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24 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 9 MINDFUL MONEY best practices your beverage of choice, put on some good music, and then add any additional elements to increase the fun and exploration. The goal of this article is to keep budgeting simple. First, we'll categorize your income and expenses, then explore a manageable system for tracking them. Once we know what's coming in and what's going out, we'll discuss savings, an emergency fund, and long-term investing. INCOME Write down your total income for the month, after taxes. If you are married, include your spouse's take-home income as well. Include all sources of income—full-time jobs, second jobs, freelance pay, Social Security checks, and any other ongoing sources of income. EXPENSES Looking at your expenses can often be a reality check. The point of budgeting, though, isn't to feel guilty about your purchases but to know where your money is going each month—and to feel good about the choices you are making with it. Mindful budgeting is intentionally directing your hard-earned money to the right place. Begin with the big categories—home, food and household, transportation, self-care and fun, clothing—and then drill down. You can search online for a monthly expense spreadsheet that suits you, or you can create your own. I think of "home" as all the things in your home that make you safe and secure. If you like, you can have a separate category for utilities. Modify the following categories to work for you. Home • Electricity • Gas • Home insurance • Internet • Mortgage/rent • Phone • Repairs • Water/sewage/garbage Budgeting: Making a Plan for Your Money By Amy Andrews McMaster We have work plans, weekend plans, activity plans, and dinner plans. Yet, many of us don't have plans to balance the amount we spend with the amount we earn. We live on credit and hope it all works out. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. If you already have a budgeting strategy that works, kudos to you! But, if your budget could use another look, read on. Budgeting is really all about being intentional with where your money goes. When we are intentional, we feel more confident—and actually have more freedom. Being mindful about your cash flow promotes awareness, confidence, and a healthier relationship with money. To increase your budgeting success, invite your partner to join the process, consider finding an accountability buddy, or just schedule a recurring appointment on your calendar to help you create a new habit. Choose a good time for your money date. Grab

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