How To Control Expenses

Over the years I’ve found that monthly budgets don’t work in controlling expenses mainly because in real life money flows and estimating budget costs in categories is often impossible. Invariably these monthly budgets are broken by unforeseen expenses, and making further adjustments to fit the budget don’t work.

I discovered that My Spending Goal System worked for my clients in controlling expenses because it provided an effective way to monitor and adjust their money as it flowed through the month. For many the system not only changed how they managed their money but how they managed their lives. I’ve had clients successfully use this system for over 20 years so I know it works. Do give it a try…


1.Take a note pad and write down your monthly spending goal based on your average monthly income. The goal should be listed on the far right of your note pad.

2. Subtract the money you spend each day during the month and try to stay within that goal. Your note pad should look like this: Date: Expense: Amount (subtracted under the Goal).

3. Monitor the days and your balance.

4. Subtract any credit card purchases.

5. When taking out cash from your accounts, subtract the whole amount.

6. Subtract your fixed monthly costs as soon as you can to anticipate what you have left to spend in the month.

7. Look ahead for future monthly expenses that you know you will have and subtract these expenses.

8. Each week review how much you have left to spend to meet your monthly goal. Then manage accordingly.

9. As you keep tabs on your expenses, access your feelings towards the purchase and your need for it .

10. Ask yourself if the purchase gives you peace of mind.

This Approach helps you reduce your fears of managing. As you make spending decisions that work towards your goal of peace of mind, you will gain the confidence you need to come to terms with your irrational behavior. Just getting control of your spending will empower you to take charge of your fears- as well as your finances.

Click here to download a pdf of The Spending Goal Approach.

Tags: free budget worksheet | psychology of money | debt management instruction | financial therapy advice