Where Does All the Money Go?

In a surprisingly candid _New York Times_ article, a personal finance writer acknowledged losing sight of $10,000 of family income over the past year. She and her husband use a budget and track their “basic” expenses. Still, when they totaled up the year’s income versus expenses they found that $10,000 was unaccounted for. How did it happen? The answer, she believes, can be found in the word “basic.” They were tracking most, but not all, of their expenses. And little by little, $10,000 slipped through their hands.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). The single biggest factor that derails people’s budgets is failing to track all spending. You forget to record your spending for a day or two, misplace a few receipts, get frustrated, and either give up or fool yourself into thinking that you’re still capturing the big picture.
p(matt). For those who record their spending with paper and pencil, one solution is to keep your budget somewhere you’re likely to see it each day such as the kitchen table or your nightstand. For those who use electronic tools, one idea is to keep a small tray near your computer where all receipts are to be deposited at the end of each day, along with a notation on the back stating the purpose of the expense and its category.

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