Determining your expenses is the heart of your budget. When you sit down and add up how much you really spend in a month, you may be shocked. Those little coffee stops can be a hefty bill by the end of the month. Fixed expenses are those that do not change from month to month. Your rent for example, generally does not change from month to month. Flexible expenses are necessary items that have varying amounts. Your power bill, for example, is a necessary expense, but it can vary depending on the weather. Finally, discretionary expenses are things that you don’t really need, but may be important to you. Travel might not be a necessity, but it may be important for you to visit Aunt Rita.
Enter all the current amounts of bills and then go back over the list. Are there areas that you could cut costs? Buying fewer name brands can lower your grocery bill while going out to eat once a week instead of twice can save a lot at the end of the month. See what areas you could afford some cut backs and enter the new amounts in the adjusted amount column. Then add your total monthly expenses.
Having trouble thinking of how much you spend each month? Then use this month as research! Keep every receipt and record each and everything that you purchase, down to that daily candy bar and Cola from the vending machine. You may be surprised at what you’ve been spending!