Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where does your money go?

Often, after doing the Personal Income and Expenses Statement portion of our workshop, participants realize they are spending more than they are earning. I suggest that you prepare two PIES one for your actual monthly expenses and another for your projected monthly expenses. Be honest and give accurate numbers or close estimates. Identify all your sources of income and all your expense items. Once you have identified your expenses items, categorize them accordingly. The categories could be: fixed committed expenses living expenses like rent and utilities, other committed expenses education, loan payments, etc., discretionary/optional expenses things that will not cause a major change in your lifestyle if you forgo them. After you have categorized your expenses, you will realize that a significant portion of your money is spent on discretionary expenses. Some examples are cell phone load, online gaming, and entertainment. I suggest that you always carry a small notebook to keep tabs on your expenses. At the very least, you should identify, label, and categorize all your expenses so that you know where your money is going....

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