If you always skid into your next paycheck,
you'll be left weeks, months, or years short of your financial
goals. Get organized, and develop a spending plan.
A spending plan helps you get to know your money
flow -- money earned and money spent. Keep it simple!
Create two charts: one for your income, the second for your
expenses. Divide expenses into two categories: fixed expenses,
such as mortgage, rent, or car payment; and flexible expenses,
such as utility bills, groceries and gas.
For one month, record your income and all your expenses,
cash and credit -- yes, even those pocket-change coffee and
doughnut runs! At month's end, tally up what you spent your
money on and compare it to your income.
Surprised? Now it's time to organize your bill paying and
economize your flexible spending. Where can you cut back?
Your flexible spending needs to fund your emergency savings
and your "debt pay-off plan."