52 Challenges Week 2: Mo’ Money, Less Problems with A Monthly Spending Plan (Free Printable!)

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Week 2- Make a Monthly Spending Plan FB Optimized

When was the last time you really studied how you spend your money? And I don’t mean you opened up your banking app to check your balance and said,

Sweet! We still have money in the account! Cha-ching!

No matter what you think or feel about money, here are some basic truths that I keep coming back to time and time again:

  1. Not having money sucks.
  2. Thinking you have enough money when you don’t have enough money sucks more.
  3. Not realizing how much money you don’t have every month but still manage to spend said un-owned money sucks most.

You know what doesn’t suck? Having a monthly spending plan.

This week is the week that you will create a monthly spending plan to get a better idea of how much money you have coming in, going out and being stashed away each month as part of NextGen MilSpouse’s You Got This: 52 Challenges to Make 2016 Your Bitch.

Week 2- Monthly Spending Plan Square

Week 2 Challenge: Make a Monthly Spending Plan

Challenge Details: Grab your spouse and set aside 2-3 hours to gather all of your important financial documents including pay stubs and Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), monthly bills, credit card statements and interest rates, and bank account statements.

Your Deadline: January 18

Bonus Points if you post a photo of you and your spouse talking money to each other on Instagram, Twitter or the NextGen MilSpouse Facebook Page with the hashtag #2016IsMyBitch.

Free Printable! Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet

Click one of the links below to download our Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet:

Excel Worksheet (calculates for you)
Type your numbers into the light blue shaded cells

  • ‘Current’ Column: How you’re currently spending your money
  • ‘Our Plan’ Column: Your new & improved monthly spending plan for 2016

Printable (you calculate for you)

Write your numbers in the appropriate column.

  • ‘Current’ Column: How you’re currently spending your money
  • ‘Our Plan’ Column: Your new & improved monthly spending plan for 2016

Add each category and enter the total into each category subtotal cell.

Quick Instructions:

1. Start by creating a snapshot of your current monthly spending. See our handy dandy Dos and Don’ts below for our advice for getting through this exercise.

2. Once you’ve completed the your ‘Current’ Spending section, examine areas you need to work on and prioritize your money-do list.

3. Work on the “Our Plan” column to create a spending plan that both you and your spouse/partner can agree on!

Before you dust of your TI-85 and get to work, here’s a few Dos and Don’ts you need to know.

Dos and Don’ts for Putting Together Your Monthly Spending Plan:

Do:

Bring your spouse to the table.

Literally. Drag her ass (or drag your ass, or both of y’alls asses) to the table and let her know that spending plans are a team sport.

Update/Share user id and passwords for accounts as you go.

Nothing is worse than not having access to accounts when the account holder is away. Lock them up in a password vault like LionLock.

Be honest about your current spending.

Now is not the time to pretend like you don’t visit Starbucks once (or twice) a day. Put it all out there in the open.

Print (yes, print) out your bank and credit card statements to help you determine  your actual spending habits.

Dust off that printer and put it to good use. You can use a highlighter to categories expenses…truly, the highlighter brings this to an arts and craft level.

Keep an open mind concerning wants and needs.

After you finish examining your current spending, go back and fine-tune your future spending. Do you need two lattes a day? How ’bout just one?

Don’t:

Tell yourself you don’t “do” money. Or budgeting. Or planning.

Are you a grown ass person? Guess what? You do money. It’s a thing.

Point fingers…this is about creating a snapshot and a fresh start.

Right now, this meeting is future forward planning. Like our friend Pumbaa says, “You got to put your behind in your past.”

Fudge your numbers.

This goes with being honest. If your actual spending looks like a horror story, let it. Hopefully it’ll motivate you to get things moving in the right direction.

Forget to jot down the current interest rates on all your credit cards and loans (you’ll need this next week).

You have got to know all the interest rates on all of your credit cards (yes, Victoria’s Secret cards are credit cards…not a secret) and every single loan matters.

Do you have any burning money questions? What is your biggest monthly spending plan challenge? Let us know in the comment section below!

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