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29/12/09 - *Get Smart and Feel Great!*
- by Inga Fredlund

Hey You! Want to be smarter and more on top of it when it comes to your cash?
It’s definitely going to loosen you up and make you happier knowing what’s going on.

Here are the basics in how to run your own finances, a great way to kick off 2010.








1. Immediate expenses folder

Direct debit
Bank statements



2. Personal folder
Few times yearly expenses:
Retirement plan
Personal information (passport, name change, soc sec)
Drivers license


3. Work folder
Recommendation letters
Career coaching



In my first folder I have year budget. It’s my prediction; my crystal ball is you want. 

On top of the page I have my key numbers. I count what my last year’s salary was and divide it by 12, that way I get average month income. I do the same with average monthly expenses. Income minus expenses + the amount monthly you need to live off = your savings. That is the number you can play with. That number decides what you can do, when and if you can.
After my yearly budget, I have my monthly sheets. Each month I take a new sheet, I name after the month and I accumulate this month’s bills, and I put down what's left of the salary. I usually keep twelve months. That gives you an overview, easy to track back and gives you a total check in case you suspect the phone company or gas company are ripping you off for example. 
Several times a year I go through my expenses critically, I try to decrease three largest posts (usually it is rent, telephone and shopping). I have decreased my rent to a minimum by sharing my living space. That’s an easy way out. Increasing your pay is easier said then done. I also noticed it is easy to be overly optimistic when you count your future income, that’s why you need to count on the lowest pay possible.
Here’s an example how next months sheet might look like: 

January 2010 

Paid: 5 000
Rent: 2 000
Telephone: 100
Loans: 300
Car: 200
Union: 30
Gas and water: 100
Living (food and necessities) 800
Surplus: 1470 


Summary: Get organized! Folder it, keep back track at least one year, get a clue.
Yearly budget and a key number gives you a hint when to invest and be smart!
You'r the boss! /Inga