Thanks for participating in the Managing Income and Expenses workshop!

There are few feelings in life more rewarding than the feeling of financial control. Smart, consistent money management will put you on the path towards your big picture goals, while giving you the strength and flexibility needed to weather unexpected setbacks and rough patches.

Managing money doesn’t have to be a monumental chore – it should simply be a part of your day-to-day life. The information contained in this lesson will show you how to integrate the basics elements of money management into your daily routine and help you keep all of your goals – big and small – in perspective.

How to Start

The first step to smart money management is understanding the basic flow of money as it comes and goes into your life. Tracking how much you have and what you spend it on will show you where changes need to be made.

Download: The Income Worksheet in order to determine your net monthly income.

Download: The Net Worth Worksheet to better understand the value of your assets.

Download: The Expense Tracker Worksheet to start recording your expenses, so you can see where your money goes every month.

Download: The How Much Money Do you Think You Spend Worksheet so your family members can create their own lists. Afterwards, be sure to share your lists and discuss what you find.

Download: The Budget Worksheet to draft your own personal home budget.

Decreasing Monthly Expenses

Many of your recurring expenses are fixed and won’t change anytime soon. Other expenses, however, are determined by your choices and spending habits. Take a look at the monthly expenses you’ve been tracking – can any of them be reduced?

Read: How To: Know When It Makes Sense to Rent Versus Buy a New Home for general advice on what to consider before you make your next move.

Read: Five things you need to know about home ownership for some important questions you should ask yourself before you begin the home buying process.

Read: Buying a “new” used car for the most important points to consider before buying your next car.

Read: Five Frugal Ways to Save at the Gas Pump to learn how to fill your tank without breaking your budget.

Read: Frugal Beauty Advice for suggestions that could save you big bucks at the salon.

Read: Going for groceries without going broke to see the most essential rules for keeping your pantry and your wallet stocked.

Read: How to throw a party for less than $50 before you throw your next bash.

Read: Save on the Cost of Owning a Pet for advice on keeping your pets happy and healthy for less money.

Reducing Periodic Expenses

We often take for granted that our annual and occasional expenses can also be reduced. Consider your own periodic expenses as you look through these resources. You may be surprised to discover how many costs you’re able to reduce or eliminate outright.

Read: Personal Budgeting: Plan for Periodic Expenses Instead of Being Surprised by Them for a step-by-step guide to properly planning for your less consistent regular expenses.

Read: Auto Care Means Fewer Repairs for some inexpensive ways to keep your car on the road and out of the shop.

Read: Frugal back-to-school shopping tips for the lowdown on managing the expenses associated with your children heading back to class this fall.

Read: Inexpensive summer activities for kids for some great ideas on how to keep your children occupied this summer without going over budget.

Remember, MMI is here to help

If you've assessed your financial plan and find you need assistance achieving your financial goals, MMI's certified counselors are here to help. Take the next step toward financial freedom today and schedule a free counseling session: Fill out a counseling form online or call 866.515.2227.

Interested in learning more about debt repayment? Listen to successful MMI clients, Sharon and Craig, as they share their stories about overcoming debt and achieving financial freedom.