The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.

Flying money bag

Where Did that $20 Go?

Now that you have some ideas for goals you want to work toward, where will you find the money to achieve those goals?

The first step is to get a clear picture of your current finances: how much money you have coming in, and how much you are spending each month.

Tracking your spending as you go can be difficult — you might forget to record some purchases, or you might be tempted to change your habits when you know you’re keeping track. Past spending can be more accurate because you can’t go back and change what you have already done.

Locate your most recent monthly bank and credit card statements (or if your past month was unusual, use a statement that best reflects your regular monthly finances). Use the Spending Detective Worksheet to guide you through the next few pages.

Course Home