Welcome to Money Matters, a weekly program that helps you manage your money.
Tonight, I'll be talking to Mary Johnson about budgeting.
There's a magic about money.
When it's not planned for, tracked and kept a record of, it literally disappears.
What are some of the steps we can take to prevent this from happening?
Well, it's all about keeping track of your money.
If you don't do that, you'll never be able to set any goals for your budget or have the discipline to stick to them.
That's easier said than done.
I read recently that only 41% of Americans adhere to a budget.
Yes, but knowing what you earn and what you spend can give you reassurance that you won't get into debt in the first place.
You can do this by adding up all of your sources of income you have and writing them all down on a piece of paper.
On the same page, write down all of your monthly expenses.
I'm always amazed at how much my expenses add up.
But designating each item as an income or an expense really helps me have a much better sense of all my spending.
Right, most people have no idea how much they spend each day, let alone each week or month, no matter how careful they are.
Next, subtract your monthly expenses from income.
If the result is positive, you are living within your means.
If the result is a negative number, you're going to have to cut back on your spending.
I'm usually a negative number.
I just can't resist the allure of all those prestigious goods.
Well, it's not a catastrophe.
But you do have to make some changes: try cutting back on those non-essential items, sell some stuff in your attic or shop online to avoid unnecessary temptations like chocolate.
Failing that you can always find yourself a part-time job.
Questions 1 to 4 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Q1: What does the man say about the weekly program?
Q2: What did the man read recently?
Q3: What does the woman suggest the man do first to avoid getting into debt?
Q4:What does the woman say about online shopping?