I finally started receiving spending information from Natasha -- just over a week's worth of activity tracking. I was starting to hope that this would be the most productive week so far. But then, the daily emails of her spending stopped toward the end of the week.
The week was very tough on Natasha's wallet because a few issues arose that resulted in a lot of spending. All told, she spent about $650 in cash during that week. First, her car got towed and it cost her about $210 to get it out of the pound. Her fridge also broke and has not been replaced so her outlay for meals (fast food and eating out) was nearly $100, which is probably a little higher than if she were able to buy groceries and cook at home. Entertainment also cost about $190 (for a night out with friends, a spa visit for a friend's birthday, and $80 for a babysitter while she was out).
This last item may be of most concern, but I don't know if this entertainment activity was a once off or irregular occurrence so I will not jump to any conclusions just yet (maybe she hasn't spent anything on herself in months?). Everyone needs to have some time for themselves, but it should be planned for and within a reasonable cost range.
I have learned a lot from the one week's worth of spending information, and I really hope she keeps it coming -- no matter how "bad" she might think it is. I definitely believe an "envelope" system (as I discussed a couple of weeks ago) would be perfect and I am starting to determine the amounts that should be set aside for certain expenses. Only by facing the reality of how much she is spending on what can she have any hope of changing her situation.