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Vanguard - See what you spend
 

See what you spend

Do you know where all your money goes? You'll know at a glance when you create a spending plan with this Home Budget Calculator.

A spending plan is basically an accounting of what you spend your money on. From car payments to food to internet access, a spending plan lays out your expenses and lets you know how much you have available to save.

Spending tip

Spend less than you earn. Invest the rest.

An important function of a spending plan is to keep you focused on your primary goals and limit impulsive spending that can zap your savings.

For instance, look at your plan. Do you feel you're spending way too much in any particular category? If so, make adjustments to scale back your spending in that category. But not all at once. Make your changes gradually. It's easier.

A spending plan reveals overspending. If you chronically spend more than you earn, try to cut out some frivolous expenses. A luxury item like a new TV is not necessarily a need on the same level as, say, a car repair or a doctor's bill. Prioritize your expenses in this order:

  1. Short-term needs (repairs and maintenance).
  2. Long-term needs (retirement and education).
  3. Wants (vacations, cutting-edge high-tech stuff).

Once you know where your money goes, you'll be better prepared to control your financial life and save for your goals.

 

Saving and spending plan

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