Putting things in writing can make them seem more concrete and help you visualize you spending map which will also help you stay on track with your spending, recognize where money is being spent and reach your financial goals. It's easy to let everyday spending and debt obligations get in the way of saving for your future. The best way to ensure your daily spending habits don't interfere with your goals is by creating and following a thorough spending plan. A spending plan is a tool to help you take control of your finances and reach your goals and your spending plan can be created in a few simple steps!
Determine your income.
Use this worksheet
to list all sources of income including wages, child support, social security etc.
Know your expenses.
will help you determine all monthly expenses including utilities, housing, entertainment and more. Use this Out of Pocket Tracker to track the little things you purchase throughout the week, every soda from the vending machine and every cup of coffee at the local coffee shop. It's easy to dismiss the smaller purchases you make but if you track every single one for a week, you'll be able to spot your 'spending leaks' and find better ways to help stick to your budget.
Compare income and expenses.
Using this worksheet
, subtract your monthly expenses from your total income to determine what money is leftover (if any). You can also use this worksheet
to plan your per pay day budget.
Choose your path.
Now that you know what you make and what you're spending, you need to sit down and decide what changes need to be made (if any) and decide where your money should be going. What will you decide to do with any leftover money you may have each month? Use this worksheet
to help prioritize your spending.