By Alan Prahl

I have a challenge for you. Write down how much money you made last month. Then, write down where your money went.

If you’re like most people, you won’t know where $50 to $300 went. Poof. It’s gone.

I can help you find that lost money. For one week, track your spending on everything. Write it down as soon as you spend it or at the end of each day write down what you spent.

If tracking spending is helping you to find money, keep tracking! Track for one month.

If that month is typical, multiply your spending times 12 to get your typical spending in one year. So, $77 in one month on snacks and means $924 in one year. And $126 per month on coffee means $1,512 each year. Is that possible? Yes!

Tracking is eye opening. It helps us learn where our money is going. With that knowledge, we can decide how important that purchase is to us.

The goal isn’t to quit spending. It is to thoughtfully spend your money on what really matters to you.

Want to learn some practical ways to spend less or save more? Check out FISC’s Power of Money workshop at www.fisc-cccs.org/workshops/the-power-of-money.