If you're like me, you have a category in your financial software labeled 'miscellaneous'. I've found this to be a very dangerous and expensive category. If you're not careful, you can mask dangerous spending habits that could be costing you a lot of money.
Consider this article by M. P. Dunleavey appearing in today's New York Times. She talks about how quickly $27 per day on miscellaneous things can add up.
What are some things that you can do to curb miscellaneous spending?
1. Don't take plastic cards with you: they encourage miscellaneous spending
2. Give yourself a daily cash allowance and only carry this much with you
3. Purchase only items that you need
4. Keep records of every dollar that you spend from your daily allowance
In 2008, I vow to remove the miscellaneous category from my expense list and to take a very critical look at where this money really goes.