KNOW YOUR MONEY
Knowing your monthly income and expenses is like using a GPS to ensure you are on the best path to reach your destination.
HOW TO GET FAMILIAR
Learn how much you earn.
Seek out your last 3 month's pay stubs or bank statements. Is every month consistent? If not, what is your average take home pay?
Write it down.
Using step 2, find your average expenses per category each month as well as the total average expenses per month.
This should give you a clear picture of what your largest expense category is and if your monthly expenses exceed your income.
Know how much you spend.
Pull your last 3 months of bank and credit card statements. Review your expenses line by line and segment them by expense category (i.e. groceries, rent, shopping, utilities, etc). Total the amount spent for each expense category at the bottom.
Based on your findings in steps 1-3, Identify categories of spending that seem excessive or require some changes.
Start thinking about what changes you would like to make. Remember to always make goals realistic and actionable.
Side Note: Once you have a better understanding of where your money is going, you have the option of tracking manually (great for building conscious spending) or automating your process by using one of the many apps available.