mia, because that’s what I can afford. If nondiscretionary spending were a little larger (for example, if my home still had a mortgage or I owed money on a car), then a) discretionary spending would appear smaller by comparison and b) the discretionary budget would in fact be reduced from its present grandeur.

    Now…if half the Funny Farm’s monthly budget were $3,611.94, that would be very nice. :-)

  7. I like that you break down your credit card bill like this every month – it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing as well (instead of weekly spending recaps). I also find the comments really interesting above – I love to see everyone’s different opinions on spending like this!

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