Money Matters

#MoneyMasterClass Recap-Week 35

This week Gail gave us some more of her nuggets of wisdom as well as her promised space to finish up on our spending analysis.

Remembering We’re Human

Inevitably we will make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we give up. What we do and how we move forward when we make a mistake or falter is what counts.

Celebrating Successes

Celebrating milestones is important! Getting rid of debt, saving, budgeting it–all does take work. When you achieve a goal, don’t forget to acknowledge all of the hard work you’ve been doing!

Polls and Participant Q’s

It’s always interesting to see the response to Gail’s polls. Here is one that she ran this week.

Spending Analysis

Gail promised last week that she was not assigning any more tweets and tasks for the rest of the month so that we can finish our spending analysis. I’ve got a recap of the instructions below, but you can see the full details in my previous Money Master Class Recaps for Week 32, Week 33, and Week 34.

Gail also gave us a head’s up this week that the spending analysis is important for the tasks she has set up next month for us.

What is a spending analysis?

A spending analysis is a complete look at your finances for a set period of time. This is a detailed analysis of daily spending, large bills, debt payments, and savings amounts that are input into a worksheet where you can see the sums and averages for each category. For the Money Master Class, Gail has asked us to look at 6 months of our spending and savings.

Why do a spending analysis?

A spending analysis allows you to work with facts when managing your fiances. Inputting real numbers means that you will not have to guess at how much money you spend on car maintenance or groceries.

How to do a spending analysis

There are a few steps to doing your spending analysis. Depending on how organized your financial information is, it may be time consuming. BUT the work will be worth it. The spending analysis will empower you to make financial decisions with real information from your spending habits.

Step 1: Gather 6 months of statements, bills, receipts–any and everything related to your money.
Step 2: Separate these financial papers into months (ie. all January statements, receipts, bills will be “Month #1”; all February statements, receipts, bills will be “Month #2”; etc.)
Step 3: Download the Spending Analysis Worksheet from this website,
Step 4: Begin inputting the information for Month 1, then continue onto Month 2 and the remaining months through Month 6
Step 5: Gail asked us to do an additional step of highlighting our “needs” and “wants.”

Problem Solving:

You can change the headings on the spending analysis worksheet so that they fit your specific spending.

If you have a lot of cash withdrawals, you can create a line that says “cash” and if you have them, you can create a line for “ATM fees.” Make sure you’re including all of your bank fees and credit card fees in your worksheet.

If you’re unsure about the needs/wants, Gail says that a need is something that keeps your body and soul alive. Be realistic. The identifying your needs versus wants will allow you to know how much you need to save for your emergency fund.

Instant Gratification

Gail ended the week talking about how we are so used to having everything on demand at our fingertips and how this spills over into our finances.

How is your spending analysis going? What have you learned from looking at your finances in such detail?

New to the Money Master Class? There’s still time to get started!
Check out this Twitter Archive to see all of Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s #MoneyMasterClass tweets from the start.
Find the resources, spreadsheets, and quizzes here: Money Master Class
Check out my weekly recaps to get caught up.
Start here with the Money Master Class Intro and Week One Recap

Check out Gail Vaz Oxlade’s books here:*

Money Rules
Debt Free Forever
CEO of Everything
Money Smart Kids


  • A in Texas

    Hi Alison,
    So grateful you are keeping up with the summaries. I fell behind & I’m catching up.
    I started a new job and it took the whole month to find my new normal. The spending analysis should be eye opening for me and I’ll be working on it tonight & tomorrow.
    Thanks again for doing what you do, I appreciate it.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I hope you’re enjoying your new job! It can take time to adjust to a new routine, can’t it? So glad you’re still on this Money Master Class journey with me though 🙂

  • Ellis James Designs

    Having a detailed look into my finances is admittedly one of my weak points. Sometimes it’s because I actually fear just how much I’d spent on something that makes me feel good. But it is a necessary step for managing finances! Thanks for this summary!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Those are totally valid feelings! It can be a scary thing to look closely at what we spend, but like you say, a necessary one.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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