The Case of the Missing Money

Has this ever happened to you: You put a bit of “walking around” cash in your wallet, say $30 or $40. A short time later you reach for your wallet to make a small purchase only to find that it’s empty. That $20 you slipped in a few days ago is gone. As are the smaller bills you know were in there. You don’t remember buying anything and there’s no receipt in the side pocket to jog your memory. It’s like your money took a detour into the Twilight Zone.

Impulse purchases are the number one budget-buster for a lot of us. Those quarters you pop into a vending machine for a bottle of water are forgotten before you quench your thirst. The pack of gum you bought when you filled up your gas tank? It cost $1.37, but you don’t recall putting down $1.50 and strolling out the door before you got your change. The $5 candy bar you bought from a school fundraiser was a really nice gesture that completely slipped your mind.
While the amount of any individual purchase could be negligible, the total amount of money we fritter away without thinking about it can easily average $3 per day. That works out to $90 a month or over $1000 every year. All those packages of gum? They can end up costing a lot more than you think.
The good news is you can have it all. And by “all” I mean a working budget, money in the bank, and the occasional little splurge. All you need to do is put on your financial detective hat (a charcoal grey fedora if you have it; otherwise whatever’s in your closet will do), document every small unplanned purchase that you pay cash for, and total up your spending over a week’s time. So if your co-workers ask you to chip in $2 for a birthday cake for the boss, make a note. If you give a neighbor’s kid $10 to rake leaves, write it down. The $5 you paid for a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies also goes on the list.
Keep track of these unexpected spends every week for a month. Calculate your weekly and monthly totals. If you’ve never done this before, the final amount will probably surprise you. But remember, knowledge is power, so once you know your “fritter total” you can:
  • Look at how, when and where you spend money. If you’re frittering away $1.50 on weekday mornings for coffee and donuts, cutting back to just twice a week can save you over $200 a year.
  • Give yourself a reasonable allowance in cash every month for impulse purchases.
  • Re-allocate money you’re spending on spur-of-the-moment purchases to other areas that benefit you more, such as investing.
The point of a “fritter finder” investigation is mindfulness, not financial punishment. Taking control of your personal finances from the first penny to the last dollar can decrease stress and put you on a clear path to achieving your financial goals. It won’t cost you a thing, and the payoff will be priceless.
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© 2021 by RINO INVEST

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Hakop Kupalyan, Social Media Manager

Hometown: North Hollywood, CA
Favorite asset class: Real Estate
Education background: B.S. Marketing
Professional background: E-commerce and Marketing


Favorite quote:
“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”
Henry Ford

Bojan Todorovic, Video Production Manager

Hometown: Nis, Serbia
Favorite asset class: Business
Education background: Science school Bora Stankovic
Professional background: TV production


Favorite quote:
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them”
Chris Grosser

Edward Smith, Social Media Analyst

Hometown: Boston
Favorite asset class: Securities
Education background: B.S. Operations Management
Professional background: Sales and Marketing


Favorite quote:
“You do not find the happy life, you make it.”
Camilla Eyring Kimball

Spencer Park, Video Production Manager

Hometown: Bothell, WA
Favorite asset class: Business
Education background: Bachelor’s in Communications and Anthropology
Professional background: Event/Digital Marketing

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Favorite quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi

Betty Soto, UX/UI Designer

Hometown: Beaumont, CA
Favorite asset class: Real Estate
Education background: West Coast Ultrasound Institute Associate of Science in Cardiovascular Sonography, Current student at Colorado Technical University majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Digital Marketing.
Professional background: Cardiology Technician


Favorite quote:
“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”
Vincent van Gogh

Rahul Kulkarni, Asst. COO

Rahul Kulkarni serves as the Assistant Chief Operating Officer for RINO INVEST. In 1999 he earned a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering before receiving his Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Pune. In his spare time he enjoys bird watching and spending time with his wife and son.

Favorite quote:
“I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and make them right!”
Sir Ratan Tata

Diego Castiblanco, Web Admin

Diego Castiblanco works as the Web Developer of RINO INVEST, He got his degree in Computer Science from The Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas in 2017, he worked as a full-time Web Developer in UpWork which is one of the best freelancing platforms, he got the Top Rated Plus tag due to his dedication and professionalism serving clients from start-ups to big companies.

Favorite quote:
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Barbara Babcock, Curriculum Designer

Barbara Babcock is a Learning and Development Consultant and Financial Educator. Her passion is creating technology-rich learning solutions for Fortune 500 clients in the finance, technology, and engineering industries. She holds a Masters Degree in Educational Technology Leadership from The George Washington University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Dallas. She is also an emerging professional photographer whose work has been shown in various locations in Austin and Santa Fe.

Favorite quote:
“Experience is making mistakes and learning from them.”
Bill Ackman

Matt Pettit, CIO

Matt Pettit serves as the Chief Investment Officer of RINO INVEST. He is a 2015 Graduate of Wofford College with a degree in Accounting. He also serves his country as a Captain in the United States Army Reserve.

Favorite quote:
“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.”
P.T. Barnum