NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Money-wise: Taking the First Step in Taking Charge of Your Finances

Money-wise:  Taking the First Step in Taking Charge of Your FinancesMany families have dreams for their future.  They may see their dreams as goals for things they want to do, places they want to go, or things they want to get or have in the near or distant future.  Many times, money is needed to reach the goals.

In order to reach the goals that require money, it is necessary to take charge of your finances.  The first step in taking charge is to know everything you can about how you are spending your money:

  • How much you are spending
  • What you are spending it on or for
  • Why you are spending it

A good recordkeeping system can make all the difference in taking charge of your spending.

There are many different methods for tracking spending.  Some people like to put an app on their phone that they can use to track their spending.  Other people like to keep track on paper.

A couple of paper-based ways to track your spending are the Bill Pay Checklist and the Expense Tracker. 

The Bill Pay Checklist can be used to help keep track of bills. The checklist helps you sort through all your monthly bills by keeping track of the due dates and the exact amount due for each bill.  It is available through the Extension office or online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/resources/fe222c.pdf.

The Expense Tracker allows you to write down your daily spending for a one month period, making note of the budget category for each expense. It is for tracking categories that vary in amounts from week to week or month to month, but not for tracking the fixed expenses such as a mortgage or car payment.  The Expense Tracker is available through the Extension office or online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/resources/fe222d.pdf.

To request a free copy of either of these tools, call my office at 701-724-3355.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/calculator-budget-math-pen-913162/ (downloaded 01/26/21)



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