52 Simple Ways to Manage Your Money – 7. Easy Come, Easy Go
A Weekly Journal & Workbook to Help You Take Real Control of Your Money
What it is…
A cash flow statement is a document that shows the amount of money that comes in and goes out monthly. List the amount of money that comes in from all sources and then list your expenses. If done for at least three months, some patterns will emerge. This statement provides a starting point for making any spending shifts.
How it helps
Your spending patterns show up quickly.
It provides you with information from which to make changes, if desired.
The process raises your consciousness about money— you realize you’re making choices all the time.
You’ll either stop tracking your spending or change your spending.
Key items to look for…
Check for spending patterns, e.g., repeated expenditures you know are too high.
Review, or spot-check, periodically.
It is not necessary to do this forever. Just once is enough to find patterns, then as needed.
Approximately one hour monthly.
Keys to action…
Ready-made systems are helpful, or you can make your own. They should be convenient enough to carry with you. Try to find a system that will “call you to action” and be easy ro use.
SET IT UP
Remember, this process takes a limited time.
STEP ON IT
Take your notepad or system unit with you wherever you go
STEP ON IT +
Be prepared for a few surprises
Your reaction to the project: for example, does it sound interesting or feel like a burden?
The different ways you could choose to spend money.
The difference between how you THINK you spend your money and how you ACTUALLY spend your money.
What you tell yourself if you justify stopping the project.
The money doesn’t go far enough?
There are only three options:
- make more money,
- spend less money, or
- a combination of the above two. See chapters on Negotiating (Chapter 12), Generating New Income (Chapter 11), and Credit Cards (Chapter 15).
To me, a budget means…
If I looked at how I actually spend my money…
A good thing about staying confused about my spending might be…
If I were responsible about my spending…
At the thought of being in charge of my money…
If I believed I could expand my income, I might…