List Your Monthly Expenses
Determining monthly expenses can be a challenge, but don't
become discouraged. Finding out what you really need or want to
spend on a monthly basis is critical to managing YOUR MONEY. You
will most likely have expenses that fall into 3 categories:
Fixed (FI): expenses that stay the same every
month, such as a mortgage or rent, auto insurance, perhaps day care
Flexible (FL): expenses that change on a
monthly basis, such as utility bills, food costs, gasoline
Periodic (PE): expenses that only occur
occasionally, such as holiday/special occasion gifts, doctor or
dentist visits, car repairs.
Use this Expense Tracking
Form (PDF) to list your expenses. Write down your recurring
expenses for the month. In some cases, you won't know exactly what
an expense will be - just estimate as best you can; you can always
make adjustments later. Try to mark each expense on your Expense
Tracking Form as Fixed (FI), Flexible (FL) or Periodic (PE).
As you complete this form, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when
you see how much is going out. Don't panic...that feeling is common
when you start. Most consumers don't realize how much they are
truly spending until they see their expenses listed. This is a
crucial first step to gaining control of your financial
When you have finished as much of the Expense Tracking Form as
you can, add up everything (be sure you determine the MONTHLY cost
for each item) and place it in your Money Management file.
Visit OklahomaMoneyMatters.org to
learn more about financial fitness.