On Monday, the first of five tools for coaching on personal money management was reviewed. Now let’s look at the next two of the five tools: a tracking sheet and a spending plan.
Coaches, to create a spending plan and savings ledger for your client, ask the client what they spend each week, month or year by type of expense or category. Add categories, change them, or delete them based on your client. A spending plan has three sections: fixed expenses, variable expenses, and periodic expenses. A savings ledger includes periodic expenses, emergencies, and future goals. Examples of these tools are available by request. Fill in the information your client provides during the coaching session, and then email these tools to your client for ongoing use.
2. Tracking Sheet: Use a tracking sheet to write where and for what money is spent. Write down all cash spent by the category in which it is spent. (Examples of categories include: Gas, Beverages, Snacks, Food, Babysitter, iTunes, etc.) When using a debit card or check, write in your checkbook how money was spent. Categorize credit card payments. Keep your tracking sheet at home, in your car, or in your wallet — keep it where you will use it. It is easier to use it daily. Once a week, total the categories. Information is power and tracking spending gives the information to start controlling money.
3. Spending Plan (Budget): Use a spending plan (budget) to decide and list where to spend money. Plan for expenses that do not occur each month by taking the yearly cost and dividing by twelve months, and then list it on your monthly spending plan. Multiply weekly expenses by 4.5 for a monthly amount to list in your spending plan. To plan amounts you can spend, only count on the least amount of money you will have for the month. At the beginning of the month, use the first column to write planned spending. Once a week, list in a column what you really spent using the amounts on the tracking sheet and in the checkbook. At the end of the month, subtract the amounts spent from the amount planned. A difference is normal — seeing it helps make planning decisions.
Coaches, these tools provide a format for analyzing what is spent where, planning spending, and looking at what happens in comparison to the plan. With this information, the natural next step is to intentionally choose how to change spending and to plan savings. In the next post, we’ll look at savings and at financial goal planning.
If you would like a tracking sheet or spending plan, just email TrainingDirector@CenterforCoachingCertification.com and ask for what you want – a reply to your email will include the attachment requested.
How will these tools help your clients?