Develop a Spending Plan
Now that you have set goals, examined the evidence from your past spending habits, and thought about why you spend the way you do, it’s time to find the money to meet your goals.
If you’re wondering, “Where can I find more money?” don’t be discouraged. It’s estimated that the average family wastes 30 percent of its money through unexamined spending. You are taking the first step by simply paying attention to your own habits.
So, give yourself a 30 percent pay increase by creating a spending plan. If you've already completed the Spending Detective Worksheet, then you have a good idea of where your money goes. Use SAM's Budget Worksheet to complete your spending plan.
- If you have money left over at the end of the month, your income and your expenses are “balanced.” Put leftover cash into your savings toward one of your financial goals, and you’re well on your way to getting what you want out of life.
- But if your expenses are more than your income, your spending plan is “out of balance.” Start moving toward your goals by cutting expenses, increasing income, or doing both.
How Can You Increase Income?
How you make more money is up to your unique situation. Could you get a second job? Pick up a side project or freelance gig? Could you make more in your current job by gaining new skills? Or could you get a better-paying job by going back to school?