Spending Records and Spending Plans
"Keeping numbers" is a daily practice that requires recording each cent owed, spent and earned, including recording any part of a debt that has been paid. Members use different methods to keep their numbers, a simple approach is to carry a small notebook and record numbers in it daily. Daily records are used to create monthly spending records with income and expenditures separated in to specific categories (e.g. rent, groceries, phone, entertainment, etc.). The purpose of these records is to increase clarity, cutting through any denial about how much money is being earned and spent. A detailed spending record will show values, habits and responsibilities.
Spending records are used to create spending plans. A spending plan is essentially a list of all goods and services to buy in a given month. Members regularly review their spending plans and assess whether items and amounts in the plan are reasonable. The spending plan puts the member's needs ahead of the creditors and should not cause one to incur unsecured debt. Spending plans should include categories for income and debt repayment. Unless one is having trouble meeting very basic needs, it should also include a category for savings.
Accompanying a "real" spending plan is an "ideal" spending plan, detailing what one's finances would look like in an ideal universe, how much money one would earn, and how it would be spent. The ideal spending plan focuses efforts on increasing income and following a vision for the future. DA avoids using the term budget, as its connotation may imply rigid categories. A spending plan is designed such that one has the best possible life under their present financial circumstances. Spending plans are flexible and convey that there are options, that one chooses how to spend money.
Famous quotes containing the words plans, spending and/or records:
“Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort. Do not talk to him about the interests and rights of the human race; that little private business of his for the moment absorbs all his thoughts, and he hopes that public disturbances can be put off to some other time.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville (18051859)
“We like the chase better than the quarry.... And those who philosophize on the matter, and who think men unreasonable for spending a whole day in chasing a hare which they would not have bought, scarce know our nature. The hare in itself would not screen us from the sight of death and calamities; but the chase, which turns away our attention from these, does screen us.”
—Blaise Pascal (16231662)
“Although crowds gathered once if she but showed her face,
And even old mens eyes grew dim, this hand alone,
Like some last courtier at a gypsy camping-place
Babbling of fallen majesty, records whats gone.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)