The lazy man's way to track spending

$1600. That is the total of our monthly bills. That number doesn't sound too bad, until I tell you that it doesn't include utilities, bills, and all those other glamorous things we all must have. Nope...that is for the mortgage, the wife's car and the Harley Davidson. $1600.

In February of 2007 this was no problem. I had a great job with great pay. I also had this degree with $20,000 in student loans behind it that I wasn't using. I was also away from home a lot. I missed my family. So I did the logical thing; found a job closer to home, and it was a much better job.

Currently I am an IT Technician for the local school district. I actually received a pay raise with this new career. I earn almost $4,000 a year more now. Strangely enough, I get less on my checks, about $200 a check less. There is a lot of mandatory deductions in education. Like the mandatory retirement account (which is a great thing, and my employer matches about 9% of my salary) and the insurance. That's a kicker. Almost $300 a month. I think I need to get sick more often...get some of that money back. So as you can see, I got a raise, but in reality I got a pay cut.