Control your finances with a spending plan

An overview of spending plans

A spending plan is a simple strategy for helping make the most of your money and reaching your financial goals.

An older couple, dancing together outdoors.How do you create a spending plan? On a simple, one-page form you write down the money you have coming in and what you spend in an average month. Putting it down on paper helps you see where you can improve and make better money decisions. Your bank may have online tools that will help you automatically track your spending and categorize it by expense types.

Some people call this making a “budget.” But we happen to like the term “spending plan” a lot better. It’s a good reminder that how you spend, and how much you spend, is really up to you.

A spending plan can help you live within your means. That means living a lifestyle that you can maintain, not spending money faster than you earn it and not borrowing more money than you can afford to repay.

An older couple making their way through the airport with their luggage.

The right spending plan can help you set aside enough to pay your bills, have some savings for emergencies, and some money left over in your pocket every month.

Spending plan:

  • Becomes your personal strategy
  • Is a simple one-page form
  • Helps you live within your means
  • Helps you avoid too much debt
  • Helps you pay your bills
  • Highlights regular contributions to savings and emergency fund
  • Identifies money available to spend

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