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« A Couple More New Things... | Main | Hear Sarah Speak -- Without Leaving Your Home! »

A Simple Solution For Tracking Your Spending Habits

As you may know, my absolute favorite money management solution is the Mvelopes system (you can read my review here) but there is another, more low-tech way to track your spending and manage your money.  This method allows you to not only create a workable budget, but also manage your cashflow.

I'll describe the basics of the system, but for more details and explianation, I HIGHLY recommend the ebook The B Word That's where I learned this method.

For this method, you will need to set up several bank accounts.

  • One account from which you will pay all of your regular monthly bills
  • One account that will hold money ONLY for out-of-pocket-spending
  • One account for savings.
  • One account for charity (optional)

Next, you'll need to get out your calculator.  First figure out Figure out how much money you will need to cover your basic monthtly bills each month. Now, pad that with a bit extra (in case of a high heating bill in the winter, for example) and put that amount in the first account. Now you  ONLY pay your monthly bills out of that account.  Each time you get paid, you put enough money in that first account to replenish it so that you can pay your bills each month.

Next put figure out how much you want to put into savings (and your charity account) each time you get paid. You can Set up automatic payments for these transfers to occur after you've deposited your paycheck.

Finally, the left over money goes into your out-of-pocket spending account.  This is the money you use to pay for groceries, a night a the movies, clothes etc.

Arranging your accounts this way allows you (a) always know that you have enough to pay your monthly bills (b) "pay yourself first"  by arranging for automatic payments to saving & charity accounts (c) always know how much you have left to spend "out-of-pocket" and (d) tracking your out of pocket spending because it is all in one account.

If this is all unclear, or you want more specific, exact details on how to manage your cashflow this way then check out The  B Word by clicking here. 




Reader Comments (1)

nice post.I am also a quite spendthrift and do not realise where the money I have spend.
Another such informative post I have seen on
January 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterterry guliver

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