Categorize Your Numbers

by anne on July 8, 2006

Once you’ve got at least a couple of weeks worth of numbers written down, it’s time to put them into categories – like rent, transportation, debt, food, medical, self-care, savings, gifts, clothing, and the like. Your list will vary reflecting your life. The free, printable worksheet at Simple Debt Free Living will give you a general idea of what you need. Adapt from there.

Keep it simple… the goal is to get clear about your income and expenses so you can make better choices. Once you begin to see, for example, how much you’re spending on transportation, you can decide if you want to change the way you move around. Or you may decide to spend less on dining out or realize you need to save more.

You can do this with pen and paper, a spreadsheet program or something like QuickBooks or Quicken. I use Quicken Home and Business because I’m a freelance writer and it helps me track my business. I also know that I don’t add and subtract reliably and trust the computer to do it for me. But do what works for you.

If you keep your numbers daily, then tally them up in their proper categories weekly, you’ll soon have a clear picture of exactly how you’re spending your money.

Remember, the goal is clarity so you can make better choices.


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