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KNOW THY NUMBERS

An extract from the XTL Journals

Do you know how much you spend each month?

Whether for business or personal, knowing your daily, weekly and monthly numbers is essential for budgeting and planning.

You would be surprised how many people run their finances and therefore their lives blind-folded.

So many people run into trouble accumulating debt on items they can’t afford because they don’t have a clue on their numbers.

Start with writing down every single time you buy something with cash or credit card or through internet banking purchases. Even if it’s a small as the $1 ice-cream at the Macca’s Drive-through or a cup of coffee. Be diligent in writing down every expense.

Go through your bank statement for a whole month and copy the date and amount on any authorised automatic payments you make. Also list credit card repayments and all loan amounts.

Once the month is over, transfer your results onto a spreadsheet and list expenses in a vertical column by date. There are lots of free budgeting software’s available which make things easy. Windows has an easy to use, Simply Monthly Budget available in Excel.

You will be surprised at how much you spend on incidentals, such as coffee and take-aways.

Your new spreadsheet becomes the basis of your future planning.

After all your expenses, do you have any cash left at the end of the month or are you in deficit?

Spare cash is a great start, but a deficit is going to need some spending adjustments.

There are 2 ways to bring your budget back into a positive balance, one is to reduce spending on unnecessary items and the second is to find a way to increase your income to cover the gap.

At least now, and maybe for the first time, you know your expenditure exactly and that’s a step in the right direction. Sometimes finding out your actual monthly spending can be down-right scary.

Sometimes your commitments, cars, loans, cards, home repayments out-weigh your income and that can be a real problem if you don’t know how to cover those expenses.

Ideally, you should track your expenditure for 3 months in case there are items you have missed.

Well, now you know how to analyse your income and expenditure. 

The next step is to make budgeting work for you to increase your cash-flow and eliminate any deficit.

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Yours in positive thoughts,

XTL

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