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What if my total household expenses are greater than 50% of my total monthly expenses?

First, ask yourself if 1/2 of every dollar you deposit from your salary is what you want to spend on your household.  The Monthly Spending Summary worksheet in the NINE12 Tookit lists all items in this category for your review.  In addition, look at all the other categories where you spend your money each month and evaluate the percentages you spend in each one versus the physical and emotional benefit to you and/or your family.  Obviously the more you spend in one category, the less you have available to spend in other categories.  Take a look at the percentages for each spending category in the chart tab in the Toolkit.  These numbers will allow you to decide if those percentages are where you want them to be.

How can I live in accumulation when I cannot make ends meet each month?

You may not currently be living in accumulation. You might not be putting aside money each month now for your vacations, your gift giving, Christmas gifts, and household and car repairs. All these expenses are not emergency expenses, because in fact we will find ourselves having to spend money on these items in the near future. If we spend everything we deposit each month, we will never live in accumulation and credit card or our home equity line debt will always be a part of our monthly outflow of cash. As we begin living within our means and adjusting our spending habits, we can have a goal to live in accumulation. We may start putting a small amount of money in a separate account designated for accumulation and then as extra money comes along, such as a tax refund, we can deposit that money into the accumulation account. Just consider: the more you accumulate now for your Christmas expenses, the more joyful this Christmas will be.

What is the quickest way to start to get control of my spending?

One of the quickest ways to get control of your spending is to designate weekly amounts for your disposable spending items and to pay for these items each week with cash only, no debit or credit cards, for a period of 90 days. Don't be legalistic and worry about keeping up with posting your spending for each line item; whatever the total cash is what you have available for the week, so spend it and no more. See the Weekly Disposable Expenses category in the Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet for a list of items.

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