Five Steps to a Successful Spending Plan- Step 1

Our posts this month is following the guidance of the five basic steps outline below.  It is important to remember that as you begin your plan, be flexible. Make adjustments as you go along. It can take several attempts to determine the categories and amounts that work  for your particular situation.

Step 1: List all income sources

Step 2: Determine where your money goes–fixed and variable expenses

Step 3: Balance income and expenses

Step 4: Review income and expenses; communicate new spending plan

Step 5: Manage your system

Let’s start with Step 1: List all income sources

Before you begin with Step 1, which is listing your income, you need to create or find a form to use.  There are many budget sheets on the Web, including this Budgeting Worksheet provided by our partners GreenPath (  A simple spreadsheet can work as well.  No matter what form you use, tailor it to your specific budget categories- and if it is in writing, use a pencil to assist with easy changes.

Once you determine what form to use, list all income sources. Below are some example of income sources that you may or may not always think of.

  • Paycheck
  • Bonus
  • Dividends and Interest
  • Gifts
  • Pension
  • Earned income credit
  • Tax refund
  • Metrum Ownership Reward– the more you do at Metrum CU, the more cash you earn!