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Money Has Many Names

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Money has many names. Okay, when you receive your paycheck, it only has your name on it. Most organizations have moved away from the actual paper, and instead direct deposit your funds biweekly or monthly. Who gets weekly paychecks anymore, except my 16-year-old grand nephew. (My niece and I are close to the same age, so get away from there.) We are talking about money.

Your money is in your checking account, and there are expenses like credit cards, car lease, utilities, afterschool activities, copayments, and about now I need an OTC minimizer caplet, because my headache is increasing to hot air balloon size.

It's so easy to sit back with a cup of joe or maybe glass of fermented grapes (blush, red, or white) and review your expenses online. What? You have resisted online banking till now? Not to worry. Use your monthly bank statement instead. If you have online banking, print out your current monthly statement because you want to know where I am going. Again, money has many names.

Do you run out of funds before the next paycheck? Do you shop before deducting your expenses? Ladies and gentlemen, I love to shop like everyone else, be it stores, catalog, or online. At least one package lands on my front steps weekly. But before you have a wonderful day with your hard-earned cash, you need to follow a set of rules.

1. Open up a spreadsheet, Excel, or MS Works spreadsheet.
2. Type in the first three columns: Date, Type, and Amount.
3. Count ten rows down.
4. In the 12th row, write “Balance”in the Type column.
5. Bold the next cell, located underneath the Amount column.
6. Use the Autosum to add up the vertical numbers in the cells located underneath the Amount column.
7. A bold zero will appear inside the cell. If not, then repeat step five.
8. List the names of all your expenses.
9.Enter the due Date for each Type.
10. Reconcile the spreadsheet balance with your bank statement.

If you have writer's block, use the following until it has passed. Here are examples: Car lease, car insurance, real estate taxes, copayments, mortgage (or rent), clothes, subscriptions, mine, household, holidays, etc. If an expense is six months away, divide by six and add the portion each month. Continue until Balance reconciles with your monthly bank statement.

Based on your expenses, please customize. Notice I placed a “Mine” category. The name is reserved for you. It is not the kids, the pet, or the spouse/partner. It can be for shopping, fun time with your sibs or friends, a spa, a hobby. Think about it … sports tickets, wine-tasting, or golf. I can go on, but I would need 300 more pages. In a nutshell, money has many names. Use them wisely, and you won't feel dug out before you dig into your paycheck for yourself and those fixed expenses. ENJOY!

I prefer MS Excel, because I can insert comments. So, both types of spreadsheets should look something like this:

DATE TYPE AMOUNT
4-20-2012 MINE 50
5-1-2012 REAL ESTATE 600COMMENT: DUE 8-1-2012
4-8-2012 EASTER 100
BALANCE 750

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