Just got paid, Friday night! Nsync style, does money quickly leave your hands? Spending money is fun and exciting when it’s on nights out with friends. Or it can be dreadful if your money is going to fix your car or pay for medical expenses. Either way, do you have an idea of where your money goes?
If you are constantly having WTF?! moments with money, it doesn’t have to be that way. Not knowing where your money goes is stressful and overwhelming. Instead of feeling like your spending is out of control, find out where your money goes by filling in your statement of cash flow.
What is your statement of cash flow?
A statement of cash flow is one of three financial statements.
Your statement of cash flow shows the cash inflows and outflows in a month. Or in other words it shows the money coming in and expenses going out. The inflows are your paychecks from your full-time job plus any side hustle income. The outflows are all your expenses like housing, insurance, services, debt payments, food, etc.
This is part three of a 4-part financial education series. Here’s part one that explains why I freakin’ love financial statements. Part two explains how to fill in your balance sheet to get the best ever snapshot of where you stand with money. The final part coming out soon will go over your income statement that will help you project your income and expenses going forward like a boss.
A quick recap, your balance sheet shows the total current value of your assets (everything you own) and your liabilities (everything you owe). Your personal net worth is then your assets minus your liabilities. If you have a negative net worth, you’re not alone. Money reported that 19% of Americans have no savings or a negative net worth.
Filling in your balance sheet shows a financial picture of where you are now. Next by filling in your statement of cash flow, you can find out where exactly your money went on day to day spending. What spending patterns and habits do you have that led you to where you are now?
WTF?! Where did my money go?
Everyone always says that you are what you eat. That’s true! It is also true that you are what you spend money on.
When I do one-on-one money coaching sessions, I look at people’s statement of cash flows. Believe it or not, but by looking at ALL the transactions in a month I can tell ballpark their age, gender, marital status, hobbies, interests and values by just looking at what they spend money on.
For example, if someone is a new mom you’ll see money spent on diapers, baby clothes, toys, and bills from pediatrician’s. Or for a girl into fitness, you’d see money going to yoga classes, health food stores, and kombucha.
There’s always a very clear spending pattern.
Ask yourself, if you are what you spend, what are you? Then more importantly, does that fit your values?
How to fill in your statement of cash flow
Fill in your personal statement of cash flow by logging in your bank account and viewing the transactions from the last completed month. If you also regularly make purchases with credit cards then you’ll want to see where your money is going with those cards too.
It’s easy to glance through your transactions, but that won’t make a lasting impression. I recommend using pen and paper or making a spreadsheet of all of your transactions. This is tedious and takes time. The beauty is that it’ll open your eyes to where your money is going! Or you can get the exact spreadsheet I use here with the mini-class How to Get Focused + Organized with your Money & Life..
After filling in your cash inflows and outflows most people have stunning revelations.
A common realization is that a crazy amount of money is going to things that aren’t important and not in sync with their values! Hundreds of dollars go towards fast food restaurants in the month. Or the majority of your pay is going towards debt. People see clearly they’re spending a ton on bank fees or have subscriptions they don’t even use. Worst yet, is when people see that they’re spending more than they earn.
Knowledge is power! It’s powerful knowing where your money goes.
If you want to find out where did your money go, then find out with your statement of cash flow! If you really are what you spend, then what are you?
P.S. Ready to find out where your money goes? Get your very own financial (day) planner. It’s a spreadsheet that is a day planner and finance plan in one with a statement of cash flow you can fill out. You’ve got this! Check out the details here. There are only 40 spots left one-on-money coaching sessions this year.