Now that you know where your money has been going, let's decide where you want it to go.
Expected Time: 20 minutes
What You’ll Need:
🖥 Your dashboard
Why It’s Important
Knowing where your money goes is only half the fun - now we get to think about where we want it to go, to meet your goals as fast as possible! By setting spending targets, you’ll be able to estimate how much money you would have left over each month to put towards your goals, if you stick to those amounts. And don’t worry, we’ll help you make good choices and incorporate healthy spending habits, too.
📋Step by Step Instructions
Navigate to your Spending Plan in the dashboard, and select from the green dropdown at the top to go to the last full month for which you categorized transactions.
Enter the Target amount that you want to spend monthly in each category, using the guides below.
📌It’s ok if you know something is coming up for the current month, or in the next few months, that would make coming up with an average amount hard. Just choose the amount that you would like to spend in each category in ‘normal’ months, after reflecting on the information below. You’ll set specific amounts for future months in a later exercise!
How to Set Target Amounts
Your goal is to get to a Target Spend that is less than your Target Income, with room to spare for goals. If you find it really hard to set targets that get you there, it’s ok! This is a work in progress for a lot of people, and the Next Steps below have some options to help you either get more intentional about what you spend or earn more money.
Here are some other ideas for setting target amounts:
3. Review the total Target spend in the summary box. Is it less than your target Money In?
If your Target Money Out is more than your Target Money In: don’t panic. You can see clearly WHY you’re in the red, and your next steps (below) will be to get in the green!
If you have money left over: is it enough to put towards your goals? You may not know the answer to this yet, and that’s okay. Looking at how much you have left over, do you wish you had more, or are you comfortable with this amount?
Whether you have money left over or not, and what you want to do with it, will determine your next steps.
📍First things first: need a break? TAKE ONE. You just did a lot, and we’re super proud of you. Make sure you have an upcoming Money Date blocked off to come back to this another day, and go curl up with a good book or cup of tea.
Where to, driver?
Choose an option below, and move on to that exercise or module.
📅 Plan Ahead Feeling like you need more organization to know where your money is going to go in the future? Go to the
exercise, which is the next step in the Get Organized module in the Playbook, to look ahead to upcoming expenses and set spending targets for future months. We recommend this as your next step if you feel like you need more clarity on where yourmoney goes throughout the year.
💳 Intentional Spending If you want to focus on sticking to your spending targets for a while, i.e. taking some time to be mindful about spending and build healthy habits that curb impulses, check out the Intentional Spending module in the Playbook and go through the optional exercises you see there. Pick 1-2 action steps you can incorporate immediately! We recommend this as your next step if you need to really change spending habits in order to get out of a monthly deficit.
🪙Set Up Savings Accounts If you have money left over right now, and want to use it to set up new savings accounts, head over to the Set Up Savings Accounts module in the Playbook and go through the exercises that are relevant for you. We recommend this as your next step if you want a quick, easy win and are motivated by seeing your balances go up!
💰 Enter Debt Free Mode If you’re feeling ready to look at options for consolidating your debt and putting together a debt payoff strategy, move on to the Enter Debt Free Mode module. We recommend this as your next step if you know you’ll be able to stick to a debt payoff plan going forward and already have a Rainy Day Fund set up. Otherwise, finding more money each month (Intentional Spending or Boost Income modules) and putting a little in savings (Set Up Savings Accounts) so you don’t have to rely on credit cards anymore are your best next moves!
💸 Boost Income If you want to earn more, or need to earn more to get out of a monthly deficit, move on to the Boost Income module in the Playbook to start reviewing your opportunities. We recommend this as your next step if cutting back on spending isn’t enough to get out of a monthly deficit, or if you’ve been putting off asking for that raise / going after a new job / starting a side hustle for a while!! It’s time, friend.
Reflecting on your ideal Money In vs. Money Out (based on your Target amounts) is one of the most important exercises you will do. It basically helps you understand HOW you are going to be able to meet your money goals. Which targets are going to be hardest for you to meet? Have you tried to stick to a spending plan / budget before, and what happened? What can you try differently this time?