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Big Money Coming In

Making a spending plan isn’t just about tracking your expenses. It also means looking carefully at what you have to work with — your income.

Use this checklist to think through all of the funds that come into your household, and determine your total gross monthly income:

  • Your paycheck (hint: find your gross pay on your Leave and Earnings Statement, or LES).
  • Your spouse’s paycheck.
  • Rental income.
  • Interest and dividends from savings or investments.
  • Grants or other stipends (not loans, of course).
  • Other outside wages.

Note that “gross pay” is your pay before tax withholdings or other deductions are taken out.

Did you think of any sources of income you’d overlooked? Cha-ching! With your total gross monthly income sussed out, you can move on to tackle the expenses.