Making a spending plan isn’t just about tracking your expenses. It also means looking carefully at what you have to work with — your income.
Use this checklist to think through all of the funds that come into your household, and determine your total gross monthly income:
- Your paycheck (hint: find your gross pay on your Leave and Earnings Statement, or LES).
- Your spouse’s paycheck.
- Rental income.
- Interest and dividends from savings or investments.
- Grants or other stipends (not loans, of course).
- Other outside wages.
Note that “gross pay” is your pay before tax withholdings or other deductions are taken out.
Did you think of any sources of income you’d overlooked? Cha-ching! With your total gross monthly income sussed out, you can move on to tackle the expenses.