The second thing we need to do is to find out how much money you actually spend each month again include everything even those items that your spouse does not know about like that Latte down at the coffee stand, that you get on a daily basis. It helps to break this down a little. Fixed nonnegotiable expenses, things we actually cannot do without, we all need food lodging medical care basic clothing insurance property taxes a car may be necessary where you live, you get the idea.
Write down what you spent last month. Use Categories like mortgage, food, entertainment, clothing, transportation and savings. Savings is an important category. Is there something you should be spending your money on that you didn't last month, but that you think you should. Already the process begins to uncover things you want to know Write down what you expect to earn next month. If you are on a variable income, it might be helpful to put this in three columns: The minimum you expect, an average of what to expect, and the highest amount you expect to earn. Don't count on the highest number, but it is a great goal setting exercise to strive for that high number on a monthly basis. Write down what you KNOW you will spend next month. Fixed expenses like mortgages, property taxes are known amounts. They are constant every month and don't change. While you can change your rent or mortgage amounts by moving, it is unlikely that you will do this next month. So consider these Fixed expenses.