Financial Literacy Month – Tip #2

As mentioned yesterday, with the current “Shelter in Place”, tracking your daily expenses in April may not provide a full picture of how and what you spend your money on. Today’s exercise is to pull out or download February bank statements and credit cards statements. Then use the statements to break each expense, note the monthly amount for each expense, and total. Here is a format to guide you:

Mortgage / Rent$
Utilites $
Dining Out$
Movies $
This exercise will also provide the categories you need to track your daily expenses for April!

Additionally, someone asked if I could elaborate on the list of expenses. Of course! Below are two lists to use:

First, breakdown all of your fixed expenses. These are the essential items that are paid monthly: Mortgage / rent, insurance, auto loan payments, credit card payments, utilities, water, garbage, cable, cell phone bill, groceries.

Next, breakdown all of your optional expenses. These are the “wants”: morning latte, lunch, dining out, Door Dash, manicures, pedicures, hair cuts / color, gym memberships, movies, sporting events, new clothes, subscriptions (wine clubs, magazines, etc), dry cleaning, housecleaner, apps for a phone, kids apps (e.g., Roblox Robux, Fornite, etc), Peleton membership.

Everyone’s categories will vary, the above serves as a guide to help you identify your individual categories. This excercise will take approximately 30 – 45 minutes. All you need is a notebook, a pen and your statements (and maybe a cup of coffee).

Happy Tracking!

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