Track Your Spending

Physician's Money Digest, February28 2005, Volume 12, Issue 4

One of the first jobs you have to tacklewhen you create a budget is finding outwhere your money goes. It's not alwaysan easy task, especially if you make a lotof cash purchases. To help you trackspending, try using a single credit or debitcard for all of your purchases for at leasta month. Pay cash only for items that costless than $5. When your monthly statementarrives, you'll have a snapshot ofhow you're spending your money. Onceyou have those figures down, you canstart the budget process. Using personalfinance software like Quicken (www.quicken.com) can also help you track billsthat you pay by check (eg, mortgage paymentsand utility bills).