Create a Spending Plan

Create a SpendingPlan

Most people know how much money they make per month, but are surprised to know how much they actually spend. With a spending plan you can see how much money you need to cover bills, loan payments, and everyday expenditures like gasoline for your car and entertainment. 

The key is to keep it simple and reference it at least twice a month. You can choose a spending plan that you update on a spreadsheet, keep track on a notebook, or use Ascentra’s My$Manager that is available through Online Account Access. It tracks spending and even lets you view spending and balances on accounts, loans and credit cards that you have with other financial institutions. If you do write it down, be sure to keep your information in a safe place.

Start with a list of monthly “Expenses” and next to it writein the “Amount” of that expense. Please reference the chart. You can do yourown or total household if you share expenses and earnings with another person.

Expenses

Amount

Mortgage / Rent

 

Home/Renters insurance

 

Utilities: power, gas, water

 

Cable / Satellite

 

Internet

 

Groceries

 

Home maintenance

 

Mobile phone

 

Auto loan

 

Auto insurance

 

Gasoline/Maintenance

 

Credit card payments

 

Life insurance

 

Health plan premium

 

Savings (Vacation/Any goal)

 

Savings (Emergency)

 

Lunches/ Eating out

 

Clothing

 

School Tuition/Fees

 

School lunch

 

Day care

 

Medications

 

Newspaper / Magazines

 

Entertainment

 

Memberships

 

Miscellaneous

 

TOTAL EXPENSES

 

 

Then start your “Earnings” list. Write in the “Amount”earned. List your monthly salary, your spouse’s monthly salary if you combineyour earnings, and any other form of income including child support, alimony,disability, and/or Social Security. Then add up your total monthly earnings.


Earnings

Amount

Salary #1

 

Salary #2

 

Other

 

TOTAL INCOME

 

EXPENSES

 

REMAINDER

 

 

Now subtract your total expenses from your total income andyou should have the amount of dollars left over and available each month. Thisamount should be used to pay down debt. Don’t forget to save for your two monthemergency fund.

If the amount available is a negative number then you have tomake some changes in your spending quickly. Look at your expenses; where canyou cut back? What can you eliminate?

You can only spend what you have available. Remember thatthis is a document that changes when you pay off credit cards, loans or as youget more monthly expenses. Stick to your plan, make adjustments as needed andset yourself up to be financially fit.