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Personal Finance: The Quarterly Status Report (What Debts)

Now that we have gone through and carefully accounted for all income in the family, insurance, investment assets and other assets, now is the time to figure out the other half of the picture.

Outgoing Money

If you know what you have and what is coming in, you need to know how much and why money is going out.

  1. Debts : What do you owe money on?
    1. Mortgage, how much do you owe, how much are the monthly payments and when is this thing going to get paid off?
    2. Lines of Credit : do you owe? how much? when will it be paid off?
    3. Car loan: balance, monthly payments, pay off date
    4. Credit Cards : please don’t tell me you are carrying debt here? If you are what your plan is to pay it off and when, and how much you’ll have to spend to do it.
  2. Yearly Large Payments: I tend to lump these into this category
    1. Taxes on my house
    2. Car Insurance payment
    3. House Insurance payment
  3. Monthly Payments is an interesting section, and the meat of figuring out how much money you actually spend. I end up doing some math to figure out how much some of my “monthly” payments are, because some of them I actually pay bi-weekly (because I get paid bi-weekly).Some examples for this:
    1. Electricity
    2. Mortgage or Apartment Rent
    3. Heating (oil, gas, whatever)
    4. Cable TV (or satellite)
    5. Telephone(s) (Home and/or Cellular)
    6. Internet access charges
    7. Charitable Donations
    8. Life Insurance payments
    9. Savings or payments to investment vehicles
    10. Groceries
    11. Car payments
  4. Weekly payments, was a section my wife asked me to add so she could understand what was being spent week by week in the house, so it is mostly the same as the above list except now split by a week to week schedule. This schedule can show you at what times of the month you may be spending the most money.

Now that you have written all your spending down, you will now have a good feeling for how much money you are actually spending, which is usually where your Financial Plan must address. You must be brutally honest with yourself and whoever reads this report in this area if this tool is going to help you figure out where your finances stand.

Tomorrow, the final section and the wrap up on the report and what you should be doing with it.

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Feel Free to Comment

  1. If you LIVE in QUicken and don’t carry cash you actually are more able to see where you spend your money, however, you are more likely to spend without thinking, so it is a nasty double edged sword.

    Most people who only pay cash, typically stop spending when they run out of cash, but with Interac or credit cards that “hard stop” is not in place.

  2. I used to do something similar to these family finance reports on a sort-of regular basis, but I never had much detail on the items we paid cash for. So, I couldn’t fill out all the information you have, but I found that the amount my wife and I took out in cash was reasonably predictable, and so the exercise was useful to predict our financial future anyway. I guess my method wasn’t so good for identifying things we needed to change.

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