UNITED STATES—The New Year is upon us, and many people celebrated into the wee hours of the night. Amidst all that partying and celebrating it is likely that you made a few resolutions along the way. I know I made plenty and one of the biggest was getting my finances in order, and oh boy, did I learn a massive note for 2017. Last week I discussed the importance of keeping receipts and my experiment to realize where my money was being spent.

Well, after a long Saturday of collecting all my receipts, organizing them by store and calculating the numbers. So any guesses where the bulk of my money was being spent? I’ll tell you I was not surprised, but I was surprised by the amount spent. I’m spending loads and loads of money at the grocery store. I tend to shop around when it comes to stocking the fridge, freezer and cabinets, but I’m spending way too much and I have to cut things back big time.

Why? I spent nearly $900 alone at a local, slightly high-end farmer’s market. I knew I spent a lot there, but not to that tune. Why? That isn’t the only grocery store I shop at! Yeah, when I factor in the clubhouse and two other supermarket chains where I shop, I amounted nearly $2300 in 2017 on groceries. That is a lot of money people, and my biggest concern is that I don’t eat as much; at least I’d like to think that. So what does this mean for 2018? I have to find a way to cut out some things from the pantry and fridge that are not absolute musts. In addition, I have to be more prone to looking for sales and not buying something in excess just because it’s on sale.

That has been a trend that I have indulged in more and more, and this is more common with fruits and vegetables people. Yes, that is something without a doubt that I hate, so I’m going to change that anyway that I possibly can. I have this mantra of not wanting to see an empty fridge and sometimes just stock things for the sake of stocking. Not in 2018. I’m only buying what is needed for the household and anyway I can save a few dollars that is what is going to happen. I spent $2300 in 2017 on groceries, if you do the math that amounts to about $45 per week on groceries, and that is feasible to say the least. However, the goal is to get the biggest bang for my buck, no exception to the rule.

The bigger bulk of expenses struck me over the holidays and clothing. Yeah, I gotta cut that back big time. I realized that my closet is so stuffed with T-shirts, jeans, fleece, sweats, jackets, hoodies and winter coats that I cannot put anything else in the closet. That is a sign America; no more clothing, I don’t need it. The same goes for shoes. I’d like to believe I don’t have that many pairs of shoes, but I guess 10 shoes for a guy is a lot compared to what everyone else keeps telling me. However, I will not apologize for purchasing those shoes because I didn’t pay full price for any of them. For the most part, I got more than half of them for $20 or less.

Once again, when you have things to a point where you are running out of space to put things that is a sign that you have too much and you have to cut back. Last but not least, I’m ecstatic that the holidays are now behind us. I spent a lot on gifts, nearly $800 in the month of November alone, and probably another $300 in the month of December. Do I tend to overbuy?

Without a doubt, and as a result, I’m thinking for 2018 to limiting the Christmas holiday list to 1 gift per person. There is no need to continue to do things in excess. Why spend, spend and spend, when I could be utilizing some of that money for my savings account. Yes, I love going to the bank to put money in, I hate the idea of taking money out. The year 2017 was an exceptional year for me, but I learned something of major value: perspective matters. That is indeed the focus for 2018; it’s all about putting things into perspective.